Today, the House Natural Resources Committee passed the Environmental Justice for All Act out of committee. The bill would enable frontline environmental justice communities to hold polluters accountable in court for projects that use federal funds and engage in environmental discrimination. It contains bold policies that will strengthen the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) to require federal agencies to consider the cumulative and disproportionate impacts of pollution on communities of color and those of low-income and would use new fees on oil, gas, and coal companies to fund investments in environmental justice communities.
“For too long those in power have ignored the concerns of communities across the country struggling with a long history of exposure to toxic pollution,” said Earthjustice Healthy Communities Program Legislative Director Raul Garcia. “This bill is an important step toward giving the communities most impacted by pollution the tools to hold polluting industries accountable and remedy generations of environmental racism that has disproportionately impacted communities of color and those of low-income. This is a bill with concrete solutions recognizing that assessing environmental racism is not enough, and we must address it. Thank you Rep. Grijalva and Rep. McEachin for listening to frontline communities, crafting this legislation, and putting it on the pathway to a floor vote. We urge House leadership to take swift action and take up this important legislation.”
In January, Earthjustice joined more than 170 environmental justice, civil rights, and allied organizations in a letter of support of the bill to the House Natural Resources Committee leadership.