Sunday, December 4, 2011

Environmental Justice EPA Strategy EJ2014

The Environment Protection Agency is doubling down on Environmental Justice with Agenda EJ2014. The agency has published resources at the website, which include the strategy's effusive goals:
The goals of the plan are to:
  • Protect health in communities over-burdened by pollution
  • Empower communities to take action to improve their health and environment
  • Establish partnerships with local, state, tribal and federal organizations to achieve healthy and sustainable communities.
Plan EJ 2014 is not a rule or regulation. It is a strategy to help integrate environmental justice into EPA's day to day activities.
It is time to do some further reading, but an example of how EJ2014 works has already been revealed in Corpus Christi, Texas, From PowerlineBlog.com's John Hinderaker:
The EPA’s stated concern is for communities called Hillcrest and Dona Park, which are “located along the fence line of Ship Channel facilities.” The EPA cites a single local pressure group, Citizens For Environmental Justice, as a source of its focus on Corpus Christi. So, what does the agency propose to do, given that Corpus Christi’s refineries are already satisfying the government’s emission standards?
Members of the Hillcrest and Dona Park neighborhoods have concerns about excess emissions, flaring, and industrial accidents affecting residents near the fenceline of large industrial facilities, even if environmental compliance is improved. In addition, some community residents have expressed a strong desire to be relocated.
Relocated? Does that mean the EPA might buy them a bus ticket? Or does it mean the agency will try to pressure the owners of the refineries to buy them a new home, somewhere else?
EPA Commitments: EPA will encourage and join in discussions between concerned members of communities, the City, industry and other interested stakeholders regarding voluntary options for addressing important fenceline community issues, including increased buffer zones, reduced emissions, better communication and relocation.
“Increased buffer zones” means relocating the people who live closest to the refineries and razing their homes.
Although EPA’s legal authority to require the creation of buffer zones or to order industries to relocate nearby residents is very limited, EPA will work to bring all parties together at a Summit where issues can be identified and workgroups can be formed to find constructive solutions.
“Very limited”? To my knowledge, the EPA has no authority whatsoever to order citizens to move, to destroy their homes, or to force industries to buy new houses in different locations for people who happen to live near their facilities–most of whom moved there long after the refineries were constructed.
The EPA does have the ability to cost private businesses millions of dollars through extortion by slowing or blocking access to the government agency's permitting process. Businesses who do not pay "protection money" in the form of whatever is deemed "Environmentally Just" will be damaged or destroyed.

Chicago style government corruption is growing at a startling rate. Bribes and extortion are inevitable when reasoned equal justice through publicly debated law is swept aside by Eric Holder and Barack Hussein Obama in favor of social, environmental or other meaningless forms of "justice."

Read the entire series on this issue at Powerlineblog.com and keep up to date with Tea Party issues by visiting the San Diego Local Order of Bloggers.

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