Today, President Biden issued an executive order to better protect overburdened communities from pollution, confront barriers to participation, and embed environmental justice into the decisions of all federal agencies.
Raul Garcia, Vice President of Policy and Legislation at Earthjustice, released the following statement:
“President Biden’s executive action monumentally builds on the vital work to right the wrongs of environmental injustice across this country. We applaud the Biden-Harris administration for bringing a whole-government approach to confronting racial barriers to justice, reducing harm from toxic pollution and the cumulative impacts of environmental injustice to frontline communities. This moment stands as a testament to the strength and tireless work of environmental justice communities who have fought a relentless battle to bring civil rights in the environmental space.
“Black, Brown, Indigenous and low-income communities have historically been treated as sacrifice zones for polluting industries to turn a profit. These communities disproportionately face the lingering effects of cancer and other health burdens, desecration of their sacred places, and bear the brunt of worsening climate impacts. It’s past time to meaningfully address the systemic barriers these communities have long experienced.
“We must also recognize that words on a paper are not enough. We are ready to work with the administration and the environmental justice communities that have led the way to this historic moment to ensure that the measures in this Executive Order have real and concrete impacts on people’s lives.
“When we invest in environmental justice, we make our country more equitable, healthy, and prosperous. Now Congress must act to cement these and more protections into law by passing the Environmental Justice For All Act, which is vital to making true progress to combat environmental injustice.”