Environmental Justice

In an April 2, 2019 Committee on Oversight and Reform hearing, Rep. Tlaib invited her fellow committee members to Michigan's 13th Congressional District to see what doing nothing looks like on climate change. She also quoted #13thDistrictStrong resident and activist Emma Lockridge on the issue.


In Wayne County, Detroit and the downriver communities of Ecorse, River Rouge, and Melvindale, environmental justice is a major concern. These communities in particular are home to heavy industrial operations, including steel plants and Michigan’s only oil refinery, massive transportation infrastructure that brings truck traffic through our neighborhoods, and recently discovered PFAS polluted sites in Detroit and Melvindale. Further, Wayne County has been designated a nonattainment area under National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for sulfur dioxide (SO2) and 8-hour ozone. Wayne county has asthma-related hospitalization rates as well as a higher incidence of asthma in young children than the state average.

Experiencing respiratory illness, fallout from environmental emissions, and noxious odors on a daily basis has a profound negative impact on our communities’ quality of life. Protecting our air and water goes hand in hand with protecting our health, especially from the corporate polluters who place profit over people.

For more information concerning work and views related to environmental justice, please contact our office.