New U.S. EPA initiative would create additional layer of federal oversight
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the release of Plan EJ 2014, a three-year, comprehensive plan to advance environmental justice efforts in nine areas, including rulemaking, permitting, enforcement, and science. Plan EJ 2014 aims to protect people’s health in communities overburdened by pollution, to empower communities to take action to improve their health and environment, and to establish partnerships with local, state, tribal and federal governments and organizations to promote sustainable communities where a clean environment and healthy economy can thrive.
“Far too often, and for far too long, low-income, minority and tribal communities have lived in the shadows of some of the worst pollution, holding back progress in the places where they raise their families and grow their businesses,” said Lisa F. Garcia, senior advisor to the EPA Administrator for Environmental Justice. “Today’s release of Plan EJ 2014 underscores Administrator Jackson’s ongoing commitment to ensuring that all communities have access to clean air, water and land, and that all Americans have a voice in this environmental conversation.”
Plan EJ 2014 is EPA’s strategy to meet the mandate of Executive Order 12898, “Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations,” which states that each federal agency, with the law as its guide, should make environmental justice part of its mission. EPA released the draft plan for public comment in fall 2010 and spring 2011 and held forums and listening sessions in communities across the country.
EPA, along with its federal partners, will continue to conduct outreach, education, stakeholder forums and listening sessions as it moves forward to implement EO 12898 and Plan EJ 2014. EPA will issue annual reports documenting the progress toward meeting the commitments outlined in Plan EJ 2014. The annual reports will be made available to the public through EPA’s website.
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