Booker unveils environmental justice proposal

Booker unveils environmental justice proposal
© Greg Nash

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerSunday shows - Guns dominate after Democratic debate Booker defends middle-ground health care approach: 'We're going to fight to get there' Sunday shows preview: Democratic candidates make the rounds after debate MORE (D-N.J.) on Friday unveiled an environmental justice proposal, saying it’s time to address regulatory practices at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that ignore the concentration of pollution in some communities.

"The Trump administration has gutted the EPA, rolled back clean air and clean water protections, and allowed polluters to go unchecked, causing immense harm and suffering by vulnerable communities," Booker said in a statement, calling environmental inequality a key civil rights issue.

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Studies have shown that poor communities and communities are color are much more likely to be exposed to various types of pollution. One EPA study found racial disparities when it comes to pollution in communities.

Booker promised to strengthen EPA protections, increase the number of EPA employees and reverse rollbacks that have taken place under President TrumpDonald John TrumpHarris bashes Kavanaugh's 'sham' nomination process, calls for his impeachment after sexual misconduct allegation Celebrating 'Hispanic Heritage Month' in the Age of Trump Let's not play Charlie Brown to Iran's Lucy MORE. Polluting companies would also face higher fines under Booker's proposal by doubling the cleanup fee on coal companies for abandoned mines.

The announcement from Booker, who has pledged support for the Green New Deal, came the same week that he joined the newly formed Senate Environmental Justice Caucus.