Congressman Capuano Hosts Symposium on Environmental Justice

May 27, 1999 -- On Tuesday May 25, 1999 U.S. Representative Michael Capuano joined other members of Congress from the Black, Hispanic and Progressive Caucuses in hosting a national symposium on Environmental Justice. Rep. Capuano is a member of the Progressive Caucus.

"We must pay more attention to environmental justice issues so that the health and well being of our families is protected into the next century," Congressman Capuano stated.

Chelsea City Councillor Preston Galarneau, Jr. attended this first of its kind symposium as a guest of Congressman Capuano. Both Rep. Capuano and Councillor Galarneau have raised the issue of environmental justice as it relates to Massport's proposal to construct a new runway at Logan Airport.

At the symposium, Councillor Galarneau stated, "everyone who has closely examined this proposal for airport expansion should see it for what it really is - another example of environmental injustice."

This concept of environmental justice stems from a 1994 Executive Order issued by President Clinton. It directs federal agencies to implement Environmental Justice in policies, programs and activities. All projects must be reviewed to determine whether there is an inequitable environmental impact on low income and minority communities. Congressman Capuano has argued against Massport's current proposal to build an additional runway because he believes that it is non-compliant with this executive order.

Congressman Capuano stated, "Today's symposium marks what I hope will be the beginning of an open dialogue between policymakers and community activists on environmental justice."