Exclusive: EPA’s top official commits to doing right by communities of color

The fundamental facts of environmental justice — that communities of color face disproportionately higher rates of pollution — have been known for decades. It’s been more than 20 years, for instance, since President Bill Clinton signed an executive order directing federal agencies to provide environmental protection for poor and minority communities. Yet in all that time, the government has routinely fallen short of its civil rights obligations, sometimes with deadly results.