A Roundtable Discussion Presented and Moderated by Alexandra Dapolito Dunn, Lecturer in Law,
The Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law.
The D.C. Bar Environment, Energy and Natural Resources Section
Environmental Law Institute
Women’s Council on Energy & Environment
American Bar Association Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources
Environmental Justice: Hearing Communities Through the Economic Din 
February 23, 2012
5 pm – 6:30 pm
National Press Club
529 14th Street, NW, 13th Floor, Washington, DC 20045
Environmental justice is a broad concept, generally accepted to mean that we seek a society where all people— regardless of race, color, national origin, or income—are protected from environmental and health hazards, are meaningfully involved in the regulatory and decision-making process, and that no subpopulation bears a disproportionate share of environmental risks and burdens. When the economy is strong, environmental controls are more likely to be funded and community requests and needs are more likely to be considered by corporations, developers, and governments. Similarly, in a robust economy, the government and private sectors are more likely to invest in programs to support community
participation and education.
Given today’s strained economy—both domestically and abroad—this dynamic expert panel will hold a substantive and productive conversation on critical and important issues related to environmental justice. The speakers will touch on the impacts of the economic downturn on low-income and minority communities in the United States and in developing nations; steps the U.S. federal government is taking to advance environmental justice domestically; and important private sector initiatives. Ultimately, the panel will consider how environmental justice principles can be effectively advanced and applied in weak economic times.