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In a memo to the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), WE ACT for Environmental Justice called out a racially disproportionate increase in communities added to the 1.0 version of the Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool (CEJST). The screening tool, a searchable geospatial map of U.S. states and territories, will help federal agencies identify disadvantaged communities that are marginalized and overburdened by pollution.
This information is crucial to fulfilling the promise of the Justice40 Initiative, a commitment to environmental justice made by the Biden administration. According to the EPA, the definition of environmental justice is the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to the environment. In particular, fair treatment requires that no group of people should bear a disproportionate share of the negative environmental consequences of commercial or governmental actions.