“Environmental Racism! That’s What It Is.”

In this essay, Professor Lazarus discusses former NAACP di-rector the Rev. Dr. Benjamin Chavis\'s characterization of U.S. envi-ronmental policy as \"environmental racism.\" He first justifies this provocative topic choice and then suggests that Chavis\'s allegation has transformed environmental law. Professor Lazarus next discusses the details of this transformation, arguing that Rev. Chavis has essen-tially reshaped the way environmental law and justice are conceived. He offers examples of various environmental programs and social and political effects traceable to Chavis\'s environmental racism com-ment. Finally, the conclusion provides some of the author\'s rumina-tions about the future of environmental law and policy.* John Carroll Research Professor of Law, Georgetown University Law Center. This essay is based on a talk presented at the University of Illinois College of Law on April 16, 1999, at a symposium on \"Innovations in Environmental Policy\" sponsored by the University of Illinois Law Review and the University of Illinois Institute of Government and Public Affairs. Thanks are owed to both sponsors, as well as to Professor Hope Babcock for her comments on an early draft of this arti-cle; Staci Krupp, Georgetown University Law Center Class of 2000, for her excellent research assistance in the preparation of both the talk and this article; and Tom Shebar, Georgetown University Law Center Class of 2001, for his excellent assistance in the completion of this article.

The full text of this Symposium is available to download as a PDF.