This article discusses the use of private action in federal institutions for relief from disparate racial impacts. The courts have eliminated consideration of § 602 disparate impact regulations as the basis for a private right of action challenging environmental harms. Legislative action seems unlikely in this era of gridlock and partisan polarization. Agency action seems to offer the most avenues for consideration of environmental justice concerns. However, agencies are bureaucratic and subject to election results, Congressional oversight and budgetary limitations, and backlogs of determination of environmental justice complaints. Deeply rooted systemic institutional racism further constrains possible reforms to the federal branches of government.
Michael B. Jones & Peter J. Jacques,
Responding to Environmental Injustice: The Civil Rights Act and American Federal Institutional and Systemic Barriers to Private Redress of Disparate Environmental Harm,
Fla. A&M U. L. Rev.
Available at: http://commons.law.famu.edu/famulawreview/vol9/iss2/8