Recently, President Biden signed an executive order furthering the administration’s commitment to environmental justice by weaving it more into the work of federal agencies in an effort to “achieve real, measurable progress that communities can count on,” says an announcement from the US Environmental Protection Agency.
Entitled, Revitalizing Our Nation’s Commitment to Environmental Justice for All, the new effort:
- Deepens the Biden-Harris Administration’s whole-of-government commitment to environmental justice.
- Helps to better protect overburdened communities from pollution and environmental harms.
- Strengthens engagement with communities and mobilize federal agencies to confront existing and legacy barriers and injustices.
- Promotes the latest science, data, and research, including on cumulative impacts.
- Expands interagency coordination and launch a new Office of Environmental Justice within the White House Council on Environmental Quality.
- Increases accountability and transparency in federal environmental justice policy.
- Honors and builds on the foundation of ongoing environmental justice work.
As a part of this effort, the Administration also announced establishing an Environmental Justice Scorecard, which will work to assess the federal goverment’s progress on advancing work in the environmental justice space.
Agencies, including the Department of Commerce, Department of Defense, Department of Energy, Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Interior, and the National Science Foundation, will be held accountable for advancing the Justice40 Initiative, implementing and enforcing environmental and civil rights laws, and embedding environmental justice throughout the government through this scorecard.