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Edwards: Environmental Hearing ‘Rings Hollow’

Donna Edwards (D), the lawyer and community activist who is again battling Rep. Albert Wynn (D) in Maryland’s increasingly bitter 4th district primary, said on Monday that the Congressman’s plans to hold what his office described as the “first hearing ever” on the issue of environmental justice was both an exaggeration and an example of the Congressman turning increasingly liberal because of his 2006 election scare.

Wynn’s office sent out a news release on Monday announcing a “landmark legislative hearing” before his Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on the Environment and Hazardous Materials entitled “environmental justice and the Toxics Release Inventory Reporting Program: Communities have a right to know.” The hearing will take place on Capitol Hill Thursday morning.

“I think clearly he’s trying to demonstrate that he is showing some environmental leadership but it rings really hollow and it’s greatly exaggerated,” Edwards said. “I have been working on environmental justice for years and I know that there have been other hearings on issues of environmental justice. … Again I think the Congressman is trying to prove, and in this case prove by exaggeration, that he has a record on environmental leadership and it just isn’t true.”

Edwards, who made her name in the community in part by fighting the proposed National Harbor development in Oxon Hill, was endorsed by the League of Conservation Voters both this year and in 2006, when she finished just 2,700 votes behind Wynn in the Democratic primary.

— John McArdle

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