An official website of the United States government.

This is not the current EPA website. To navigate to the current EPA website, please go to This website is historical material reflecting the EPA website as it existed on January 19, 2021. This website is no longer updated and links to external websites and some internal pages may not work. More information »

Environmental Justice

What People Are Saying About EJ 2020

On this page:

Stakeholder Quotes

EJ 2020 is a vibrant action document should also be a guide that makes suggestions and recommendations to local government and to state government with how to interact with environmental justice groups. I truly believe that this document can be that action document that helps us to come to additional solutions to our problems and many of the challenges we have in communities. - Richard Moore, Chair, NEJAC

EJ 2020 continues EPA’s strong leadership and demonstrates a deep commitment to equity.  As President of ECOS (the Environmental Council of States), I appreciate the increased acknowledgement of the role of states as co-regulators, our shared responsibility, and the value of collaboration as partners in achieving environmental justice.  Advancing equity at all levels is among our most important jobs in government.  By working together and learning from each other we can most effectively reduce disparities and strengthen the capacity of communities to create their own healthy futures. - John Linc Stine, Commissioner, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and President, Environmental Council of States

EPA’s new environmental justice strategic plan, EJ2020, is the culmination of years of hard work by agency staff guiding and assisting Administrators Lisa Jackson and Gina McCarthy to bring EPA that much closer to the day we want to see -- when community-based environmental enforcement and health protection for the people most vulnerable and most exposed to pollution and environmental contamination will become both the agency’s guiding star and measuring stick.  Today, we thank everyone who helped bring us this far, and also recognize the great need for this plan and for more action, as EPA still has a very long way to go to achieve the vision of true environmental justice in this country, in which all of our children, regardless of race, income, or ethnic background have clean air, clean water, and a healthy environment in which to live and play.  We will continue working with environmental justice, civil rights, indigenous, and community advocates around the country this year and going into the new presidential Administration to do everything we can to ensure the agency follows through on its commitments to strengthen enforcement and other actions in the essential areas this plan identifies. It must be a top priority to improve EPA’s civil rights compliance and enforcement program, and strengthen essential protections for communities from lead exposure, air and freight pollution, contaminated drinking water, hazardous waste, and so many other urgent environmental health threats. - Lisa Garcia, Vice President of Litigation for Healthy Communities, Earthjustice

The EJ 2020 Action Agenda is an important step in providing the collaborative tools, policy lens, and analytical resources necessary to help ensure that all Americans have access to clean air, water, and soil. The Sierra Club commends the growing recognition by government, citizens, and businesses that significant gaps in environmental protection remain. This effort is a start of much more work that we have to do to reduce disparate environmental impacts on low income communities and communities of color. - Aaron Mair, President, Sierra Club

The EJ 2020 Action Agenda is a critical transitional document. It lets you know what has happened in the past, where are we now, what is the sum of the things that've been accomplished to date, what do we need to do, and what is the unfinished environmental justice agenda. - Vernice Miller Travis, Vice-Chair, Maryland Commission on EJ and Sustainable Communities

EJ 2020 really sets us on a clear course for moving forward in how we make environmental decisions in this country.  We know it is critical to consider our communities in regulatory processes.  We need to think about how regulatory and related decisions may impact people's lives, livelihoods, health, and economic opportunities, and then weave these considerations into our programs and outcomes. - Alexandra Dapolito Dunn, Executive Director and General Counsel, Environmental Council of the States

EJ 2020 addresses critical issues of public health and the environment. As a physician, as a public health provider, and an environmentalist, it is important to me to make sure that we protect the environment, but also reduce the impacts on health. - Hector Gonzalez, Health Commissioner, Laredo, TX, Chair-LGAC EJ Workgroup

