Chairman Khanna and Vice Chair Tlaib to Hold Field Hearing in Detroit to Examine Impact of Corporate Pollution on Frontline Communities

Aug 18, 2022
Press Release

Washington, D.C. (August 18, 2022)—On Thursday, August 25, 2022, at 10:00 a.m. ET, Rep. Ro Khanna, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Environment, and Subcommittee Vice Chair Rep. Rashida Tlaib will hold a field hearing in Detroit, Michigan to examine the gaps in current laws and regulations that leave frontline communities vulnerable to pollution, and the policy changes necessary to safeguard public health and the environment.  The hearing will focus on the reality of living in “sacrifice zones”—areas where Americans feel their lives are being sacrificed for the profits of corporate polluters.

 

Countless Americans live in environmental justice communities where current air and water pollution permitting schemes fail to protect residents from the cumulative health and environmental impacts of concentrated industrial pollution.  These sacrifice zones are disproportionately found in low-income communities and communities of color.

 

The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) permitting processes under the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts currently fail to consider these cumulative impacts on health and the environment.  Advocates and legislators alike have called for mandatory consideration of cumulative impacts in all permitting and for EPA standards that would require the rejection of applications that would cause harm to communities. 

 

In addition, when those permits are violated, enforcement can be slow and lack transparency and public input.  Legislators must strengthen the tools available to regulators in order to more meaningfully hold polluters accountable to their permits and better deter future violations.

 

This hearing will be an opportunity for Members to examine reforms that are necessary to protect frontline communities from pollution and prevent corporate polluters from incorporating permit violation penalties into their bottom lines as the cost of doing business.

 

WHAT:  

 

Subcommittee on Environment Hearing entitled, “Effective Environmental Enforcement:  Tools and Strategies to Protect Vulnerable Communities.”
 

WHEN:

Thursday, August 25, 2022, at 10:00 a.m. ET
 

WHERE:

Wayne County Community College Eastern Campus

Cooper Room

5901 Conner Street

Detroit, MI 48213

 

 WHO:    

 

Panel I


Robert Shobe
Resident of Detroit, Michigan

(Stellantis Impact Zone)

Pamela McGhee  
Resident of Detroit, Michigan

(US Ecology Impact Zone)

 

Daeya Redding
Resident of Detroit, Michigan
(US Ecology Impact Zone)

Panel II


Nicholas Leonard
Executive Director
Great Lakes Environmental Law Center

 

Jamesa Johnson Greer

Executive Director
Michigan Environmental Justice Coalition

Eden Kasmala-Bloom

Public Education and Media Manager
Detroit People’s Platform

Dr. Stuart Batterman

Professor, Environmental Health Sciences

University of Michigan School of Public Health

 

WATCH:

A livestream will be available on YouTube and the Committee on Oversight and Reform website.

 

MEDIA:

 

Seating in the hearing room is limited and as a result, media must RSVP to the Oversight Committee Democrats Press Office at oversightpress@mail.house.gov no later than 5 p.m. ET on August 24, 2022.  Media will have the opportunity to ask questions of the Members of Congress participating in the hearing in-person once the hearing has concluded.

 

MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC:

Members of the public will be allowed to attend the hearing in
person, however, seating is limited and will be available on a first come, first served basis.  Masking is strongly recommended.

 

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117th Congress