Two key ideas for addressing/correcting environmental inequities (which have been noted by the Luskin Center for innovation (UCLA) are:
Energy efficiency ‘retro fits’ (for private, low-income residential housing*); this should include some type of subsidizing of solar (rooftop or yard) panel installation (for private, low-income residential homes)
Trade-in programs for inefficient (or less efficient) cars for cleaner/more efficient ones, or, car trade-in programs for public transportation vouchers (equal to the trade-in value of the car), assuming that a public transportation option(s) is/are available.
*Lowering energy costs for low-income home owners allows these folks to stay in their
homes and thus maintain a degree of financial (ownership) equity (verses ushering a
majority of low-income folks into public housing, which they do not own, and
consequently, hold equity in.
‘Environmental equity’ is integrally related to the subject of environmental justice. It is nearly a universal fact (in the U.S.) that the poorest urban neighborhoods are located in the most polluted areas of cities (this includes buried toxic waste dumps, not simply air pollution, which is a major concern). Even with poor rural communities, these tend to be situated near heavy industry and or heavily polluting industries (like mines, refineries, oil recovery and fracking wells, smelting operations, etc.) with local water resources (aquifers) often polluted, poisoned, or (if above ground, like rivers) unsafe for usage (e.g., fishing, recreation).
Lack of money/wealth (low value ownership and/or high debt) can be viewed as a proxy for lack of political power or participation (so, this means fewer or unenforced environmental protections), which translates into natural resource exploiting industries setting up their operations in or near these communities. In many ways, the ‘practice’ is predatory; it may simply be the ‘default’ practice due to neglect (social/political) and community ignorance (which can be manipulated, e.g., via industrial propaganda) but there are often intentional legal hurdles (like SLAPP practices by polluting businesses) and/or legislated environmental exemptions (like chemical constituent reporting exemptions for fracking ‘brine’) that thwart enviro justice, and thus – through un-remediated environmental degradation – block environmental equity.
So, addressing environmental equity is no simple matter; it must be approached in a ‘multi-pronged’ manner; this often begins with a class action lawsuit or legal injunction ruling of some kind. This can be aided by effective political representation (at least at the local or sate level, to start).
As always, Law and Politics are the key instruments of change.