Environmental Justice Principles Exposed
The Environmental Justice Principles were approved by the ALEC Energy, Environment and Agriculture Task Force. No date is given for adoption or approval. ALEC has attempted to distance itself from this piece of legislation after the launch of ALECexposed.org in 2011, but it has done nothing to get it repealed in the states where it previously pushed for it to be made into law.
ALEC Bill Text
On August 1, the ALEC Task Force on Energy, Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture unanimously approved Environmental Justice Principles. The Principles state that all citizens of a state are entitled to equal protection under federal and state environmental laws, regardless of race, creed, or economic status. The Principles were drafted to address the concern that states have located industrial and pollution control facilities in a community based on the race or economic status of that community. The Principles also state that land use and zoning decisions are best handled at the local level and that states should not impose restrictions on local land use.
1. All citizens of a state are entitled to equal protection under environmental laws regardless of race, creed, or economic status.
2. Federal and state environmental laws should be applied and enforced equally.
3. Citizens and local governments should be informed of all risks to human health and to the environment, if any, from facilities located in their communities. State agencies and the private sector have a responsibility to enter into a dialogue with citizens and local government regarding the permitting of all facdltxs.
4. Industrial and pollution control facilities are a necessary and desirable segment of the economy. Such facilities add to the economic vitality of the state providing jobs, economic growth, and essential products or services.
5. Any adverse impacts to health and the environment are not necessarily the result of a particular facility. Siting and permitting decisions should be based on actual emissions from a facility and not simply the type of facility or industry under consideration.
6. State agencies responsible for environmental protection and public health should apply risk assessment and benefit-cost analysis to permitting decisions for major facilities to ensure that communities are not adversely impacted by such decisions.
7. Land use and zoning decisions, including the siting of industrial facilities, are best handled at the local level. Other than technical criteria related to safety siting certain facilities, states should not impose restrictions on local land use decisions.
8. Existing federal, state, and local regulation, properly implemented and enforced, are sufficient to assure protection of human health and the environment.
9. Where inadequate or inappropriate application of environmental law has resulted in adverse impacts to public health or the environment, the state environmental protection agency should implement specific measures within their existing authority including: enhanced inspections and enforcement to ensure compliance with applicable regulations and permit requirements: incentive to industry to reduce emissions; increased communication among the agency, community leaders, local government, and the affected industry; and other measures to mitigate the cumulative impacts of emissions.