Ep. 16: And Environmental Justice For All?

Donald Trump tours the Flint Water Plant and Facilities in Flint, Michigan, September 14, 2016.   Credit: REUTERS/Mike Segar

Donald Trump tours the Flint Water Plant and Facilities in Flint, Michigan, September 14, 2016. Credit: REUTERS/Mike Segar

In this episode of Trump on Earth, we talk with environmental justice lawyer Lisa Garcia, who was senior adviser to the administrator for Environmental Justice at the EPA during the Obama Administration. Garcia explains just what environmental justice is, why we need it, and how she plans to keep fighting the good fight in spite of the cuts.

“Now we become the enforcers,” said Garcia. “We have to be the ones that are on guard and watching what is going on, and making sure that there aren't just rampant violations of the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act, and all of our other environmental bedrock laws.”

She stressed that cutting the environmental justice agency cuts the only communication outlet low income communities have with Washington. These are the communities being hit the hardest by polluters; these are the people who need justice, Garcia said.

“There are not many offices that go out into the field. And there's not any other office that is dedicated to making sure that the agency is reaching out to communities of color, to low income communities, and to indigenous populations (other than the tribal office). But those are the types of offices that really bring in the broad population that the United States is, and all the diversity and variety and backgrounds that we have. So it's just a huge loss...you would lose communication with so many communities who you're supposed to represent because they can't get on their private jets, or go to D.C., every time you have a meeting on oil, or coal, or climate,” said Garcia.

In this episode, learn about the “unfinished business of the Environmental Protection Agency,” the successes and shortfalls of the Obama Administration, and how you can play a part in protecting the bipartisan issue of clean air and water for all.

Mentioned in This Episode:

This episode was hosted by Kara Holsopple and Julie Grant. Trump on Earth is produced by The Allegheny Front, a Pittsburgh-based environmental reporting project, and Point Park University's Environmental Journalism program.

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