The environmental justice movement seeks to address the fact that sources of pollution and other environmental hazards are disproportionately likely to be located in low income communities, and communities where the residents are mainly people of color. Essentially, environmental justice is where the environmental movement meets the movement for racial and economic equality. Activists concerned about pollution and environmental degradation join forces with those seeking to create a more equitable society, and in the process help to improve the lives of some of the most disadvantaged communities in the US and elsewhere. Polluting factories, hazardous waste disposal sites, and other sources of environmental contamination tend to be located in the places where local people are least likely to have the political power to confront polluters – and this often means putting them in a low income or minority neighborhood. Environmental justice activists seek to challenge this tendency, and to show that the people most likely to be hurt by pollution are those are already being subjected to discrimination and economic hardship.
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