On Friday, U.S. President Joe Biden signed an executive order directing federal agencies to prioritize environmental policies that do not harm communities. To coordinate efforts across the government, the order would create a new Office of Environmental Justice within the White House.
The action is a reaction to the disproportionate environmental harms that low-income communities of color endure. If dangerous materials are leaked from a federal facility, the order would oblige federal agencies to alert the local community.
In a statement, the White House said that “for far too long, communities across our country have faced persistent environmental injustice through toxic pollution, underinvestment in infrastructure and critical services, and other disproportionate environmental harms often due to a legacy of racial discrimination.”
During a gathering in the White House Rose Garden, Biden made the project official. This action is consistent with the president’s earlier executive orders, where he utilized his power to concentrate on issues like the environment and race because he couldn’t pass new laws because of a polarised Congress.
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Vice President Kamala Harris also has plans to travel to Miami as part of this initiative to make the announcement of a $562 million commitment to support local communities’ resiliency to climate change. The decision was made at a time when South Florida is experiencing petrol shortages as a result of delivery being hampered by flooding and pump panic.
The new Office of Environmental Justice will work to resolve the problems these communities encounter and give them a mechanism for holding federal entities responsible. The order would urge federal agencies to collaborate with regional communities to develop solutions that are advantageous to all parties.
In order to guarantee that all communities have access to clean air, water, and land, this executive order is a big step in the right direction. It recognizes the disproportionate suffering that some communities have experienced and aspires to a future that is just and equitable.
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Finally, Biden’s executive order on environmental justice sends a clear statement that the government is dedicated to resolving these challenges and taking these concerns seriously. The order intends to establish a more just and equitable future for all Americans by placing a higher priority on environmental regulations that do not hurt communities.