Toxic Bus Tours Are Just The Start Of Ongoing EJ Enforcement Task Forces
Once trust is established, government can find that EJ residents have lots of information about environmental and health problems.
S ince the Initiative’s inception, we have learned and demonstrated the effectiveness of community intelligence in predicting, identifying, stopping and cleaning up environmental damage in an expeditious manner.
The Initiative uses bus tours guided by EJ community members to visit multiple sites in each community where environmental haz‐ ards are suspected. This kind of community‐ based predictive policing is complimented by a government‐imposed deadline to return to each community within 100 days to share in‐ formation and report on enforcement activi‐ ties after each tour. Subsequent to each 100‐ day get‐together, government and commu‐ nity residents establish ongoing community‐ based environmental task forces to maintain responsiveness, accountability, responsibility and transparency in addressing environmental hazards.
the concepts of community‐based predictive policing and prosecutions. This is a hybrid of widely accepted law enforcement methods that DTSC applies to environmental violations in order to solve ongoing environmental haz‐ ards and public health risks.
Through the Initiative, we now know there must be a nexus of community policing, prosecution and environmental justice to pro‐ duce consistent and effective environmental
While the idea of “toxic bus tours” and workshops is not unique,14 the implemen‐ tation, followup and transparency of DTSC’s Initiative is unprecedented in environmental enforcement. DTSC built the Initiative around
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14 For example, U.S. EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson used bus tours for “enforcement sweeps” when she was Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection from 2006 to 2008.
Worried parents in EJ communities often speak about their fears for their children’s health.