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U.S. Launches Investigation of Houston Illegal Dumping in Black and Latino Communities

The Justice Department launched a probe into whether the city of Houston's response to illegal dumping discriminated against Black and Latino communities. 

The investigation is led by the Justice Department's civil rights division and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas. 

According to Reuters, the probe will examine if Houston’s solid waste management operations, policies, and practices lead to discriminatory dumping in Black and Latino Communities. 

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"Illegal dump sites not only attract rodents, mosquitoes and other vermin that pose health risks, but they can also contaminate surface water and impact proper drainage, making areas more susceptible to flooding," said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the department’s civil rights division. "No one in the United States should be exposed to risk of illness and other serious harm because of ineffective solid waste management or inadequate enforcement programs," Clarke added.

On the other hand, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner described the probe as “absurd, baseless, and without merit”. He offer the city’s full cooperation with the Justice Department, confident that there was no discrimination. 

The investigation is part of a Biden administration effort to prioritize environmental justice as it adopts new policies. The Justice Department announced the launch of a new office to help low-income areas and communities of color push back the disproportionate impact of air and water pollution. 

Nikola uses his background in electrical engineering to break down complex sustainability topics for GreenCitizen's readers. He is a firm believer in environmental conservation, which he practices daily through recycling and home-grown food. He enjoys hiking, engaging in white-water sports, and collecting pocket knives.


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