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Booker unveils environmental justice proposal

Booker unveils environmental justice proposal
© Greg Nash

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Cory BookerCory BookerDemocrats seek answers on impact of Russian cyberattack on Justice Department, Courts Senate confirms Biden's intel chief, giving him first Cabinet official Booker brings girlfriend, actress Rosario Dawson, to inauguration 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 TrumpMore than two-thirds of Americans approve of Biden's coronavirus response: poll Sarah Huckabee Sanders to run for governor Mexico's president tests positive for COVID-19 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.