More than 100 EPA staffers have already signed up to temporarily relocate to the U.S.-Mexico border to help with the thousands of children who have entered the U.S. without their parents or official documents — and administrator Michael Regan is encouraging more to do so, E&E reports. In addition to the obvious alignment of EPA staff helping children, many of whom were driven to the U.S. at least in part by climate-fueled disasters, there is another, even more immediate dovetailing of mission: Superfund sites. New research published in Nature Communications found living near a Superfund site could shorten life expectancy by more than a year, with disproportionate harms borne by poor communities and communities of color. Multiple detention centers are located on or near toxic waste sites, including many on military bases with known contamination.
“I think it’s very good for EPA staff who know environmental law to see firsthand what is happening in these facilities,” Earthjustice attorney Raul Garcia told E&E. “I hope it doesn’t stop there. I hope they take back what they see, what they smell and what they touch and act upon it with their jurisdiction.” (EPA staff: E&E $; Superfund impacts: Earther, E&E $)