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National Environmental Justice Advisory Council: 20-Year Retrospective Report (1994-2014)

National Environmental Justice Advisory Council
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nejac_20_year_retrospective_report.pdf (1.56 MB) 1.56 MB

This report documents the work of one of the most successful Federal advisory committees in the history of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The National Environmental Justice Advisory Council (NEJAC) was established by EPA on September 30, 1993 to provide independent advice to the EPA Administrator on broad, cross-cutting issues related to environmental justice. Over the course of its history, NEJAC has provided a crucial forum for the discussion and elevation of issues critical to the environmental justice movement and the integration and consideration of environmental justice within the work of EPA and the larger Federal family. NEJAC’s influence has spanned the environmental justice spectrum from foundational issues of meaningful involvement and land use to future direction on science and fundamental policy issues related to regulations and rules. NEJAC has convened meetings on all three coasts and many points in between. Its members have ranged from leaders of business and industry to leaders of tribal governments, citizen advocates, world-renowned scholars and, most importantly, residents of communities facing their own environmental justice challenges. The products and presence of this body have made an undeniable impact upon the Agency it serves, and an impact which continues to generate progress on environmental justice through its past advice and current endeavors. It has also served as a place of convening for the many citizens, advocates and supporters of environmental justice throughout the United States. Though perhaps easily overlooked, this is one of the most important aspects of NEJAC – as a consistent space where officials from EPA and other Federal agencies can convene with a broad spectrum of those working to support environmental justice not only to hear advice and recommendations, but to come together as individuals in a spirit of friendship, collaboration and mutual respect. The ability to come together has always been a hallmark of the strength of environmental justice as a movement, and similarly grounds and supports EPA’s continuing efforts to further environmental justice within and throughout the Federal family.