EPA to Investigate ADEM Civil Rights Policies

Jul 6, 2018

The state of Alabama is going under the microscope again in terms of civil rights policy.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's civil rights office says it will investigate the Alabama Department of Environmental Management's civil rights policies.

Al.com reports The EPA's External Civil Rights Compliance Office issued a letter earlier this week stating it will investigate whether ADEM has adopted grievance procedures assuring the prompt and fair resolution of complaints. These procedures are required by the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

ADEM's executive director Lance LeFleur abruptly rescinded the agency's policies for accepting civil rights complaints last month. The change came during a court battle over the substance of the policies and how they were adopted.

The complaint that led to the decision was from five Alabama residents who live near landfills and water treatment sites and felt those sites were unjustly placed in areas with a high minority population.

ADEM's civil rights record has been challenged several times recently. The EPA dismissed two civil rights complaints against the organization in March, stating it found insufficient evidence of discrimination.