Environmental Justice


Natural Resources Committee Democrats Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and Rep. A. Donald McEachin (D-Va.) are leading the environmental justice movement in Congress. In 2018 they began an inclusive, transparent, community-led and community-driven process to create the most comprehensive environmental justice bill in congressional history. The result is the Environmental Justice for All Act (H.R. 5986).

Environmental justice stakeholders across the country helped write a bill that truly protects public health, prevents the destruction of our environment and gives communities real power against polluting corporations.

After convening hundreds of environmental leaders in the U.S. Capitol and integrating extensive community feedback, including 350 written comments from members of the public and leaders in the environmental justice movement, Chair Grijalva and Rep. McEachin introduced their landmark bill in early 2020. This comprehensive legislation addresses longstanding environmental inequities that harm communities of color, low-income communities, and Tribal and indigenous communities across the country. 

The Environmental Justice for All Act is rooted in the moral principle that all people have the right to pure air, clean water, and an environment that enriches life. It is informed by the belief that federal policy can and should seek to achieve environmental justice, health equity, and climate justice for all communities.

With the strong support of environmental groups and more than 70 congressional cosponsors, Chair Grijalva and Rep. McEachin are continuing the march for justice by hosting environmental roundtable conversations with communities across the nation and pushing this vital effort through congress.


Environmental Justice For All Fact Sheet - HERE

Community Impacts Report on the Environmental Justice For All Act - HERE

Environmental Justice For All Included in Democratic Clean Economy, Jobs and Innovation Act  - HERE

Solving the Climate Crisis By Investing In Disproportionately Exploited Communities to Cut Pollution and Advance Environmental Justice - HERE

Statement of Principles for Environmental Justice Legislation - HERE


October 1, 2020 Congressional Hearing on Environmental Justice for All Act - HERE

September 25, 2020 Key Provisions of the Environmental Justice for All Act Were Passed By the U.S. House in the Clean Economy Jobs and Innovation Act - HERE

September 23, 2020 Environmental Justice Now Tour: Historically Black Colleges and Universities - HERE

September 18, 2020 Environmental Justice Now Tour: Los Angeles - HERE

September 17, 2020 Environmental Justice Now Tour: Louisiana, Cancer Alley - HERE

September 08, 2020 Environmental Justice Now Tour: New Mexico - HERE

August 04, 2020 Chair Grijalva Celebrates Long Sought Victory of Securing Permanent, Full Land & Water Conservation Funding - HERE

July 30, 2020 Environmental Justice Now Tour: Michigan - HERE

July 30, 2020 Senator Kamala Harris Introduces the Senate Companion of Chair Grijalva and Rep. McEachin’s Environmental Justice for All Act - HERE, HERE

July 15, 2020 Chair Grijalva and Rep. McEachin on Today’s NEPA Rewrite: “This Country is Facing an Environmental Justice Test, and President Trump Has Failed” - HERE

June 30, 2020 Chair Grijalva Hails Climate Committee Recommendations – Highlights Public Lands Net-Zero Carbon Bill, Environmental Justice, Other Measures - HERE

June 6, 2020 Chair Grijalva: President Trump’s Environmental Rollbacks are Another Attack on Black Communities - HERE

May 13, 2020 Stepping Up: Communities Protecting Themselves and the Environment in the Pandemic Era - HERE

April 28, 2020 Environmental Justice Virtual Round Table on Community Impacts from the Coronavirus Health & Economic Crises - HERE

April 21, 2020 Grijalva, McEachin Letter Urges HHS to Address Disparities in Coronavirus Outcomes for Environmental Justice Communities - HERE

March 26, 2020 Chair Grijalva, Rep. McEachin Lead Letter From 43 House Democrats to Congressional Leaders Urging Environmental Justice Support in COVID-19 Response - HERE

February 27, 2020 Following Year-Long Collaborative Effort, Chair Grijalva and Rep. McEachin Introduce Landmark Environmental Justice Legislation - HERE, Video HERE

November 2019 - February 2020 Chair Grijalva and Rep. McEachin work with Environmental Justice Groups and Advocates to Receive and Review Comments on Discussion Draft Through PopVox - HERE

November 15, 2019 Chair Grijalva, Rep. McEachin Release Discussion Draft of Environmental Justice Bill, Marking New Public Input Phase of Historic Collaborative Effort - HERE

June 28, 2019 Chair Grijalva, Rep. McEachin Launch Historic Effort to Draft Environmental Justice Bill Based on Public Feedback at Environmental Justice Convening - HERE

June 26, 2019 Chair Grijalva, Rep. McEachin Host Historic Environmental Justice Convening at the U.S. Capitol With Hundreds of Participants From Across the Country - HERE

At the Convening, Chair Grijalva and Rep. McEachin unveiled a draft set of policy principles informed by the input from the EJ Working Group. The draft was opened for comment to be further refined and strengthened by EJ organizations’ input. This commenting process was managed through a new, innovative online tool open to the public.

