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Celebrating 20 Years of Making a Visible Difference in Communities

February is EJ Month!

February 11th, 2014 marks the 20th Anniversary of the signing of Executive Order 12898 (6 pp, 140K, About PDF), "Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations."

In recognition of this milestone, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy has declared the month of February"Environmental Justice Month" for all EPA employees and staff. During this month, we will kick off activities throughout 2014 to celebrate the successes of many collaborative efforts across the country.

We will highlight successful projects and events, and we will launch our new environmental justice training for EPA employees. We will also publish our 2014 Progress Report on Plan EJ 2014 in February.

This Executive Order directs federal agencies to make environmental justice part of their missions by identifying and addressing disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects of their programs, policies, and activities on minority, low-income populations. The Order is intended to promote nondiscrimination in federal programs substantially affecting human health and the environment. The Order also provides minority and low-income communities access to public information and an opportunity to participate in matters relating to human health or the environment. The Presidential Memorandum accompanying the Order underscores certain provisions of existing law that can help ensure that all communities and people across this nation live in a safe and healthy environment.

Presidential Proclamation

On February 10th, 2014, President Obama released a proclamation acknowledging the anniversary of the executive order. The proclamation is much more than a purely symbolic gesture. It is a very visible statement from the White House firmly re-committing this Administration's dedication to making sure that we, "live up to the promise that here in America, no matter who you are or where you come from, you can pursue your dreams in a safe and just environment."

Congressional Celebration

EPA held an event on February 26, 2014 honoring past Environmental Justice Champions while continuing to focus on the next generation. In particular, the event honored Congressman John Lewis for his 50 years of working on civil rights issues. The event will highlight how, through collaboration and collaborative problem-solving with communities, we can address many of the challenges that the next 20 years will bring.

20th Anniversary Events

As part of our EJ Month and 20th Anniversary celebration, the following activities will be hosted around the country.

Civil Rights Virtual Symposium
February 4-6, 2014

Fed Fair
February 11, 2014
1595 Wynkoop Street
Denver, CO 80202

NEJAC Public Meeting
February 11-12, 2014
1595 Wynkoop Street
Denver, CO 80202

Equitable Development Conference
February 13, 2014
1595 Wynkoop Street
Denver, CO 80202

Duke Environmental Law and Policy Forum Spring Symposium: Environmental Justice
February 14, 2014
Durham, NC

Los Angeles Community Environmental Enforcement Network Pilot Project Tour and Open House
February 26, 2014
1601 N. Wilmington Blvd., Ste. B
Wilmington, CA 90744

20th Anniversary Congressional Event
February 26, 2014
1200 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20460
William Jefferson Clinton South
Rachel Carson Green Room, 3rd floor

EJ Small Grant Recipient Presentation
March 13, 2014
Chicago, IL

Clean Air Act Rulemaking and Permitting Training
March 18-20, 2014
109 T.W. Alexander Drive
Research Triangle Park, NC 27711

Lunch & Learn - "UnNatural Causes" Documentary
March 20 - May 1, 2014
61 Forsyth Street SW
Atlanta, GA 30303
9th Floor, Room 9D

National Association of Environmental Law Societies Conference
March 28-29, 2014
Harvard Environmental Law Society
1563 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138

River Rally 2014
May 30 - June 2, 2014
Pittsburgh, PA

Environmental Justice in Action Blog

The Environmental Justice in Action Blog is a resource for educating, communicating, and engaging with government employees, external stakeholders, and the broader public about the actions and ideas that stakeholders are using to advance the mission of environmental justice. During EJ month we will be launching a blog series on the 20th Anniversary of Executive Order 12898 and Equitable Development.

20th Anniversary Video Series

EPA’s Office of Environmental Justice has officially launched a 20th Anniversary Video Series - making a visible difference in communities. These videos feature federal and local government officials, non-profit leaders and students who tell stories about the lessons that they have learned over their time working on environmental justice. These videos will be featured on the Environmental Justice in Action Blog. Thanks to each of the participants in the video series for sharing your stories and for raising awareness about environmental justice.

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