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A 2015 Center for Public Integrity investigation of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Civil Rights has won two awards from the National Association of Black Journalists.

The series, done in tandem with NBCBLK, part of NBC News, was honored in the categories of “Online Project: News” and “Single Story: News” at the recent NABJ and National Association of Hispanic Journalists convention in Washington, D.C.

The investigation found that communities of color living in the shadows of polluters had seen their claims of civil-rights violations denied 95 percent of the time by the EPA, and that the Office of Civil Rights had never made a formal finding of a violation in its 22-year history.

After the series was published, the EPA announced that it was making a “wholesale attempt” to reform the office. The stories were produced by Center reporters Kristen Lombardi and Talia Buford; NBCBLK producer Amber Payne; and former Center staffers Ronnie Greene, Yue Qiu and Kristian Winfield.

Environmental Justice, Denied” has also garnered awards from the Radio Television Digital News Association and Columbia University.


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Jamie Smith Hopkins is an editor and senior reporter for the Center for Public Integrity. Her work includes...