Both the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Department of Justice (DOJ) are in the process of creating offices designed to tackle environmental justice issues.
In May of this year, the DOJ opened an office designed exclusively to focus on low-income areas affected disproportionately by air and water pollution. This is part of the current administration’s determination to make significant strides towards clean energy and environmental restoration. Around 40% of Biden’s clean energy plan is to be directed straight to environmental justice. This can also be seen in the $60 billion included the Inflation Reduction Act that is specifically for environmental justice. $3 billion of that amount is to go toward grants for these low-income and minority communities battling pollution.
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On September 24th, the head of the EPA, Michael Regan, announced the creation of the agency’s new Office of Environmental Justice and External Civil Rights. The office’s main job will be to oversee the disbursement of the $3 billion in grants for impacted communities, but its full mission will entail three primary functions:
- Providing technical assistance to ensure access to grants for appropriate areas.
- Enforce federal civil rights laws.
- Assist in environmental conflict resolution.
The new EPA office will be led by a president-appointed, Senate-confirmed executive who has yet to be selected by the White House. The office will also employ 200 federal workers and the headquarters will be located in Warren County, NC, which is considered the birthplace of the environmental justice movement. In 1982, nonviolent protests were held there after PCBs (toxic chemicals – polychlorinated biphenyls) leaked from a landfill to the water supply of mostly minority-owned and low-income locations.
Until Next Time,
**Written by Benjamin Derge, Financial Planner, ChFEBC℠ The information has been obtained from sources considered reliable but we do not guarantee that the foregoing material is accurate or complete. Any opinions are those of Benjamin Derge and not necessarily those of RJFS or Raymond James. Links are being provided for information purposes only. Expressions of opinion are as of this date and are subject to change without notice. Raymond James is not affiliated with and does not endorse, authorize, or sponsor any of the listed websites or their respective sponsors.