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EXCLUSIVE – The U.S. EPA confirms that Oregon will have a lawyer who will lead environmental justice efforts
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EXCLUSIVE – The U.S. EPA confirms that Oregon will have a lawyer who will lead environmental justice efforts

According to Reuters, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will appoint Robin Morris Collin, a college professor and lawyer, to lead its efforts to promote environmental justice in communities disproportionately harmed from pollution.

The selection of Robin as the senior EPA advisor on environment justice is part the Biden administration’s efforts to fulfill a promise to ensure that environmental decisions and rules are fair for low-income communities and minorities who have historically suffered the brunt from pollution from power plants, refineries, and other industries. Michael Regan, EPA Administrator said that Robin brings a wealth and knowledge to the agency. She is the ideal person for ensuring that the most vulnerable people have a seat in the table as we strive to deliver environmental justice.

He sent a statement to Reuters describing Collin as “one the nation’s foremost specialists and a lifelong advocate for overburdened community.” Collin is a law professor at Willamette University, Oregon. He was the founding chair for Oregon’s Environmental Justice Task Force. The task force was established by Oregon’s state legislature more than a ten years ago. The task force has increased interaction between low-income and minorities communities and state policymakers on issues related to environmental policy.

She was the first U.S. professor to teach sustainability courses in a law school. Collin stated in a statement that she was honored to take on this role to protect land, air, and water, and to lift up underserved communities to ensure that all can thrive together.

The EPA spent months looking for a candidate to fill the position. It wanted to find someone with credibility in the polluted communities and the ability to navigate a complicated federal regulatory environment. The proposed budget for fiscal 2022 by the EPA calls for a new national environment justice office under a newly established assistant EPA administrator. This would allow for the potential elevation of the senior advisor position and require confirmation from senators.

Congress has yet not approved the new position. The EPA plays a crucial role in achieving the environmental justice goals set forth by President Joe Biden’s administration. They promised to deliver at minimum 40% of overall benefits from federal climate change investments to disadvantaged communities.

The EPA is also improving its EJ Screen tool, which is meant to identify communities that are in need of environmental justice investment to improve things like water and air quality. The EPA has already taken steps towards fulfilling its environmental justice promises. Last month, EPA Administrator Michael Regan ordered unannounced inspections at polluting facilities that are suspected of being out of compliance with air and water regulations.

(Reporting by Jarrett Renshaw; Editing and Managing by Edmund Blair

(This story was not edited by Devdiscourse staff. It is generated automatically from a syndicated feed.

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