White House Environmental Justice Forum

Event Date: 
December 15, 2010


From: "Targeted Environmental Justice Enforcement Needed in EPA Region 4," November 29th, 2010

By Robert D. Bullard, director of the Environmental Justice Resource Center (EJRC) at Clark Atlanta University and author of Race, Place, and Environmental Justice After Hurricane Katrina: Struggles to Reclaim, Rebuild, and Revitalize New Orleans and the Gulf Coast:

"In January 2010, EPA administrator, Lisa P. Jackson, released a memorandum announcing “working for environmental justice” as one of the “Seven Priorities for EPA’s Future.”  Nine months later, in September 2010, administrator Jackson and White House Council on Environmental Quality Chair, Nancy Sutley, reconvened the Interagency Working Group on Environmental Justice (EJ IWG) in a historic meeting, the first such gathering in more than a decade, held at the White House. The meeting, attended by five cabinet members, highlight the federal government’s dedication to ensuring all Americans have strong federal protection from environmental and health hazards.

The EJ IWG agreed to hold monthly EJ IWG meetings, including assigning senior officials from each Agency to coordinate EJ activities; organize regional listening sessions in early 2011; hold follow-up EJ IWG Principals Meetings in April and September 2011; each Agency will be tasked to develop or update their EJ strategy by September 2011; and plan a White House forum for EJ leaders and stakeholders on Environmental Justice.

The White House EJ Forum is set for December 15, 2010 at 10:00 am until 4:00 pm in the South Court Auditorium of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building.  The event will bring together environmental justice community leaders, state, local and tribal government officials, Cabinet members, and other senior Federal officials for a discussion on creating a healthy and sustainable environment for all Americans.  The Forum also will offer an opportunity for the environmental justice community to speak with officials from Federal departments and agencies who are engaged in this effort. While these federal EJ initiatives emanate from Washington, it is unclear how they will be implemented in EPA Region 4 and the other nine EPA regions."

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