State Not Doing Enough to Protect Poor from Pollution, Advocates Argue

The state needs to be more proactive in dealing with the pollution problems plaguing many of its minority communities and poorer urban areas, according to environmental justice advocates.

The amount of pollution a person is exposed to often is reflected in the “color of their skin and the amount of money in their pocket,’’ said Nicky Sheats, director of the Center for Urban Environment at Thomas Edison State University.

Increased asthma in the state’s cities, high levels of lead found in young children in communities around New Jersey, and unhealthy air pollution from diesel engines were among the issues raised during a NJ Spotlight panel discussion on environmental justice last week at a day-long conference at the Newark Performing Arts Center.

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