AuthorBarry E. Hill
Page 1
Introduction to the Fourth Edition
Environmental Justice: Legal Theor y and Practice
e fourth edition of this textbook/handbook is similar in intention and content to the third edition. e
goal is still to provide a thought-provoking exposition of the essential principles of the concept of envi-
ronmental justice, which is an environmental, racial, economic, political, social justice, public health, civil
rights, human rights, and moral issue. As in the third edition, the goal is also to provide a comprehensive
review of the hard law of environmental justice in a manner to ground law students, practitioners, scholars,
researchers, and anyone else who is new to or interested in the subject matter.
ere have been noteworthy additions to federal and state government environmental justice policy
since the publication of the third edition in 2014. e fourth edition incorporates the innovations of the
Barack Obama Administration reg arding government administration, implementation, and leadership in
seeking ways to address the issues/concerns of disadvantaged communities across the country. Addition-
ally, no area of law remains static, of course, and t he fourth edition includes al l of the signicant cases
and developments in the hard law of environmental justice since the third edition. New sections have
been added, where appropriate, to organize and ex amine the still-e volving case law. Just as the courts and
government decision makers have continued to twea k the hard law of environmental justice, this fourth
edition is intended to improve the readers’ understanding of the dynamics of the issue of environmental
justice, and to learn a lot about what it takes to bring out the best in people to address the issue, through
enlightened leadership in communities, in corporations, in state bar associations, in law oces, in lega l
services providers, in law school clinics, in government agencies, and in academic institutions.
A new Chapter 8 has been added to this fourth edition as an epilogue. e epilogue is a Sharon Lerner
article entitled, e Plant Next Door— A Louisiana Town Plagued by Pollution Shows Why Cuts to the EPA
Will Be Measured in Illnesses and Deaths. e March 2017 article captures so vividly and succinctly in real
life the essence of the str uggle for environmental justice by a beleag uered cancer-ridden community in St.
John the Baptist Parish, Louisia na, who have “suered more than their share of illnesses.” Only when the
environmental and public health problems in that community are addressed by industry, as well as federal
and state government regulators, will environmental justice for all similarly situated communities be made
a reality in the United States. Hopefully, that day wil l come sooner rather than later because, as the Rev.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “e arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”

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