Environmentalists are whining that the House GOP is practicing “environmental racism” for their legislation that would make the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to focus its attention on chemicals posing the greatest risk to the public, rather than trying to put its energies into finding every single chemical threat, mo matter how minimal it is.
Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee, who is sponsoring the bill, has said that the bill would make the 1976 Toxic Chemicals Control Act (TSCA) much stronger because it concentrate on the greatest chemical threats. He added, “The vast majority of chemicals are low priority, and we really want to free up the time and energy to focus on the more important chemicals.”
But the Environmental Justice Health Alliance claims that the chemical left unscathed would be found more frequently in non-white communities and said the legislation was “environmental racism.” Michele Roberts, co-coordinator of the Environmental Justice Health Alliance, pontificated, “This bill harms communities of color disproportionately. Most of these chemicals are either manufactured, stored in, or disposed of in primarily communities of color.”
Daniel Rosenberg, representing the Natural Resources Defense Council, said the bill was a “disappointment” and would “do more harm than good.”
Juan Parras, executive director of the Texas Environmental Advocacy Services (TEJAS), said, “Folks hurting from chemicals are also calling this the ‘Poison Pill Bill,’ because it guarantees that the chemical industry can keep poisoning people with harmful chemicals with no consequences.”