The Environmental Protection Agency is seeking public comment on a draft action agenda relating to aiding environmentally vulnerable areas and communities, the agency said on Wednesday.
The EJ 2020 Action Agenda is a proposed environmental-justice strategy that will utilize current EPA programs and inter-agency cooperation. Environmental justice refers to the fair and equal treatment of all people, who should be able to thrive in an environment that can maintain society and drive economic progress.
”EJ 2020 will build on the foundation established by EPA’s Plan EJ 2014, where we were able to improve on EJ in permitting, support community-based programs and develop science tools to access and facilitate grants,” Mustafa Ali, senior adviser to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy on environmental justice, said. “Although we’ve made good progress, there's still more to do. We need to strategically identify opportunities for targeted collaboration that benefit overburdened communities. Your voices, experiences and expertise can help shape a strategy that addresses the needs of your communities.”
Informational and dialogue sessions will be conducted with agency partners and stakeholders. Public participation is encouraged.
The program was initiated via executive order from former President Bill Clinton. The order said agencies at the federal level should address issues of adverse consequences on the environment and human health in low-income areas and populations.