February 25, 2021

Duckworth, McEachin Urge Biden to Continue Taking Bold Action for Environmental Justice


[WASHINGTON, DC] – U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Co-Chair and Co-Founder of the U.S. Senate Environmental Justice Caucus, and U.S. Representative Donald McEachin (D-VA-04), Co-Chair and Co-Founder of the U.S. House of Representatives United for Climate and Environmental Justice Task Force, today wrote to President Biden to commend his commitment to prioritizing environmental justice and request additional executive actions be taken to help communities impacted by environmental injustice.

In part, Duckworth and McEachin wrote: “The air pollution, lack of clean water, legacy pollution, lax enforcement of environmental laws and disinvestment that persists in environmental justice communities has resulted in low wages, toxic pollution, and climate threats that are increasing at an alarming rate. In order to address these systemic issues, we must inject justice into our Nation’s environmental and economic policies by strengthening Federal investments and promoting accountability. In this effort, special attention must be given to the industries and communities that are most likely to be impacted by the effects of climate change and the transition to a clean economy.”

U.S. Senators Tom Carper (D-DE) and Cory Booker (D-NJ), Co-Founders of the U.S. Senate Environmental Justice Caucus, and Dick Durbin (D-IL), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Kirstin Gillibrand (D-NY) and Jeffrey A. Merkley (D-OR) also joined Duckworth in making this request.

In January of this year, Duckworth helped U.S. Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) and Congresswoman Cori Bush (D-MO-01) announced the introduction of the legislation that would create and authorize funding for a system to comprehensively identify the demographic factors, environmental burdens, socioeconomic conditions and public health concerns that are related to environment justice and collect high-quality data. Duckworth also recently secured a commitment from EPA nominee Michael Regan to prioritize environmental justice and joined Booker and Carper in applauding the environmental justice efforts in President Biden’s climate action plan. Last week, Duckworth also joined Durbin and Congresswoman Robin Kelly (D-IL-02) in requesting a review of the health risks associated with emissions from a metal recycling plant located on Chicago’s Southeast Side.

A full copy of the letter is available here.