Environmental justice is the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income, with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies. The environmental justice movement was started by individuals, primarily people of color, who sought to address the inequity of environmental protection in their communities.
In March 2021, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced grant funding of up to $6 million under the Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem-Solving (EJCPS) Cooperative Agreement Program and the Environmental Justice Small Grants (EJSG) Program, with funded projects slated to begin October 1, 2021.
President Biden included $936 million for a new Accelerating Environmental and Economic Justice initiative at EPA in his budget request for fiscal year 2022, submitted to Congress on April 9. This initiative would fund "a new community air quality monitoring and notification program, which would provide real-time data in the places with the highest levels of exposure to pollution." The President’s budget request also included other environmental justice initiatives to be initiated by other federal departments. For instance, funding would be used to establish an Office of Climate Change and Health Equity within the Department of Health and Human Services.
How states and local jurisdictions implement environmental justice guidance is not specifically defined. With President Biden’s executive order and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Regan’s response bringing new momentum of policy and action, states and localities will be taking their own steps to interpret and apply these initiatives.
How We Can Help
McGuireWoods Consulting’s 50-state reach can help your business track legislation across the country, and our Washington, D.C. team can provide insights on potential federal policy changes. MWC’s grassroots and communication team, MWCAdvocacy, provides boots-on-the-ground services in public meetings and community education. Finally, MWC’s connection to attorneys at McGuireWoods LLP rounds out our team of professionals for any environmental and/or local zoning, permitting or litigation issues that may arise.
- 50-state bill tracking on environmental justice legislation
- Federal policy and regulatory insights
- State environmental agency insights
- Grassroots advocacy and education for public meetings/hearings on permits
- Experience with regional commissions
- Political overviews of localities
- Water resource overview
- Environmental permit review
- Compliance review
- Enforcement negotiations
- Facility reputation management
- Assistance with local zoning, permitting or litigation