Senator Markey and Congresswoman Bush Applaud Release of Environmental Justice Screening Tool – Ed Markey

Senator Markey and Congresswoman Bush Applaud Release of Environmental Justice Screening Tool – Ed Markey

Washington (February 18, 2021) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Congresswoman Cori Bush (MO-01) released the following statement after the Biden administration announced today it is launching the Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool, which would provide government agencies with information and data on the effects that environmental harms have on people of color and disadvantaged communities. Earlier this month, Senator Markey and Congresswoman Bush sent a letter to the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) urging the Biden administration for a swift release. 
 
“We applaud the White House for heeding our call and finally releasing a preliminary version of this important tool, and are grateful to CEQ for developing it. By getting it out in beta form, communities can begin to engage with this tool and provide insight on how to improve it,” said the lawmakers. “We look forward to further conversations and continued collaboration to ensure our historic federal investments reach the communities that need them most. Environmental justice needs to be at the forefront of all our policies. That means: healthy air, healthy water, healthy food, healthy communities, and a healthy climate. You can’t manage what you don’t measure, so getting this tool right and putting it into practice will be critical. We will work with environmental justice advocates and the Biden administration to make sure this tool effectively measures and mitigates against environmental hazards such as brownfields, radioactive waste, air pollution, lead paint, and asbestos that disproportionately harm Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities.”
 
The Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool is critical to the fulfillment of the Biden administration’s Justice40 agenda – a promise to direct at least 40 percent of federal investments for a clean and climate-safe future into communities that have been harmed by racist and unjust environmental practices. The CEQ has been working for months through a stakeholder engagement process to develop this new tool.
 
Senators Markey and Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), and Congresswoman Bush introduced the Environmental Justice Mapping and Data Collection Act of 2021, which sought to authorize funding for a system to comprehensively identify environmental justice communities using a range of demographic factors, environmental burdens, socioeconomic conditions, and public health concerns. Language from this legislation in the House version of the Build Back Better Act would further fund the development of the Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool.
 
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