From Nation Inside
Summary of pending HRDC comment to the EPA on the inclusion of prisoner populations in environmental justice demographic statistics and regulatory input for permitting
Later this week, the Human Rights Defense Center’s (HRDC) Prison Ecology Project will be providing input on the EPA’s EJ 2020 Action Agenda Framework. While it is encouraging to see the EPA attempting to increase the effectiveness of protecting vulnerable communities that have been overburdened by industrial pollution, we also find that there is a significant component to in the dialogue thus far: recognition of impacts on the vast number of prisoners and their families.
The need for something like EJ 2020 comes from the unfortunate reality that many of the environmental permit approvals that have taken place in recent decades, and continue today, fall into a category of Jim Crow-era policy. Few industrial sectors exemplify this more clearly than the prison industry.
If we can recognize the problem with forcing people to live in close proximity to toxic and hazardous operations, then why are we missing the people who are forced to live on the inside of such facilities? (more…)