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Democratic Senators Announce the Creation of an Environmental Justice Caucus

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A man walks across a green space in Marktown, a historic district of East Chicago. The area is surrounded by heavy industry, including a BP tar sands refinery.

Senators Cory Booker (D-New Jersey), Tammy Duckworth (D-Illinois), and Tom Carper (D-Delaware) announced the formation of an environmental justice caucus on Monday. They said the caucus would work to raise awareness on how environmental burdens (and benefits) have been distributed unevenly along racial and socioeconomic lines.

“We cannot achieve economic justice or social justice in this country without also addressing environmental justice,” Booker said in the announcement. “The fact that communities of color, low income communities, and indigenous communities across the country disproportionately face environmental hazards and harmful pollutants on a daily basis has been ignored for far too long.”

Here’s what you need to know about the new caucus.

The State of Environmental Justice in the United States

People of color and communities of lower socioeconomic status disproportionately bear the environmental burden of hazardous industrial facilities, pollution, and toxin exposure, which has further exacerbated health inequities.

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