Booker unveils environmental justice proposal

Booker unveils environmental justice proposal
© Greg Nash

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerCalls for police reform sparks divisions in Congress Schumer calls on McConnell to schedule vote on law enforcement reform bill before July 4 This week: Senate reconvenes as protests roil nation amid pandemic 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 TrumpTrump says inviting Russia to G7 'a question of common sense' Pentagon chief does not support invoking Insurrection Act Dershowitz: Does President Trump have power to declare martial law? 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.