Environmental Justice in Law: Anderson v. Beatrice Foods Co. and Bean v. Southwestern Waste Management Corp.
by Elena Tan
Category: Humanities and Social Sciences
Abstract - Anderson v. Beatrice Foods Co (1989) and Bean v. Southwestern Waste Management Corp (1979) were two cases concerning large corporations’ unethical waste dumping in their respective communities. Each case, sparking out of concern for community members’ health and quality of life, catalyzed groups of community members to band together and push forward the lawsuits. For Anderson v. Beatrice Foods Co it was a group of parents whose children developed leukemia from allegedly contaminated water. For Bean v. Southwestern Waste Management Corp it was Northeast Community Action Group (NECAG), from Houston’s black community. Ultimately, the two cases diverge in the extent to which they involve the Civil Rights Act, specifically Title VI, as Bean v. Southwestern Waste Management Corp argued targeted placement of “sanitary landfills” based on race. This distinction pushed Bean v. Southwestern Waste Management Corp through the Supreme Court, as it posed a challenge to the existing law.