Republican Louisiana Attorney General Liz Murrill has secured a victory from a U.S. District Court, preventing the state from being forced to implement a set of racially-discriminatory regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge James Cain issued a ruling, in which he granted the state a preliminary injunction against “imposing or enforcing any disparate impact requirements against the State of Louisiana or any state agency,” along with, “imposing or enforcing any Title VI requirements upon the State of Louisiana or any state agency.”
Judge Cain stated that “it is abundantly clear, that Defendants’ actions iterated herein have created great cause for concern, not only for the State of Louisiana, but also for our sister states who have also found themselves at the whim of the EPA and its overreaching mandates,” and that, “the State has met its burden as to irreparable harm.”
“Pollution does not discriminate,” Judge Cain added, in his opinion accompanying the decision.
Judge Cain also explained that “if a decision maker has to consider race, to decide, it has indeed participated in racism.”
The consideration of race in question refers to the attempt by the EPA to impose regulations which “require industries to reduce toxic pollutants in minority and low-income areas, such as the so-called ‘Cancer Alley’ region along the Mississippi River, to lower levels than in majority white areas.”
According to AG Murrill, “When the EPA refused to explain its reasoning for threatening millions in federal funding in Louisiana and other states, we sued to require EPA explain itself to a federal judge.”
Murrill had also raised concerns in the lawsuit that the EPA’s decision making was being influenced by environmental activist groups. Although Judge Cain found the matter to be moot in context of the larger civil case, he did find that “EPA's potential use of similar practices in the future would be improper.”
It would seem relatively easy to enforce the same low levels of toxic pollutants in both minority-populated and white-populated areas. Yet, it seems that the EPA preferred to score points for diversity, rather than focus on their ostensible goal of protecting the environment.