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Justice Department announces new Office of Environmental Justice

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Posted at 1:37 PM, May 05, 2022

The Justice Department announced Thursday it is taking a “series of actions to secure environmental justice for all Americans.”

It includes a new office that will prioritize environmental justice and the climate crisis.

Attorney General Merrick Garland wrote in a statement, “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.”

Garland said the department will prioritize cases that will create the greatest impact on communities “most overburdened by environmental harm.”

The new Office of Environmental Justice will “serve as the central hub for our efforts to advance our comprehensive environmental justice enforcement strategy,” Garland said.

Cynthia Ferguson, an attorney who works in the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division, will serve as Acting Director of the new office.