‘Environmental justice’ grants face legal scrutiny

Todd Shepherd of the Washington Examiner details a legal case targeting the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s focus on “environmental justice.”

Judicial Watch is taking the Environmental Protection Agency to court in an effort to pry loose information about several “environmental justice” grants doled out by the agency.

The watchdog group is seeking copies of the EPA’s proposals and awards for environmental justice grants delivered in 2014 and 2015, and said it hasn’t been provided with any documents yet.

“This is a simple records request and the fact that the Obama EPA ignored it for years tells you the agency has something to hide,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in a press release.

The environmental justice program seeks to measure the environmental impact of industry and development as it relates to minority populations, but conservatives have complained that the effort funds progressive groups that are only interested in slowing down any development at all through lawsuits and rulemaking.

For the watchdog group, it’s another opportunity for the new administration to provide greater transparency by legally releasing older information that was held back in FOIA requests by the Obama administration. But those hopes haven’t been met so far.

Mitch Kokai / Senior Political Analyst

Mitch Kokai is senior political analyst for the John Locke Foundation. He joined JLF in December 2005 as director of communications. That followed more than four years as chie...

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