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Grassroots Action Center

Tell Congress to Support the Environmental Justice for All Act!
on March 18th, 2021 by Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Representative Raul Grijalva (D-AZ-3) introduced the Environmental Justice for All Act (S.872/H.R. 2021) in the Senate and the House of Representatives. This groundbreaking legislation will establish various programs to “address the disproportionate adverse human health or environmental effects of federal laws or programs on communities of color, low-income communities, or tribal and indigenous communities.” Aimed at addressing environmental injustice, the Environmental Justice for All Act includes concrete measures that will strengthen communities of color across the country in the push towards racial equity. This piece of legislation is widely supported by organizations and leaders in the field of environmental justice around the country.

 

This legislation “amends and strengthens the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by permitting citizens to seek legal remedy when faced with discrimination based on disparate impact.” The bill strengthens the Clean Water Act and the Clean Air Act by requiring “reasonable certainty that a project will not harm human health before issuing a permit.” It also instructs federal agencies to “develop environmental justice strategies and requires that diverse communities be involved in research and data collection, bolstering President Clinton’s 1994 Executive Order.” Lastly, the bill provides funding for health equity research grants, supports equitable access to public parks and green space, and assists communities and workers in the transition away from greenhouse gas dependence.

 

Too often, our government has turned a blind eye as communities of color have borne the brunt of environmental degradation and pollution. On average, people of color comprise 56 percent of the population living in neighborhoods with Toxic Release Inventory Facilities, compared to 30 percent elsewhere. The U.S. government has a responsibility to correct this historic failure and protect the lives of Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) Americans. This unique legislation was created using the voices and input of those directly impacted by environmental injustice throughout the nation, including 350 comments from members of the public and grassroots leaders. It is “rooted in the moral principle that all people have the right to pure air, clean water, and an environment that enriches life.” 

 

The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) understands the call to restore Creation. The abuse of nature and injustice to people, place our future in grave jeopardy. Creation cries out in this time of ecological crisis. We must respond by supporting this important piece of legislation. By contacting your members of Congress, you will play a vital role in the passing of legislation that will improve the quality of air and water throughout our nation. Our actions will allow God’s love, justice and mercy to shine forth. 

 

Join us in this call to action by contacting your Senators and Representative and urging them to support the Environmental Justice for All Act.

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