The term environmental justice emerged as a concept in the United States in the early 1980s. It describes a social movement in the United States whose focus is on the fair distribution of environmental benefits and burdens
Are minority communities and individuals burdened with more than their share of environmental risks in this country, while enjoying fewer of the benefits of environmental regulation than others?
Is environmental justice policy no different from education, criminal and civil justice, and a host of other socioeconomic institutions in this country in being tainted by the broad brush of race and class discrimination?
If not, what besides race and class discrimination could possibly explain these differences in environmental burdens and benefits?
What explains the apparent lack of concern for the uneven impact of environmental policies and activities in most of the original federal environmental legislation?