Center for American Progress

Securing Clean Air, Clean Water, and a Healthy Environment for All

Securing Clean Air, Clean Water, and a Healthy Environment for All

How Federal Investments and Empowered Community Leadership Are Building Healthy Communities in Spartanburg, South Carolina, and Beyond

Industrial facilities are most often located in or near Black, brown, and low-income communities who face the brunt of harmful industrial pollution, climate change impacts, and other environmental and public health hazards—something Harold Mitchell experienced firsthand in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Fortunately, the Biden administration’s long-overdue environmental justice investments can ensure that all people—regardless of race, income, or ZIP code—have clean air and clean water and live in safe and healthy communities.

On the front lines of industrial pollution and neglect, communities bearing the brunt of public health impacts and environmental degradation can find new hope through the Biden administration’s Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL).

Environmental justice leader Harold Mitchell’s firsthand experience with pollution’s dire effects in Spartanburg, South Carolina, inspired him to establish the ReGenesis Institute and ignited a movement for change. The success and lessons learned in Spartanburg are guiding ReGenesis in their efforts to expand their model of community engagement and restoration to other communities, by leveraging the groundbreaking investments from the IRA and BIL. Critical investments in environmental justice are not just addressing past and ongoing harms but also empowering communities with resources to improve public health, lives, and livelihoods in front-line communities.

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Domestic Climate

It’s time to build a 100 percent clean future, deliver on environmental justice, and empower workers to compete in the global clean energy economy.

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