Success: Disadvantaged Communities Protected From Environmental Racism

Target: Merrick Garland, U.S. Attorney-General

Goal: Support efforts to help communities most harmed by pollution.

The worst effects of the climate crisis and environmental degradation are disproportionately felt in low-income communities. Historically, corporations have used these regions as dumping grounds for pollutants of land, air, and water. Public health has seriously suffered as a result. The previous administration made a priority of rolling back policies that held these companies to account. This ForceChange petition and its signees called on current leadership to tackle the environmental racism afflicting the nation and replace it with a strong commitment to environmental justice. These vigilant voices are finally being heard.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have partnered to launch a new Office of Environmental Justice within the DOJ. Unveiled as part of a “comprehensive environmental justice enforcement strategy,” the office will serve as a point of contact for reporting, investigating, and prosecuting violations of current environmental guidelines. In addition, every federal prosecutor will be obligated to hire an environmental justice coordinator to address specific areas of concern within their regions. An emphasis will be placed on environmental abuses that affect the most disadvantaged communities. Plus, the ability to penalize big polluters by having them subsidize environmental cleanup projects will be restored.

Sign the petition below to applaud the Attorney-General for advancing this important initiative.


Dear Attorney-General Garland,

“Although violations of our environmental laws can happen anywhere, communities of color, indigenous communities, and low-income communities often bear the brunt of the harm caused by environmental crime, pollution, and climate change. For far too long, these communities have faced barriers to accessing the justice they deserve.”

Thank you for acknowledging the inequities apparent even in the harm we do to our environment. More so, thank you for spearheading an important effort that could go a long way in reducing some of these inequities. The Office of Environmental Justice and its mission is a needed and critical step forward in environmental and public health policy for a nation that had previously taken so many disheartening steps backward.

May the journey to a cleaner, healthier future continue.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: W. Clarke

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626 Signatures

  • Jennifer Sellers
  • Laura A Parker
  • Julia C
  • Sanath Gunawardena
  • Katie Richards
  • Johanna Rantala
  • Judy Scheffel
  • Diane Racz
  • Sophie Benger
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