​​​​​​(New Orleans, LA) – Today, President Biden signed a new Executive Order, Revitalizing Our Nation’s Commitment to Environmental Justice for All, that will revitalize the federal government’s commitment to addressing historical environmental injustices. This executive order will establish the White House Office on Environmental Justice, which will oversee and coordinate the federal government’s efforts to address and aid communities so as to promote access to clean air and water and protect overburdened communities that have been overexposed to pollution.

“This executive order is a promise made and a promise kept by the Biden Administration. I was a part of the team that worked on the original executive order signed by President Bill Clinton in 1994. Although it was an historic step in the right direction, it lacked accountability measures to ensure its efficacy,” said Dr. Beverly Wright, Founder and Executive Director of the Deep South Center for Environmental Justice. “This new order strengthens the 1994 executive order by operationalizing and institutionalizing the recommendation within every level of the federal government. And to ensure accountability, each agency will report all progress made directly to the president. But, while today’s executive order is historic, much work must be done to achieve true environmental justice, including full implementation of Justice40 initiatives and funding the new Civilian Climate Corps to create a 21st-century energy workforce.”

Additionally, the Executive Order will:

  • Strengthen engagement with communities and mobilize federal agencies to confront existing and legacy barriers and injustices;
  • Promote the latest science, data, and research, including on cumulative impacts;
  • Increase accountability and transparency in federal environmental justice policy;
  • Honor and build on the foundation of ongoing environmental justice work.