Today President Biden is signing an Executive Order aimed at strengthening environmental justice. The Executive Order, which is titled “Revitalizing Our Nation’s Commitment to Environmental Justice For All,” is the latest initiative from the White House that strengthens environmental protections and policies.
The Executive Order creates a new Office of Environmental Justice within the White House Council on Environmental Quality. It also directs federal agencies to “identify and address gaps in science, data, and research related to environmental justice.”
The White House will also be leading the way on publishing an Environmental Justice Scorecard, the first of its kind. It will also bolster efforts to decrease plastic pollution in communities that are disproportionately impacted.
Overall, the Executive Order builds off previous commitments Biden made as he was campaigning for president. The Biden White House had previously announced efforts like Justice 40, which stipulates that “40 percent of the overall benefits of certain federal investments flow to disadvantaged communities that are marginalized, underserved, and overburdened by pollution.”
Biden’s order would have an immediate impact in Texas. Last year, smog pollution reached its high levels in a decade in Texas. Rates of asthma have increased in Texas amongst adults and children, and often in communities of color.