By Curt Spalding, EPA Region 1 Administrator
At the end of March, I was very pleased to participate in an Environmental Justice Conference at Harvard Law School to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Executive Order 12898 on EJ, and to dialogue with stakeholders across all backgrounds about the future for EJ.
Environmental justice is critical to EPA’s mission: to protect human health and the environment. Unfortunately many low-income communities and communities of color continue to bear a disproportionate burden of environmental pollution and its health effects which create barriers to opportunity and a need for greater access to the benefits that healthy communities provide.
In Region 1 we continue to work hard to find new and innovative ways to incorporate EJ into all of our programs, policies and activities. Our programs and staff are helping improve communities through our Brownfields program; working to eliminate lead poisoning in our poorest communities; cleaning our urban rivers; encouraging environmental justice leadership among our state and federal partners and promoting climate change education in low-income and diverse communities, among many other efforts.