Six Months After “Call to Action” to EPA Region 4, EJ Groups Anxiously Wait for Status Report
It has now been six months since the historic November 10, 2010 meeting with Gwen Keyes Fleming, the first African American to head EPA Region 4 (which includes eight southern states, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and 6 Tribal Nations), where more than three dozen environmental justice, civil rights, faith, community based organizations, and leaders from polluted communities delivered their eleven-point Environmental Justice Call to Action for EPA Region 4. The plan demanded fundamental change, a new culture, and a new enforcement framework at EPA—one that actually protects the environment and public health. They also made it clear that major change in the senior level staff was a high priority on their list. Regional administrator Keyes Fleming agreed to report back on the short-term (6 months), midterm (12 months), and long-term (24 months) progress on the “Call to Action.” The leaders anxiously await the first status report.
Principles of Environmental Justice Turn 21
It was twenty-one years ago today that the Principles of Environmental Justice were adopted on October 27, 1991 at the First National People of Color Environmental Leadership Summit, held in Washington, DC. The EJ Summit, attended by well over 1,000 delegates, was probably the single most important event in the Environmental Justice Movement’s history.