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Federal Government transforms through Environmental Justice Bill

President Biden announced the Justice40 Initiative in his State of the Union address in 2022, a program that aims to "transform" federal programs and promote "environmental justice."

Biden fulfilled that agenda on Aug. 16 by signing the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), which earmarks $60 billion for "environmental justice."

Notably, the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) stated about the $60 billion fund, “Congress made Clean Air Act history by giving those most at risk from climate change and other forms of air pollution central roles in developing solutions.”

Additionally, the EDF stated that thanks to the passage of the IRA, policymakers can no longer stand in the way or claim that the Environmental Protection Agency lacks authority to implement its agenda.

The EPA had actually announced before IRA's passing that it would prioritize "environmental justice." However, the EPA's plan was restricted by June's Supreme Court decision.

Biden describes environmental justice as ensuring that disadvantaged and minority communities do not suffer disproportionally from toxic pollution or climate change, but instead have equitable access to “infrastructure” and “critical services.”

An executive order issued by President Biden on his first day in office addressed "racial equity and government support for underserved communities."

A significant part of the order also called for federal agencies to recognize and address "inequalities in their policies" and remove barriers to "equal opportunity."

25 August 2022


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