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Working for Environmental Justice

2010 August 20

By Lisa Garcia

The last few weeks have been busy for us at EPA. We hosted outreach events, launched tools, and are developing a strategy for how we can enhance our programs to better protect communities overburdened by pollution. It’s all part of our effort to expand the conversation on environmentalism and work for environmental justice. We’re reaching out for your help in shaping these efforts and want to work together to build healthy and prosperous communities.

We launched two important tools. The first, EPA’s EJ in Rulemaking Guidance is a tool that asks EPA staff to think about environmental justice at each step of our rulemaking process. The guide is part of EPA’s efforts to include environmental justice in every decision we make. You can also comment on this interim guidance. The second, EJView is a mapping tool that allows you to pick an area and choose the environmental, demographic, and health data you want to show on the map. It’s a way for you to get information about human and environmental health in your neighborhood, community, or region.

We’re working on Plan EJ 2014, which is a four-year plan that includes actions we’ll take to weave environmental justice into the fabric of EPA. We’ll work with stakeholders as we develop initiatives to empower communities to improve their local environment and encourage partnerships with local, state, tribal and federal organizations. We encourage you to read our plan and submit any suggestions you may have.

In our efforts to expand the conversation on environmentalism, we hosted three outreach events. The Youth Workshop on Environmental Justice focused on facilitating intergenerational engagement. Youth from the Washington, DC area brought their unique world view and energy to a day of learning about environmental justice and environmental job opportunities and developing the skills necessary to provide effective public comment. We also hosted a meeting, open to the public, of the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council (NEJAC). The NEJAC’s mission is to provide EPA ideas and recommendations on how to most effectively meet the needs of communities working for environmental justice. And, finally, we hosted the first Community Outreach Conference Call, which will be held quarterly and is open to the public. The first call focused on our recent environmental justice achievements and provided an update on progress made since our spring environmental justice and science Symposium.

It has been a busy few weeks, but we are just getting started! Check out what we are doing and share your ideas at:

About the Author: Lisa Garcia is the Senior Advisor to the Administrator for Environmental Justice

Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed in Greenversations are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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5 Responses leave one →
  1. armansyahardanis permalink
    August 20, 2010

    Last generation my grandfather told to us to become the doctors or engineers, but now my friends saying to their son to become students of Law. People know all problem in their life, now, are basic by justice. We are, times by times, lost of privacy and pleasures. Likes WW III. In my country, people need social justice, however you are posting about environmental justice. So, my people do not understand reaching it, and its shown gaps between East and West countries. Don’t forget us EJ and please You will plan “Global EJ”…

  2. Brenda permalink
    August 20, 2010

    Great information, thanks!

  3. Jesús Torres Navarro permalink
    August 21, 2010

    Me lleva a la reflexión seria sobre la enorme importancia de La Justicia Ambiental; los comentarios y los enlaces que se muestran en el artículo son elocuentes, didácticos y atinados, nos señalan el camino, paso a paso, de como llegar a difundir y promover la Justicia Ambiental en nuestras comunidades. Muchas gracias y felicidades a Lisa García por tanta y tan importante información

  4. Michael E. Bailey permalink
    August 22, 2010

    These are great initiatives. They will all help to bring the agency closer to the people it serves; and more and better contacts will mean more and better information that will benefit policy. When you reachout to the disability community, you should have information in different formats like large print, Braile, and audio recording; make complex problems easy to follow; and make websites card reader accessible. The environmental justice work that is being done at EPA and CalEPA is tremendous and will have many positive impacts for under and unserved populations. I hope you will also consider partnering with other organizations like the Pacific Institute that is the U.S. representative for the United Nations Water Mandate and is doing work in such areas as corporate water footprinting and the nitrate pollution of drinking water in the San Joaquin Valley. Best wishes, Michael E. Bailey.

  5. Tony Montana permalink
    October 15, 2010

    Certainly an article to be read! This was
    a great and informative read! Fabulous work
    by the author and creator! Nice feedback
    from the readers as well! I must admit the
    author had some very valid points here.
    Thank you for taking the time to share this
    with us!

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