Challenging environmental civil rights violations in Beaumont
The Clinic worked with Earthjustice and the Yale Environmental Justice Clinic to require the Environmental Protection Agency to respond to a civil rights complaint filed over a decade ago by Sierra Club and a Beaumont pastor. The complaint alleged that issuance of a permit to allow increased air emissions in the Charlton-Pollard neighborhood, where pollution levels already exceeded health standards, violated residents’ civil rights. Students have compiled compliance records, conducted community interviews, drafted a supplemental petition, and participated in community meetings. As a result of the complaint, EPA has required a new air pollution monitor in the neighborhood and mandated that the state hold community meetings to inform the neighborhood how to file complaints, gather evidence of violations, and participate in the environmental permitting process.