US Attorney General Merrick Garland unveiled the ‘Office of Environmental Justice’ at the DOJ this week; saying the new department will ensure the country promotes “climate-friendly” policies across all agencies.
Read Garland’s Full Statement Below:
Today, I am announcing three actions that the Department is taking to advance environmental justice.
First, consistent with the President’s Executive Order on Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad, we are issuing a comprehensive environmental justice enforcement strategy. Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta will discuss that strategy in just a moment.
Second, I am pleased to announce that we are launching the Justice Department’s first-ever Office of Environmental Justice to oversee and help guide the Justice Department’s wide-ranging environmental justice efforts. Like all parts of government, it will get its own acronym: OEJ.
And third, the Justice Department is issuing an Interim Final Rule that will restore the use of an important law enforcement tool – supplemental environmental projects – subject to new guidelines and limitations that I will also be issuing today.
Administrator Regan and I know that the communities most impacted by environmental harm are not isolated in any one part of our country. Environmental crime and injustice touch communities in all our cities, towns, rural areas, and on Tribal lands.
Although violations of our environmental laws can happen anywhere, communities of color, indigenous communities, and low-income communities often bear the brunt of the harm caused by environmental crime, pollution, and climate change.