07.01.22

Chair Grijalva to Visit Southern California Next Week, Seek Community Input on Environmental Justice For All Act

Washington, D.C. – Next week, Friday, July 8 to Sunday, July 10, 2022, Natural Resources Committee Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) will be joined by Rep. Nanette Diaz Barragán (D-Calif.), Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-Calif.), other members to-be-announced, and local environmental justice leaders to visit several communities in southern California—Wilmington, Commerce, Highland, and Bloomington—that have been impacted by environmental injustices.

The visit to California is part of Chair Grijalva’s Community Input Tour for the landmark Environmental Justice For All Act, which he introduced with Rep. A. Donald McEachin (D-Va.) in March of last year. A fact sheet on the Environmental Justice For All Act is available here. Previous community visits include:

During the trip, Chair Grijalva and other lawmakers will visit sites that illustrate how a history of inequitable decision-making at the local, state, and federal levels has resulted in the placement of the most dangerous and toxic industry facilities in poor communities and communities of color. After each site visit, Chair Grijalva will convene a public input forum where local community members will have the opportunity to provide feedback on the Environmental Justice For All Act before it goes to the full Committee for a vote.

Additional details about the trip, including opportunities for media, are forthcoming. In the interim, please reach out to Lindsay Gressard with any questions.

On the upcoming visit, Chair Grijalva said:

“This Community Input Tour has taken us to environmental justice communities all over the country, from the Northeast to the Midwest, to the West to the South, and now, finally, to the West Coast. During the trips, we’ve seen that there is no one-size-fits-all solution for these communities when it comes to achieving environmental justice. In our most recent trip to Louisiana, for instance, we visited the predominantly-Black community of Wallace, where residents are fighting against yet another proposed toxic site—not just for their own health and safety, but also for their ancestors who are buried on former plantation lands there. Like Wallace, each community has its own unique needs.

“On the other hand, there have been commonalities among these communities. In each case, we see that poor communities, communities of color, and Indigenous communities are more often the dumping grounds for the most toxic pollutants. We see that the people living in these communities are considered collateral damage for industry profits and economic development. And we see that they are fighting back—some with the support of elected officials, some without it—but they are hamstrung by inadequate protections and policies at the local, state, or federal levels.

“There are 140 million Americans who are struggling with these same issues all over the country. We know we can’t visit every single one of these communities, but we also know there are concrete legislative actions we can take now to protect them. We need an independent form of redress when communities experience disproportionate environmental impacts. We need to assess the cumulative effects of all sources of pollution in a community before issuing yet another federal permit. And we need stronger, more meaningful public input processes. The Environmental Justice For All Act, which has been shaped by community input since the beginning, will do all of that and more.

“As we make this next stop in southern California, I’m feeling confident that this bill is nearly ready to go before the full Committee for a markup, but I want to make absolutely sure we’re doing it right. I’m looking forward to feedback from these communities, and I want to thank all of the communities we’ve visited for helping us formulate this historic piece of legislation.”

For additional information about Chair Grijalva’s and Rep. McEachin’s environmental justice initiative, including opportunities to submit feedback on the bill online, please visit our website at https://naturalresources.house.gov/environmental-justice 

Press Contact

Media Contact: Lindsay Gressard

202-225-6065 | cell: 202-740-4715