Environmental Protection Agency to Step Up Enforcement and Monitoring of Pollution in Overburdened Communities

Statement of EDF Vice President of Community Engagement Heather McTeer Toney

January 28, 2022
Alyse Rooks, 804-414-4743, arooks@edf.org

“The Environmental Protection Agency today took a significant step on the march toward justice for communities that it for too long had failed to fully protect.

“Two months ago, EPA Administrator Michael Regan sat on porches and in front yards of people in Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas overburdened by air pollution and threatened by climate change. He clearly heard them. The solutions he has put forward help every community and address specific needs in each of them.

“The issues in Houston’s Fifth Ward are not the same as those in Mossville, Louisiana, but they share the desire for a healthier and more prosperous future for everyone.  

“EDF encourages the expansion of these efforts through legislative opportunities like the Technology Assessment for Air Quality Management Act, introduced by Senator Markey. The bill would not only strengthen hyper local air quality insights, but also require EPA to better integrate environmental justice mapping tools, focus on cumulative harms, and improve the quantitative use of low-cost sensors and data from satellites in decision making.

“Moving forward, it’s critical that the Biden administration seriously considers and implements the White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council’s recommendations, which outline a strong path for equitable and just climate solutions.

“This is an all-of-government approach built on an all-of-community approach, which relies on advocates like local leaders, large environmental groups and leaders in philanthropy and business to support community centric-responses. Government cannot solve the climate crisis by itself.”

          - Heather McTeer Toney, Vice President of Community Engagement, Environmental Defense Fund

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One of the world’s leading international nonprofit organizations, Environmental Defense Fund (edf.org) creates transformational solutions to the most serious environmental problems. To do so, EDF links science, economics, law, and innovative private-sector partnerships. With more than 2.5 million members and offices in the United States, China, Mexico, Indonesia and the European Union, EDF’s scientists, economists, attorneys and policy experts are working in 28 countries to turn our solutions into action. Connect with us on Twitter @EnvDefenseFund