Washington, D.C. – House Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.), Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), and Senator Cory Booker (D-N.J.) today issued the following statement on President Biden’s newly signed Executive Order, Revitalizing Our Nation’s Commitment to Environmental Justice for All. The Order mirrors several key priorities from the lawmakers’ A. Donald McEachin Environmental Justice For All Act, the most comprehensive environmental justice legislation in history.
“There is nothing more fundamental to our health and wellbeing than the right to air that is safe to breathe and water that is safe to drink. Yet, polluting industries have made a business out of purposely ignoring these rights and dumping their dirtiest messes on the communities whose voices they assumed would be ignored—poor communities, communities of color, and Indigenous communities. And shamefully, for decades, those assumptions were right.
“Today, the Biden administration is telling the millions of Americans living in environmental justice communities that they are finally being heard and heeded. The Executive Order mirrors many key priorities from our A. Donald McEachin Environmental Justice For All Act, which is the result of years of listening to and working directly with communities to draft the federal policy changes they need to realize their rights.
“We commend the Biden administration for taking historic action on their commitment to environmental justice with this Executive Order. As federal agencies move forward with putting these policies into place, we encourage them to continue working closely with the White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council and environmental justice communities to ensure that its implementation lives up to its promise. Here in Congress, we will keep working to advance the A. Donald McEachin Environmental Justice For All Act into law, so these promises can be kept for good.”
President Biden also published the first-ever Environmental Justice Scorecard to assess federal agency’s progress on advancing environmental justice, as well as a new White House Campaign for Environmental Justice.