Remedies for Environmental Racism: A View from the Field

The Michigan Law Review‘s recent Note, Remedying Environmental Racism, is an important and timely analysis of a civil rights law-based approach to environmental justice work – one of the first to emerge from legal academia. It correctly points out the high hurdles that toxic racism’s victims must overcome to successfully pursue such a strategy. Godsil’s piece will hopefully spur more academic and on-the-ground work in this nascent legal field, which I call “environmental poverty law” – that is, representing low-income communities (often, in this field, communities of color) facing environmental hazards. As a practitioner of environmental poverty law who has used civil rights law to fight a toxic waste incinerator, I want to offer a view from outside the academy on several of Godsil’s points.