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U.S. President Joe Biden is planning to sign an executive order directing federal agencies to prioritize environmental policies that do not harm communities. This includes creating a new Office of Environmental Justice within the White House and requiring federal agencies to notify communities about toxic substance releases from federal facilities. The order aims to address persistent environmental injustices faced by certain communities due to toxic pollution, lack of infrastructure investment, and disproportionate environmental harm often caused by racial discrimination. In addition, the response also mentioned that Vice President Kamala Harris will visit Miami to announce a $562 million investment in helping communities become more resilient to climate change, coinciding with South Florida’s gasoline shortage crisis.
Executive Order on Environmental Justice
The White House has stated that U.S. President Joe Biden will be issuing an executive order on Friday that directs federal agencies to prioritize environmental policies that do not harm communities. As part of the order, a new Office of Environmental Justice will be created within the White House to facilitate coordination between government agencies. In addition, federal agencies will be required to inform communities if toxic substances are released from a federal facility.
The initiative aims to address environmental damage that certain communities have experienced at a higher rate, exemplified by incidents such as the hazardous chemical spill caused by the February derailment of a freight train in East Palestine, Ohio. The White House has acknowledged the persistent environmental injustice faced by communities due to toxic pollution, lack of investment in infrastructure and critical services, and other disproportionate environmental harms, often resulting from racial discrimination.
President Biden plans to unveil the initiative during an event at the White House Rose Garden. The President has previously used executive power in areas like the environment and race, where Congress’s divided stance has limited his ability to pass new laws. Vice President Kamala Harris is also set to visit Miami on Friday, where she will announce a $562 million investment to help communities become more resilient to climate change. The visit coincides with South Florida’s gasoline shortages due to flooding last week, which disrupted deliveries and prompted panic buying at gas stations.
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