The Environmental Protection Agency defines Environmental Justice as “the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, colour, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies” (EPA, 2014). Given this definition of environmental justice, it can be inferred that environmental justice can be achieved only when people have equal access to environmental resources and also equal voice in protecting their environment. In the context of analyzing how environmental justice can be enforced for society, this dissertation will critically discuss some of the theoretical and policy based debates on the environmental justice problem and argues for the necessity of having a collaborative model to solve these issues.
It is everyone’s fundamental right to live in a clean and healthy environment. The economic disparity is causing such issues, however this should not be viewed as an issue between the income groups alone but rather the society should unite as one entity and come up with efforts that combat the issue of pollution. Peter Wenz, in his article ‘Just Garbage: The Problem of Environmental Racism’ states that not addressing this issue would actually be a form of environmental racism (Wenz, 2008). It is believed by Taylor et al (2007, p.55-57) that only collaborative efforts of all the people in the society will bring some solution to this environmental restoration. The author has proven this theory stating examples how successful the collaborative efforts of the people have been in the past. There has been an environmental justice policy in play in the US politics. It has also successfully handled many issues and come up with solutions to deal with the issue of environmental pollution and hazards. As examples consider the Environmental Justice Strategy that was signed off on February 11, 1994 by President Clinton’s Executive Order. Every federal agency was mandated to identify which of its programs adversely affected the health of the minority population. In addition about the same time there were also grass-root organizations advocating for policy change (Taylor et al, 2007).