The Justice Department has announced that it will create a new office focused on environmental justice. “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,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said during a press conference. 

The announcement said the new office would be titled the Office of Environmental Justice. The office will be led by Cynthia Ferguson, a Justice Department lawyer who has worked on cases related to environmental justice for more than a decade, according to a statement.

Historically, many polluting projects have been located in minority neighborhoods, exposing these communities to additional health risks.  In addition to the new office, the department also announced that it would use a new environmental justice “strategy.” Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta said that the department’s environmental justice strategy would involve prioritizing enforcement of environmental laws and civil rights statutes.

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Author: Rachel Frazin, The Hill
Image: The Hill