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House Republicans are being accused of “environmental racism” by an environmental group that argues GOP efforts to reform decades-old chemical laws would disproportionately harm minority groups.
At issue is draft legislation backed by Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.) that would require the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to focus on chemicals that pose the greatest risk to the public in enforcing environmental protections.
Shimkus argues his bill would free up resources to focus on the most dangerous chemical threats, but the liberal Environmental Justice Health Alliance says it would end up hurting minority groups by moving resources away from policing the threats in their neighborhoods. That, it turn, would increase the risk that they could develop cancer, asthma, childhood leukemia, infertility and birth defects, among other health problems.
In a press release, the group said the bill would promote what it called “environmental racism.”