FRESNO (AP) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has found that California regulators did not violate the civil rights of residents of three small farmworker towns by allowing toxic waste dumps to operate in the predominantly Latino communities.
In a report made public Tuesday, the EPA’s Office of Civil Rights dismissed the residents’ allegations on grounds that the dumps did not cause any adverse health effects.
The ruling came in response to a complaint filed 16 years ago by residents of Kettleman City and Buttonwillow in central California and the hamlet of Westmorland to the south. The residents sued the EPA last year for failing to respond to the complaint within the required time period.
Academic studies have found that poor people and minorities are far more likely to live near hazardous waste disposal sites, polluting power plants and industrial parks.