The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has set up a new office to help marginalized communities cope with the added burden of pollution and climate change. Reuters has called. The Office of Environmental Justice and External Citizens’ Rights will have 200 EPO staff based at the agency’s Washington headquarters and 10 regional offices.
“Establishing a new office dedicated to advancing environmental justice and civil rights at EPA will ensure that the lived experiences of underserved communities are at the center of our decision-making while supporting community-focused solutions,” said U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris.
One of the primary responsibilities of the new office will be the distribution of $3 billion in environmental justice grants overseas created by passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, as part of a $60 billion investment in environmental justice. It will also consider whether other EPA programs are in line with President Biden’s Justice40 initiative, which aims to ensure 40 percent of certain government investments go to disadvantaged communities. Eventually, it will help communities access grants, enforce civil rights laws, and resolve environmental disputes.
The new office opened at an event in Warren County, North Carolina, the site of the 1982 protests against the area’s toxic waste dump. The resulting civil disobedience actions and arrests failed to stop the 22-acre landfill, but gave birth to the modern environmental justice movement. The participants commemorated the 40th anniversary of the protests last week.
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https://www.engadget.com/epa-environmental-justice-civil-rights-office-082419537.html?src=rss EPA opens new office dedicated to environmental justice and civil rights