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Electric Power Plants and Pollution

What many scientists and politicians do agree on, however, is that a map of the most polluted places in the United States is also a map of poverty, minorities, and the weakest links in the health care system. Many people in these poverty-stricken communities complain that their concerns about this disproportionate share of pollution are ignored by physicians, researchers, and government officials. They say that pollution-related diseases contribute to a cycle of poverty, and some believe that they have been targeted deliberately in what they see as "environmental racism."

The Clinton administration wants to change that. In February of 1994, President Clinton signed an executive order to address this problem. It requires federal agencies whose policies affect health or the environment to identify and address the disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects of its programs, policies, and activities on minority and low income populations.

Many people, including Carol Browner, current administrator of the EPA, believe that the EPA has not done all it could to keep polluters out of business. At a recent conference between environmental activists and government agencies, Browner announced that she was disregarding her prepared spe


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