Environmental Justice for All Act Advances!
This week, the House Natural Resources Committee held a full markup on my Environmental Justice for All Act. Markups are an important process in the legislative process, where Democrats and Republicans have the opportunity to review the legislation, debate its merits, and offer amendments to the original text. I am thrilled to announce that my Environmental Justice for All Act passed out of the House Natural Resources Committee. It is an exciting milestone in the process of passing this bill into law. The Environmental Justice for All Act is landmark legislation I have had the opportunity to work on with Natural Resources Chair Raul Grijalva. It is the most comprehensive piece of policy aimed at combatting environmental injustice and empowering vulnerable communities who bear the brunt of those inequities. One of the most exciting aspects of this legislation is the way in which we developed it. Over the past few years, we have solicited input and feedback from residents, community leaders, and other stakeholders who have firsthand experience living in communities impacted by environmental injustices. We avoided the Washingtonian one-size-fits-all approach; instead, we went out into communities across the United States, spoke with vulnerable EJ communities, and used their feedback to help develop the legislation. Historically, low-income communities, communities of color, and Tribal and Indigenous communities have borne the brunt of environmental injustice and the impacts of our degrading climate. These injustices can manifest in a variety of ways, including increased exposure to air pollution, lack of access to potable drinking water, proximity to hazardous waste sites, and more. These exposures can result in detrimental health outcomes, decreased quality of life, and reduced opportunities. Every American deserves the right to breathe clean air, drink clean water, and live in an environment conducive to a healthy, successful life. That’s exactly what my Environmental Justice for All Act seeks to ensure for every American, regardless of their zip code or socioeconomic status. I look forward to championing this legislation forward on the House floor in the coming months.