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Jayapal, McEachin, Barragán Urge Pruitt to Strengthen the Environmental Protection Agency’s Environmental Justice Program

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, along with her fellow co-chairs of the United for Climate and Environmental Justice Task Force, Reps. Nanette Diaz Barragán (CA-44) and A. Donald McEachin (VA-04) wrote a letter to Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt urging him to strengthen and build on the successes of the agency’s Environmental Justice Program. “We must act on climate change, recognizing that frontline communities have continually been most impacted by the effects of climate change,” wrote the lawmakers. “We urge you to continue the work of the EPA’s Environmental Justice Program, and ensure that the EPA is making decisions and developing policies that address the disproportionate impacts of climate change on our most vulnerable communities.”

In the letter, the lawmakers urged Pruitt to build on the progress made under Executive Order 12898, Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations, which set the framework for incorporating environmental justice into the decision-making processes of the EPA and other Interagency Working Groups agencies. Additionally, EO 12898 called to attention the fact that certain communities face disproportionate impacts of climate change. It is namely communities of color, low-income communities, indigenous peoples, people with limited English proficiency, and people living with disabilities who feel the effects of climate change most acutely.

The letter has been signed by 43 members of Congress including:

Earl Blumenauer (OR-03), Salud O. Carbajal (CA-24), Tony Cárdenas (CA-29), Matt Cartwright (PA-17), Kathy Castor (FL-14), Judy Chu (CA-27), David N. Cicilline (RI-01), Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12), John Conyers, Jr. (MI-13), Diana DeGette (CO-01), Keith Ellison (MN-05), Dwight Evans (PA-02), Raúl Grijalva (AZ-03), Michelle Lujan Grisham (NM-01), Luis V. Gutiérrez (IL-04), Colleen Hanabusa (HI-01), Alcee L. Hastings (FL-20), Jared Huffman (CA-02), Henry C. “Hank” Johnson (GA-04), Marcy Kaptur (OH-09), Barbara Lee (CA-13), John Lewis (GA-05), Alan S. Lowenthal (CA-47), James P. McGovern (MA-02), Jerrold Nadler (NY-10), Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC-At Large), Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06), Donald M. Payne, Jr. (NJ-10), Mark Pocan (WI-02), Jared Polis (CO-02), Jaime Raskin (MD-08), Cedric L. Richmond (LA-02), Raul Ruiz (CA-36), , Bobby L. Rush (IL-01), Janice D. Schakowsky (IL-09), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23), , Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03), José E. Serrano (NY-D), Terri A. Sewell (CA-15), Adam Smith (WA-09), Bennie G. Thompson (MS-02), Nydia M. Velázquez (CA-07), Peter Welch (VT-At Large)

Click here to view the full copy of the letter.