November 21, 2019

Duckworth Chairs Climate Crisis Committee Hearing on Environmental Justice

Committee members listen to environmental leaders from low-income communities and communities of color


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – Today, U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) led a hearing of the Senate Democrats’ Special Committee on the Climate Crisis—which is chaired by Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI) and is affiliated with the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee— entitled, “Perspectives from the front lines: how climate change uniquely impacts environmental justice communities.” Duckworth discussed the unique climate change impacts faced by low-income communities and communities of color with Dr. Cecilia Martinez (Co-founder and Executive Director and Center for Earth, Energy, and Democracy), Michele Roberts (National Co-Coordinator of EJ Health Alliance for Chemical Policy Reform and EJ4All) and Celeste Flores (Lake County, IL Outreach Director of Faith in Place). Photos of the hearing are available here and video is available here.

“Generations of economic and racial inequality have left vulnerable and at-risk communities disproportionately suffering from contaminated air, land and water,” said Duckworth. “Now, these same communities are also experiencing heightened impacts from intensifying climate change, such as more powerful storms and floods, more intense heat waves, more deadly wildfires and more extreme droughts. I’ll keep working to protect our nation’s public health by confronting environmental injustices that put low-income communities and communities of color at risk.”

In April 2019, Duckworth co-founded the Senate’s first-ever Environmental Justice Caucus to raise awareness of the many environmental and pollution issues that have created public health challenges. Duckworth has introduced many bills focused on environmental justice by making solar energy more affordable for low income families, protecting families from lead in federally assisted housing, ensuring drinking water across our nation is safe from lead and copper contamination. Duckworth also brought attention to environmental justice issues at the Senate’s first-ever Climate Crisis Hearing in July of this year.