Sierra Club Applauds Biden Administration Environmental Justice Announcement

Today, the Biden Administration announced it is taking steps to advance environmental justice throughout the federal government, including strengthening environmental reviews and increasing community involvement in infrastructure projects that impact communities at the fenceline and on the forefront of climate change.

Image: PixabayImage: Pixabay

Under the new executive order, federal agencies will be required to collaborate with communities in the early stages of project development and consider the combined impacts of environmental and health stressors when siting projects from highways to pipelines. Federal agencies will now be required to notify nearby communities when toxic chemicals are released from federal facilities and conduct a public meeting to inform communities of potential health risks from release of toxic chemicals.

The Biden Administration also released the results of the first Environmental Justice Scorecard, evaluating federal agencies' progress in addressing environmental justice concerns, including through the Justice40 Initiative.

To coordinate new and existing environmental justice efforts throughout the federal government, the Biden Administration is creating a new Office of Environmental Justice within the White House Council on Environmental Quality. In meetings across the United States, the The White House Campaign for Environmental Justice will work to increase community understanding and involvement in the administration's environmental justice work, provide access to federal resources and tools, and allow for more direct interaction with government agencies.

In response, Sierra Club Executive Director Ben Jealous released the following statement:

“For decades, communities across the country have been asked to shoulder the weight of pollution and the taxing and deadly health burdens it brings. Today, just as he has numerous times throughout his administration, President Biden is taking the right action by involving these communities in the decisions made about their neighborhoods, their health, and their future. By involving communities in decision making, honoring their expertise, and ensuring they have a seat at the table, we can create more effective and just solutions to environmental and public health challenges while addressing our critical infrastructure and energy needs. We’re pleased the Biden Administration is taking steps to advance environmental justice and improve transparency throughout the federal government, and look forward to continuing to work together to build a more equitable and sustainable future for all.”

Sierra Club
Press Office
Sierra Club, USA, Joe Biden, Environmental Justice, federal, government, climate change, agency, project, pipeline, public, toxic

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