EPA Press Office
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 19, 2010
EPA, Congressional Black Caucus Visit
Marks second stop in nationwide tour highlighting impact of environmental issues on underserved communities
“I appreciate Administrator Jackson spending two days in
On Sunday in
Earlier in the day, the delegation toured the ReGenesis Project in
Today, the delegation traveled to the Savannah River Site, a Superfund hazardous waste site receiving funds from the recovery act and visited an elementary school in
The environmental justice movement was started by individuals, primarily people of color, who sought to address the inequity of environmental protection in their communities. Grounded in the struggles of the 1960s civil rights movement, the environmental justice movement sounded the alarm about the public health dangers for their families, their communities and themselves. In 1990, the Congressional Black Caucus and a bipartisan coalition of academic, social scientists and political activists met with EPA officials to discuss their findings that environmental risk was higher for minority and low-income populations. In response, the then-EPA administrator created the Environmental Equity Workgroup in July 1990 to address these issues. EPA’s environmental justice office was later established in 1992.
The principles of environmental justice uphold the idea that all communities – particularly minority and underserved communities – deserve the same degree of protection from environmental and health hazards, equal access to the decision-making process and a healthy environment in which to live, learn, and work.
The Congressional Black Caucus, under the auspices of its Energy and Environment Taskforce, is actively engaged on a host of environmental issues including green jobs, climate change, alternative energy options and environmental justice issues. Together with community and business leaders, faith networks and other relevant stakeholders, members of the CBC are continuing to develop a “Green Agenda” that comprehensively builds healthy families and sustainable communities by increasing access to opportunities provided by the federal government.
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