Environmental Justice Timeline and Milestones: 1964-2014

Posted by on March 03, 2014

Environmental Justice Timeline and Milestones: 1964-2014

This report is a compilation of several previous reports. In preparation for the four-day Second National People of Color Environmental Leadership Summit, held in Washington, DC in October 2002, the Environmental Justice Resource Center (EJRC) compiled the Environmental Justice Timeline/Milestones – 1964-2002 report, one of the first comprehensive documents to chronicle accomplishments of the Environmental Justice Movement. The milestones were later updated in the 2007 United Church of Christ Toxic Wastes and Race at Twenty – 1987-2007 report and in 2010 in Environmental Health and Racial Equity in the United States: Strategies for Building Environmentally Just, Sustainable, and Liveable Communities (American Public Health Association 2011).

February 11, 2014 marked the 20th anniversary of the historic Environmental Justice Executive Order 12898 “Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations” signed by President Clinton. This report was prepared and released as part of the 20-year commemoration.

This Executive Order attempted to address environmental injustice within existing federal laws and regulations. It also reinforced the Civil Rights Act of 1964 signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson on July 2, 1964, nearly five decades ago. Title VI of the Civil Rights Act has special significance to environmental justice in that it prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin in all programs or activities receiving federal financial assistance. Title VI itself prohibits intentional discrimination. The Environmental Justice timeline in this report begins in 1964, timed with the passage of the Civil Rights Act.


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