New Office Of Environmental Justice Tackles Systematic Racism In The System

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This Monday, Feb. 22, 2021 photo shows Latoya Gipson's house on Perry County Road 1 in Uniontown, Ala. Disadvantaged communities in America are disproportionately affected by pollution from industry or waste disposal, but their complaints have few outlets and often reach a dead end. Hundreds of discrimination claims sent to the Environmental Protection Agency’s civil rights office since the mid-90s have only once resulted in a formal finding of discrimination. And some cases languished for years — or decades.(AP Photo/Vasha Hunt)
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The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has established an Office of Environmental Justice (OEJ), created to protect the health of disadvantaged communities and vulnerable populations on the front lines of pollution and other environmental health issues.

The Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, Brenda Mallory, said the announcement also represents a key step in confronting environmental injustice. The department will be tasked with leading initiatives to integrate environmental justice into the HHS mission, developing and implementing an HHS-wide strategy on environmental justice and health, coordinating annual HHS environmental justice reports, and providing the HHS Office for Civil Rights with environmental justice expertise to support compliance under the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The office will also promote training opportunities to build an environmental justice workforce.

Click ▶️ to listen to AURN Washington Correspondent Ebony McMorris’s report: 

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