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Biden’s Executive Action Will Ensure More Just Federal Environmental Enforcement, Decisions

'This Order Should Help Set Us on a Path to … Ensuring that Clean Air, Water, Lands are Not Just a Benefit for a Select Few'

WASHINGTON D.C. —  President Joe Biden’s new executive order will ensure a stronger, more just enforcement and application of foundational conservation laws, help address the persistent and pernicious effects of environmental racism, and help protect clean air, water, and lands for all communities.  

“I have seen firsthand in Appalachia where I grew up and places like Flint, Michigan, and Jackson, Mississippi, how environmental racism and generations of willful decisions have created national sacrifice zones with poisonous air, contaminated water, and polluted land in predominantly Black, Indigenous, Latinx, poor white, and other marginalized communities,” said Mustafa Santiago Ali, executive vice president of the National Wildlife Federation. “President Biden’s order will ensure foundational public health and conservation laws like the National Environmental Policy Act are implement as intended — and without turning a blind eye to realities facing communities of color. But let’s be clear: It will take more than a single executive order to undo generations of environmental injustices and willful neglect based on race and poverty. We will work with our allies from frontline communities and our peer conservation organizations to ensure federal leaders build upon this strong foundation.”

“President Biden’s executive order will not only make federal decision-making more just moving forward, but it also will help trigger long-ignored cleanup of contaminated areas in frontline and fenceline communities,” said Adrienne Hollis, vice president of environmental justice, public health, and community revitalization at the National Wildlife Federation. “Addressing the cumulative impacts of generations of systemic racism will require concerted and intense efforts at the federal, state, and local levels. This order should help set us on a path to doing just that — and ensuring that clean air, water, and lands are not just a benefit for a select few.”

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