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Bullet events, policy · Sep 01, 2023

Federal Agency Perspectives on Advancing Environmental Justice in the 21st Century

Congressional Briefing

Date: October 25, 2023

Time: 9:30 - 10:30 AM Eastern Time

Location: 2325 Rayburn House Office Building

The Executive Branch of the Federal Government has recently begun to focus on Environmental Justice as a core element of its mission and numerous Executive Orders have been enacted that provide guiding principles on how federal agencies should allocate time, energy, and funding to support issues of Environmental Justice in the US. Often, these mandates are tied to issues of human and environmental health (EO 12898, Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-income Populations, Section 1-1, Implementation), climate change (EO 14008, Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad, Section 219, Securing Environmental Justice and Spurring Economic Opportunity), and clean energy (EO 14057, Catalyzing Clean Energy Industries and Jobs Through Federal Sustainability, Section 402, Incorporating Environmental Justice). These emerging priorities in the Executive Branch have led to increased prioritization of Environmental Justice through increased federal grant funding (e.g., Justice 40 Initiative), increased emphasis on Environmental Justice in agency strategic plans (e.g., US EPA 2022-2026 Strategic Plan), and direct orders designed to increase agency-wide budgetary spending for Environmental Justice measures (e.g., DOE Order 436.1A, Departmental Sustainability). Given the direct tie between ecosystem science and the issues that surround Environmental Justice, the Association of Ecosystem Research Centers (AERC) has invited leaders from the US Department of Energy, the US Environmental Protection Agency, and the US Geological Survey to provide insights into how these agencies are addressing new challenges and mandates focused on Environmental Justice.

View the 2023 AERC Briefing Program.

Moderated by:

  • Dr. Olin E. Rhodes, Jr., AERC Board Member and Former President


  • Dr. Melinda Downing, Environmental Justice Program Manager, Department of Energy (DOE)
    Advancing the Department of Energy’s Environmental Justice Program
  • Dr. Matthew Tejada, Director, Office of Environmental Justice, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
    EJ at the EPA Today
  • Mr. Sachin Shah, Manager of the Social & Economic Drivers Program for the Water Mission Area & Environmental Justice Science Advisor, U.S. Geological Survey
    A New Paradigm for USGS Actionable Science for Environmental Justice

Presented by: AERC Logo

This event has ended. Watch a recording of the briefing.