April 15, 2019 After New Mexico Witnesses Speak Out Against Health, Environmental Impacts of Runaway Oil and Gas Industry, Chair Grijalva Eyes New Federal Limits - HERE

April 13, 2029 Chair Grijalva Leads an Environmental Justice Round Table in New Mexico - HERE

February 14, 2019 African American Leaders On Cultural Heritage And Environmental Justice Forum - HERE

January 15, 2019 Democratic Hearing on Shutdown Impacts on Indian Country and the Environment - HERE

June 2018 - June 2019 Congressional staff held multiple strategy calls over the course of 8 months with the EJ working group, which is made up of experts in the EJ field and key leaders in the environmental justice community. They discussed substantive policy considerations, outreach strategies to engage EJ organizations, acute challenges faced by EJ communities, and much more.

Throughout the project, both Chair Grijalva and Rep. McEachin continued to hold environmental justice roundtable discussions with communities across the country to gather input on the needs of communities faced with unjust and inequitable impacts from environmental degradation.

June 2018 Rep. McEachin becomes the co-lead of this environmental justice effort and works with Chair Grijalva to bring these issues to the forefront of the Democratic legislative agenda and develop a comprehensive bill.

June 2018 Chair Grijalva convenes an Environmental Justice Working Group of advisors to help develop a comprehensive bill and the process for gathering public input from communities.

June 28, 2017 Then-Ranking Member Grijalva Becomes First Member of Congress to Introduce a Comprehensive Environmental Justice Bill: H.R. 3590 the Environmental Justice and Civil Rights Restoration and Enforcement Act - HERE

April 8, 2015 Then-Ranking Member Grijalva Leads House Natural Resources Committee Democrats in Hosting a Democratic Forum on Environmental Justice in Los Angeles - HERE


Introducing the Environmental Justice for All Act - HERE

Chair Grijalva and Rep. McEachin Unveil Discussion Draft - HERE

Opening of Environmental Justice Convening - HERE

Environmental Justice Convening: Afternoon Session - HERE

Environmental Justice Convening: Morning Session - HERE

Why Chair Grijalva Supports the Thrive Agenda and How the Environmental Justice For All Act Achieves Its Goals - HERE


COVID-19 relief and economic recovery must dismantle environmental racism, THE HILL - HERE

Exclusive: Kamala Harris to introduce comprehensive environmental justice bill in Senate, GRIST - HERE

Congressional panel examines environmental justice issues in New Mexico, NM POLITICAL REPORT - HERE

Democrats Detail a Climate Agenda Tying Environment to Racial Justice, NEW YORK TIMES - HERE

House Democrats Unveil Environmental Justice Bill, THE HILL - HERE

An effort to bring ‘environmental justice for all’ goes virtual, GRIST - HERE


Study Finds Racial Gap Between Who Causes Air Pollution And Who Breathes It, NPR - HERE

Native American burial grounds threatened by blasts for border wall construction, Arizona congressman says, CNN - HERE

Indigenous Teens Grow Up Without Running Water and Electricity Just One Mile From a Massive Coal Plant, NowThis - HERE

Detroit’s most vulnerable residents face inequalities like toxic air, lead poisoning, and water shutoffs, THE GUARDIAN - HERE

Along the 85-mile stretch between New Orleans and Baton Rouge there are over 150 polluting sites, PROPUBLICA - HERE

Los Angeles ranks 74th out of 100 cities in the United States for park access - HERE

Families in Harrisburg, Texas, are surrounded by 21 Toxic Release Inventory facilities - HERE


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Chair Grijalva and Rep. McEachin understand that legislation to address environmental justice concerns cannot be created in a vacuum. In December of 1996, forty people of color and European-American representatives met in Jemez, New Mexico, for the “Working Group Meeting on Globalization and Trade.” Together they drafted the Jemez Principles for Democratic Organizing. These principles are central to the environmental justice movement. Three primary philosophies of the Jemez principles are: 1) Be Inclusive, 2) Emphasize Bottom-Up Organizing and 3) Let People Speak for Themselves. These are the principles which have underpinned the public inputting process of Chair Grijalva and Rep. McEachin’s environmental justice initiative. 


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In late 2018, Chair Grijalva and Rep. McEachin brought together a group of environmental justice leaders and practitioners to elicit input on the front-end on how best to comprehensively address environmental justice concerns. This advisory group – dubbed the Environmental Justice Working Group (EJWG) – provided authentic, community-driven input on a range of areas that included substantive legislative recommendations, outreach and inclusion strategies, and a host of other considerations. The EJWG feedback culminated in a set of environmental justice principles which would be released to the public for further collaboration and input.

On June 26, 2019, Chair Grijalva and Representative McEachin hosted a first-of-its-kind Congressional Convening on Environmental Justice at the Capitol to collaborate on a statement of policy principles for the forthcoming environmental justice legislation. 


Over 200 environmental justice leaders attended the the convening. Following the convening, Chair Grijalva and Rep. McEachin collected feedback and input from environmental justice stakeholders on a framework set of principles for comprehensive environmental justice legislation. This final Statement of Environmental Justice Policy Principles was informed by hundreds of hours of input from the EJ Working Group of advisors and organizational comments from a broad spectrum of EJ organizations.

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Following the extensive environmental justice stakeholder engagement process as a result of this initiative, Chair Grijalva and Representative McEachin introduced their landmark Environmental Justice for All Act at a press conference in late February of this year.  Environmental justice stakeholders can continue to partner with the committee and express their input on the bill through the PopVox platform by using the link below. Messages sent through PopVox will be provided directly to your legislators as the committee works to advance the Environmental Justice for All Act through congress.

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