The Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) is a federal agency that protects the health and welfare of Americans and the environment. The Office of Civil Rights (“OCR”) is a part of the EPA which is supposed to protect citizens from environmental racism by preventing states, local governments and private companies from discriminating based on race or ethnicity.
One of the ways a government can discriminate and engage in environmental racism is by placing hazardous waste sites or factories that cause a lot of pollution closer to a community where more people of color live. These waste sites or factories can make people sick if they are not maintained properly, or it can be more difficult, or less desirable, to live in their neighborhood due to noise, smell, or other disturbances. The OCR is supposed to investigate situations like this and make sure that no one’s civil rights have been violated. Sadly, the OCR has not been doing an effective job of protecting citizens’ civil rights—since 1993, the OCR has received 298 claims, but has never made a finding of discrimination. In fact, most of the claims are never investigated and are dismissed or rejected for various reasons.
Environmental racism is a large scale problem affecting hundreds of thousands of people, and can even contribute to groups of people getting sick or injured. In Baltimore City, lead poisoning affects more families living in low-income housing than in any other area of Maryland. Even though the State and City governments have tried to solve this problem, children are still being lead poisoned today and young adults poisoned as children will deal with the harmful effects of lead for the rest of their lives.
The Yost Legal Group is a law firm with more than twenty years of experience representing children and the parents of children who have been lead poisoned, and has helped hundreds of children obtain monetary compensation for their lead poisoning. The experienced attorneys at the Yost Legal Group can help investigate you or your child’s claim for lead poisoning. Call us today at 1-800-YOST-LAW (967-8529) to speak with an attorney absolutely FREE.