‘Polluters Over People’ Resolution Waives Environmental Impact Reviews; Endangers Communities of Color
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 31, 2023
Contact: Catalina V. Silva, Humanity Communications Collective, Catalina@humanitycom.com, 571-488-5020
WASHINGTON – In light of the passage of H.R. 1 by Congressional Republicans, Dana Johnson, Senior Director of Strategy and Federal Policy for WE ACT for Environmental Justice, issued the following statement:
“Despite the seemingly positive name, HR 1, The Lower Energy Costs Act, is another outrageous attempt to weaken the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the latest in a series of efforts to do so. H.R. 1 expedites the development, importation, and exportation of energy resources through several means, one of which is waiving environmental review and other requirements under certain environmental laws. H.R. 1 also condenses public comment periods and applies conditions to when the public can comment, undermining communities’ rights to democratic involvement in the health and well-being of their communities.
“Developers and others attempting to cut corners on environmental impact assessments have a long history of placing environmentally harmful developments in communities of color, minimizing or even failing to disclose dangers to the communities. For the past half-century, NEPA’s standards for environmental impact assessments have helped communities identify and mitigate impacts and, most importantly, consider public comments. Any efforts to water down NEPA will subsequently hurt the communities impacted most.
“At a time when a healthy and safe future for our communities is at stake, we should be strengthening environmental protections and looking for any way we can bolster our current regulations to make them function as intended to the fullest extent. H.R. 1 is a disastrous deviation from the intent of the law, and the Senate must treat it as such. Whether it’s this resolution, the Energy Independence and Security Act, or the BUILDER’S Act, the end result will be the same: communities of color will be harmed.”
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WE ACT for Environmental Justice is a Northern Manhattan membership-based organization whose mission is to build healthy communities by ensuring that people of color and/or low-income residents participate meaningfully in the creation of sound and fair environmental health and protection policies and practices. WE ACT has offices in New York City and Washington, D.C. Visit us at weact.org and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.