PhD Doctor of Philosophy candidate
Investigating Sustainable Approaches to Combat Environmental Justice Issues in the US
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) defines environmental justice (EJ) as the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of people to ensure "the same degree of protection from environmental and health hazards, and equal access to the decision-making process to have a healthy environment in which to live, learn, and work." However, environmental justice can become difficult to achieve when the communities, which are often disadvantaged, had no hand in the creation of hazardous environments, their proximity to these contaminated areas, or the tools or capital to remedy the problems. When the basic needs outlined by the EPA are not, these issues become injustices that lead to significant individual and communal stress as well as have intergenerational impacts on health. Environmental injustices are issues that are still hidden in the gossamers of environmental issues despite their prevailing impact on communities of color and the impoverished. This paper will outline the impact EJ has as well as investigate sustainable approaches that have been proposed to alleviate EJ issues in different communities in the US.