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Reducing Pollution For All American Families

2013 February 14

Originally posted on the White House Blog

By Administrator Lisa P. Jackson

When I first became Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, I made a list of my priorities for the Agency. Working for environmental justice was at the top of that list. Ensuring equal environmental protections for all Americans is the unfinished business of the environmental movement.

It’s a simple idea – that all Americans are entitled to clean air to breathe, safe water to drink and a healthy community to raise their families – but often, it is America’s low-income and minority communities that bear the brunt of our country’s pollution.

As a result, these communities are also hit harder by the many illnesses pollution is linked to – conditions like asthma, heart disease, cancer and strokes. Studies show that minority groups face a greater risk of having asthma, and once they have it, they are at a greater risk of needing emergency treatment. African-American children are hospitalized for asthma at twice the rate of white children, and asthma-related deaths among African-American children take place at a rate of four times that of non-Hispanic white children. Hispanic children — especially of Puerto Rican descent — also face higher rates of asthma.

Dirty air, polluted water and contaminated lands not only put families at higher risks of serious and potentially costly diseases – they also discourage new developments and new jobs. Poison in the ground often means poison in the economy. Limiting the economic possibilities of low-income and minority communities only makes it harder to break the cycle of poverty.

Shortly after I was sworn in, I asked EPA employees to make environmental justice part of every decision we make. I called on the whole Agency to think creatively and work hard to make certain that our efforts reach all communities. Plan EJ 2014 – the environmental justice strategy we unveiled more than two years ago– is the tool we created for answering that call. It is aimed at ensuring that environmental justice is integrated into all of EPA’s day-to-day responsibilities – everything from permitting, compliance and enforcement, to community-based programs and the work we do with other federal agencies.

As I prepare to leave EPA, one of my last acts as administrator is issuing the Plan EJ 2014 Progress Report. The report provides ample evidence of how far we have come in making environmental justice an integral and permanent part of EPA’s day-to-day business. It also details how we have mobilized the entire federal government to incorporate environmental justice into the work each agency conducts.

For the first time in our 42 year history, we have laid the groundwork for EPA to fully implement its environmental justice mission of ensuring environmental protection for all Americans, regardless of race, ethnicity or income level. I am proud of the work we have started and the progress we have made, and I am confident that it will continue long after I depart.

About the author: Lisa Jackson is the outgoing Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

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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12 Responses leave one →
  1. Pamela permalink
    February 14, 2013

    What are you doing to reduce the dangerous levels electromagnetic energy levels that are inside the schools,homes, work and public places.

    Please contact me about learning about what free government programs are available to reduce EMF in my home. Do you have any public service announcements about the harmful effects of certain levels of EMF?

    Did you know that home alarm systems send out a certain level of radiation in the home? I would like to know if there are any studies that show just exactly how much radiation levels are being bombarded through the homes with the ADT alarm systems and other systems.

    • Arthur Curry permalink
      February 21, 2013

      And what about Dihydrogen Monoxide? What is EPA doing about DHMO? Current allegations suggest that the United States Environmental Protection Agency may be conspiring to cover up the whole DHMO issue.

      Each year, Dihydrogen Monoxide is a known causative component in many thousands of deaths. DHMO is a major component of acid rain and gaseous DHMO can cause severe burns. Still, is is used as as an industrial solvent, in nuclear power plants, in the production of Styrofoam and in the development of genetically engineering crops and animals. The government even allows it in baby food!

  2. Master Melvin M. Lusterio permalink
    February 15, 2013

    The Good Force be with you!

    Excellent, Admin Lisa! We need a Clean Air Act Bill for the good of All American Families.

    Live forever & prosper!

  3. Robert Regan permalink
    February 15, 2013

    Great to hear this message from Former Administrator Jackson. It was good to hear her speak about the public health impacts and where our focus should be.

    Dr. Regan

  4. Marvin S. Robinson, II permalink
    February 20, 2013

    The void of not having a / THE LISA JACKSON’ at the E.P.A. is so severe and unfortunate, that we will never KNOW what impacts toward the continum of AUTHENTHIC ‘lens of what real LEADERHIP’ will ever be able to measure against; with Adminstrator Lias Jackson’s [ all to SOON, exit ].
    Adminstrator Lisa Jackson turned the tables, she made the poor, survivors fo TOXIC HAZARDOUS WASTE resident citizens, feel like we MATTERED and that we were almost on the path towards becoming like HUMAN BEINGS again.
    On behalf of all those who have gone before me / us: who were there at the very beginning of the Environmental Justice movement, I can rightly say- with the greatest levels of CONFIDENCE and ACCURACY, we have and are a more BLESSED and most FORTUNATE people for the time that Ms. JACKSON did serve, as OUR Eyes, Ears, Voice and MINDS- in the capacity of the Adminstrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency;
    May God continue to forever BLESS you to your new journey to be the Champion and the WARRIOR for the poor and resident citizens who continue to endure the brunt of TOXIC HAZARDOUS WASTE, thank you for showing the next E.P.A. leadership teams WHAT the face and spirit of HUMANITY really looks and feels LIKE !!!

    ( I sure wish President Obama would send you over to, the VETERANS ADMINSTRATION to get them into gear of really serving, instead of more fancy multi-colored brochures- ).

    Marvin S. Robinson, II
    Quindaro Ruins / Underground Railraod- Exericse 2013

  5. Omega Wilson permalink
    February 21, 2013

    Administrator Lisa P. Jackson
    It has been encouraging and rewarding to be involved with NEJAC, National and Regional EJ Conferences, and training sessions under your leadership. You have been true to your word of expanding and strengthening the “community voice” on environmentalism and environmental justice. You have respected our face-to-face input and idea sharing to move issues on Title VI. My wife Brenda and I recently had the privilege to participate in training sessions on some of your community engagement initiatives with dozens of career EPA staff and supervisors. We look forward to hear about your leadership opening new doors, recruiting diverse citizens, and leveraging necessary resources. With much respect, Omega Wilson, President/Project Manager, West End Revitalization Association (WERA), Mebane, NC

  6. Trisha Springstead RN permalink
    February 23, 2013

    We have got to stop fracking, drilling and go to solar and wind power in this country. We are on the bottom line with chemicals in the environment.
    Everyone in this country is endocrine disrupted from the chemicals in the environment.

    GET these chemicals tested for ED.
    Thank You,
    Trisha Springstead

  7. Deborah permalink
    March 14, 2013

    You will be missed Lisa Jackson. Thank you for your service to our Country and thank you for your support of Social Justice issues.

Trackbacks and Pingbacks

  1. Final EJ Statement of EPA Administrator « Geography 430 @ Texas A&M University
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  4. Read Outgoing Administrator Lisa Jackson’s Final Message on Environmental Justice | Clean Up Green Up

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