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Biden Environmental Justice Executive Order

WHEREAS, Climate change and environmental racism inhibited Black communities and other historically excluded communities from having access to resources that build sustainable communities; and

WHEREAS, The NAACP reaffirms its position on resolutions on environmental and climate justice in 1974, 1976, 1977, 1981 1983, 1990, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2021, and 2022; and

WHEREAS, In February 1994, former President Clinton signed Executive Order 12898 as a crucial step in memorializing the White House's role in acknowledging environmental justice needs across the country, directing federal agencies at a broad level to identify and address disproportionate effects of environmental racism, and establishing an interagency working group on environmental justice; and

WHEREAS, In August 2011, former President Barack Obama created the "Memorandum of Understanding of Environmental Justice and Executive Order 12898" that highlighted that communities who have been overburdened by pollution deserve the same protection from environmental hazards as other communities in federal decision-making, specifically strengthening protections under the National Environmental Policy Act and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, as well as reconvening the interagency working group on environmental justice after nearly a decade of being dormant; and

WHEREAS, Despite these promises, Black communities still tend to be under-resourced regarding federal funding, technical assistance for rebuilding infrastructure, and state investment in environmental issues that impact their communities at high rates; and

WHEREAS, In 2020, nearly 70% of Black people shared that they still live near environmental exposures as opposed to 40% of white people in a recent poll by Kaiser Family Foundation; and

WHEREAS, In at least 19 states, Black people are 79% more likely to live near pollution than white people; and

WHEREAS, Black people continue to bear a disproportionate burden of air pollution; and

WHEREAS, President Biden signed the "Executive Order on Revitalizing Our Nation's Commitment to Environmental Justice forAll" which deepens the federal government's commitment to environmental justice issues, creates the first Office of Environmental Justice within the White House Council on Environmental Quality, and directs agencies to identify gaps in data and cumulative impacts related to environmental justice; and

WHEREAS, The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) advances environmental and climate justice and will bring awareness to the gaps in equity that exist regarding equity and thus applauds President Biden for demanding a deeper commitment from the federal government to tackle environmental justice and hold agencies accountable to investing in excluded communities.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, the NAACP urges community input, federal investments in local communities, and clear data metrics regarding this Executive Order 12898 to ensure accountability across the federal government.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the NAACP demands that each federal agency and department adequately staffs and creates environmental justice advisory groups as well become part of the federal environmental justice interagency working group to further the Biden mandate for federal involvement.

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, NAACP units will continue to advocate for federal investments and resources directly to the communities who are frontline and historically excluded.