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Government can be insufficient source of environmental justice

Different people will answer differently in regards to what they believe is the role of their government. Some might agree that government should work to protect the best interest of its people and land. Again, different people might answer differently about what is in a people's and land's best interests.

When enough people agree, however, that a business' actions are not in the best interest of the environment, the group will look for justice. Justice in environmental law cases can be secured in various ways. The Environmental Protection Agency creates laws. Sometimes, the EPA and other government actions might not be satisfactory enough to environmental enthusiasts.

The New York Times reports that more environmental lawsuits are being filed against companies by civilian groups these days. Groups like the Sierra Club and others with environmental protection as their mission are taking action in pollution cases that they believe the government is failing to address. Some have even sued the EPA or other government agencies for their inaction regarding set environmental statutes.

Why might the EPA be slipping? Critics suggest that government agency becomes limited because of financial cuts and political pushing and pulling. If U.S. residents can't count on the EPA to create and enforce the laws that foster a healthy environment, is all lost for the future health of our land and people?

All hope is not lost if smaller, civilian environmental groups have anything to do with it. In The U.S., every person has the right to speak up and seek justice if he or she sees injustices being done to the environment. In multiple cases noted by the Times, plaintiffs argue that oil companies in their state are clearly violating pollution emissions laws. 

Those who observe entities violating environmental laws can try to take power into their own hands. That power can be best wielded with guidance of an environmental lawyer. 

Source: New York Times, "Environmental Groups Resort to Suing Industries Directly," Neena Satija, Feb. 22, 2014

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