Rashida Tlaib issues letters to Detroit industrial polluters accused of 'environmental racism'
US Representative Rashida Tlaib issued letters to two major polluters in Detroit earlier this month, claiming the health of nearby residents is being affected by their dust and noise.
The Michigan congresswoman, along with her colleague Ro Khanna of California, who is chairman of the House Oversight Subcommittee on Environment, addressed the letters to US Ecology and Stellantis, both of which have been cited for pollution in the past.
They are demanding protections for residents living near the facilities, which are located in one of the most impoverished cities in the US. The majority of the city's residents are Black, though there is also a sizeable Arab community in and near the city.
The letters follow an August congressional field hearing that focused on the two facilities' role in environmental racism, according to a report in the Detroit Metro Times.
The report notes that US Ecology's plant has been issued around 35 violations since 2014 for dust, pollution and noise. Nevertheless, the company has asked regulators to renew its operating permit.
"We are deeply concerned that your company’s actions have confined residents to their homes, some hooked up to breathing machines, because the air outside is rotten, metallic, and fishy, filled with dust and volatile organic compounds," Tlaib and Khanna wrote.
“This flagrant disregard for the health and well-being of people living near your facility will not be tolerated and should bear heavily on the State of Michigan’s upcoming decision regarding the renewal of your operating permit,” the letter reads.