On Thursday, two of Joe Biden’s Cabinet members announced plans to create a new division within the Department of Justice that will focus on fighting for “environmental justice.”
As reported by Fox News, the joint announcement was made by Attorney General Merrick Garland and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael Regan. The new Office of Environmental Justice (OEJ) will serve as a “central hub” for a “comprehensive environmental justice enforcement strategy,” and will soon lay out a “series of actions” that will be taken in order to ostensibly “secure environmental justice for all Americans.”
Among other objectives, the OEJ will work with the EPA and other federal agencies to “develop or enhance investigatory agencies’ protocols for assessing the environmental justice impacts during investigations.”
The new office will also dictate that each U.S. Attorney’s Office designates its own “environmental justice coordinator,” whose job will be to determine “areas of environmental justice concern” within their respective geographical districts. In addition, the U.S. Attorneys are being asked to create their own “environmental enforcement task forces” for the purpose of implementing enforcement measures for addressing these matters.
“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,” Garland claimed in his announcement, with no evidence. “For far too long, these communities have faced barriers to accessing the justice they deserve. The Office of Environmental Justice will serve as the central hub for our efforts to advance our comprehensive environmental justice enforcement strategy. We will prioritize the cases that will have the greatest impact on the communities most overburdened by environmental harm.”