Press Release

February 9, 2022
Cardin, Markey, Bush Urge Biden To Release Draft Environmental Justice Mapping Tool

Nationwide, majority Latino, Black and Asian neighborhoods are consistently exposed to higher levels of pollution particles; people of color are more vulnerable to wildfires and climate change-fueled environmental disasters

WASHINGTON U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.) joined Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Congresswoman Cori Bush (MO-01) in urging the Biden administration to swiftly release a first iteration of the Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool, which would provide government agencies with information and data on the effects that environmental harms have on disadvantaged communities. The tool in development at the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) is critical to the fulfillment of the Biden administration’s Justice40 agenda – a promise to direct at least 40 percent of federal investments for a clean and climate-safe future into communities that have been harmed by racist and unjust environmental practices. The CEQ has been working for months through a stakeholder engagement process to develop this new tool. In their letter, the lawmakers urge the Biden administration to allow the CEQ to release a first iteration of its Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool, so that it may continue to be developed in collaboration with environmental justice experts, community members, and other stakeholders.

“Communities throughout the United States are facing powerful and frequent hurricanes, devastating wildfires, and tornadoes, but Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities face an extra burden: the burden of environmental racism. Historically, these communities also have been denied the resources needed to adapt to climate impacts, remediate past harms, and build a clean energy future. The Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool and the Justice40 initiative are key to addressing these inequities,” write the lawmakers in their letter. “The swift release of a prototype will enable the CEQ to move forward in soliciting public comment and working with key stakeholders to improve the tool.”

A copy of the letter can be found HERE.

Additional Senate co-signers include Senators Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Bernard Sanders (I-Vt.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), and Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.)  Additional House co-signers include Representatives Nanette Diaz Barragán (CA-44), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14), Earl Blumenauer (OR-03), Lisa Blunt Rochester (DE), Mondaire Jones (NY-17), Marie Newman (IL-03), Jamie Raskin (MD-08), and Chairwoman Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12).