Man holding up water test to the sun light.I commend EPA for its forward thinking EJ 2020 Action Agenda.  I am particularly excited to see the focus on revitalization through interagency collaboration.  My community benefited greatly from interagency collaboration, technical assistance and capacity building, while working to address a myriad of environmental and quality of life challenges.  Focusing more efforts towards on the ground results, addressing significant environmental challenges, along with more tools and collaboration around citizens science and enforcement are goals that I believe will take us to the next level in delivery a clean and safe environment for overburden communities.  I am hopeful that by 2020, more communities will experience the type of revitalization that we have seen take place in Spartanburg.  I look forward to working with EPA on the EJ 2020 Action Agenda. - Harold Mitchell, Executive Director, ReGenesis Community Development Corporation, South Carolina State Representative, District 31

The most important part of EJ 2020, from the perspective of the communities that we work with on-the-ground, is EPA's commitment to concrete actions to ensure equal access to publicly funded resources. And that includes, for example, access to parks and recreation, climate justice, clean air, clean water, all of the environmental protections and benefits that many of us take for granted, but that people of color and low-income people disproportionately do not enjoy. - Robert Garcia, Founding Director and Counsel, The City Project, LA

EJ 2020 is extremely important to the business community as a roadmap that endures over time.  It provides stability and predictability in addressing environmental justice, and helps us allocate resources such that we can be productive partners in addressing environmental justice. - Sue Briggum, Vice President, Federal Public Affairs, Waste Management, Inc.

As South Carolina reflects on all that has been accomplished toward environmental justice since President Clinton's issuance of Executive Order 12898, Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations, we are even more encouraged about the future and all that will be achieved as a new chapter unfolds with the implementation of EPA's EJ 2020 strategy. South Carolina is proud to work collaboratively with EPA and other partners in supporting our priority of transforming overburdened and underserved communities into thriving communities who have a seat at the table and are engaged in decisions that impact their health, their environment and their quality of life - environmental justice for all. - Myra Reece, Director of Environmental Affairs, South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control

When I read EJ 2020, two words came to mind - accountability and partnership. Through this document EPA will not only hold itself accountable, but will work in partnership with other federal agencies. Through the Federal Interagency Working Group on EJ, along with a myriad of other rules and guidances, EPA clearly delineates actions to protect communities.  Beyond identifying entities and agencies responsible for ensuring that each goal is met, EJ 2020 is inclusive and specifically calls for partnerships with all stakeholders, especially communities, recognizing participatory activities are critical to achieving significant results. - Adrienne Hollis, Director of Federal Policy, WEACT for Environmental Justice

EPA is taking a step in the right direction when it comes to enforcing compliance and incorporating environmental justice into all of their actions, as well as exploring new ways they should collaborate with states, tribal, and local governments because these regulators need a lot more direction.  We know more can and should be done, especially on monitoring and compliance to protect community health and the environment, in communities like Port Arthur and Houston, TX, Mossville, LA, and other Gulf communities. - Hilton Kelley, Community In-power and Development Association, Winner, Goldman Environmental Prize for 2011

The Sierra Club Environmental Justice & Healthy Communities Campaign is pleased to work hand in hand with EPA on EJ 2020.  EJ 2020’s goal of incorporating EJ into all of its work (such as rulemaking, training, monitoring, enhanced public participation, permitting, and enforcement) will be very helpful to EJ communities across the country. Having EPA staff fully embrace and consider EJ as they go about their work will move the concerns of communities forward as well as promote EJ in state agencies. - Rita Harris, Senior Organizing Representative, Sierra Club EJ and Healthy Communities Campaign

EJ2020 has the potential to expand the work to revitalize environmental justice communities.  This is an area where the business sector can play an important role in partnering with communities and government because community sustainability cannot be achieved without a strong economic foundation. - Deirdre Sanders, Environmental Justice Program Manager, PG&E

The EJ 2020 Plan is a great road map for low income communities impacted by environmental harms.  It is achievable when impacted communities can connect to resources needed to make real environmental improvements to become green sustainable communities.  Altgeld Gardens, my community in the Southside of Chicago, can greatly benefit from many of the tools cited in the plan to address air and water issues along with green sustainable technology. - Cheryl Johnson, Executive Director, People for Community Recovery

Top of Page

EJ 2020 Related Blogs

Visit the Environmental Justice in Action blog to see more stories!

Top of Page