The Biden administration has prioritized environmental justice and taken steps in this area that impact businesses with U.S. operations. In a Jan. 24, 2022 speech, EPA Administrator Michael Regan spoke on the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Funding to replace lead pipes in Wisconsin and across the county. He remarked that “the tragedy of lead exposure is shared by too many communities, especially Black and Latino communities.” He further committed, “[t]he EPA is committed to using every tool available to eliminate this injustice.”
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Justice have announced plans to strengthen environmental enforcement and incorporate environmental justice issues into project permitting and environmental reviews. The EPA’s EJSCREEN is a public environmental justice screening and mapping tool that can help you identify your project’s environmental and demographic indicators. This national database allows companies to locate their property and other regulated sources of pollutants with demographic indicators. Companies can input their address, and EJSCREEN provides environmental and demographic information for that address. This tool can assist companies in analyzing the synergistic effect of regulated sources of environmental contaminants in and around a neighborhood. Companies can also use EJSCREEN data to evaluate their potential risk of environmental justice concerns and possible claims in advance of litigation to be better prepared for addressing environmental justice matters.
Shareholders Maribel Nicholson-Choice and Libby Stennes further discuss environmental justice in an episode of the Greenberg Traurig E2 Law Podcast series, “2022 Evolving Environmental Law – Environmental Justice Checklist for Businesses.”