EPA opens new office dedicated to environmental justice and civil rights

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has formed a new office designed to assist marginalized communities take care of the additional burdens of air pollution and local weather change, Reuters has reported. The Office of Environmental Justice and External Civil Rights shall be staffed by 200 EPA workers positioned within the company’s Washington head office and 10 regional bureaus. 

“The establishment of a new office dedicated to advancing environmental justice and civil rights at EPA will ensure the lived experiences of underserved communities are central to our decision-making while supporting community-driven solutions,” mentioned US Vice President Kamala Harris.

One of the first jobs of the new office shall be to oversea the distribution of $3 billion in environmental justice grants created by the passage the of Inflation Reduction Act, as a part of a $60 billion funding in environmental justice. It’ll additionally verify that different EPA packages hew to President Biden’s Justice40 initiative designed to be sure that 40 p.c of sure authorities investments movement to deprived communities. Finally, it will assist communities entry grants, implement civil rights legal guidelines and resolve environmental conflicts.

The new office was launched at an occasion in Warren County, North Carolina, the location of 1982 protests over poisonous waste dumping within the area. The ensuing civil disobedience actions and arrests failed to cease the 22-acre dump, however gave start to the fashionable environmental justice motion. The fortieth anniversary of the protests was commemorated by participants final week. 

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