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Post of top White House official for environmental justice

Post of top White House official for environmental justice

Cecilia Martinez was the senior director for environment justice at the Council on Environmental Quality. She oversaw the administration’s efforts to ensure equality in environmental protection and was a member of President Joe Biden’s transition team. She was also named one of Time Magazine’s 100 most important people of 2020.

CEQ Chair Brenda Mallory released a statement Thursday stating that Cecilia had been the heart, mind, and soul of the most ambitious environmental justice agenda that a President has ever adopted.

“Cecilia has put her wisdom, leadership, energy, and effort into this work — true public service.” She is a tireless and effective champion for communities that have been for too long overburdened by pollutants and left out of decisions that affect them.

In a CNN statement, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland also praised Martinez.

She said, “I’ve seen firsthand Cecilia’s passion and dedication to addressing environmental injustice and am so proud that she served as the first-ever White House senior director for Environmental Justice.”

“The work she did will be foundational in our efforts to make equity and inclusion a cornerstone for this Administration.”

Biden’s climate policies are centered on environmental justice initiatives.

The US has a higher rate of air pollution in communities of color, despite the fact that they contribute less to polluting the air. They are more likely be exposed to contaminated water or to live near hazardous waste sites. As the climate crisis worsens, many groups, including those of color and poor communities are most at risk from the dangers posed to them by a warming planet.

The Environmental Protection Agency announced this summer that it would be receiving $50 million more funding to improve air quality and monitor air pollution in low-income communities.

“Communities in color and environmental justice communities have been impacted a number of systemic policies that have been made, whether transportation, looking at roads that cut through the heart and soul of many of these communities, or failing drinking water systems… or facilities that spew polluting in close proximity to other communities,” Michael Regan, EPA administrator, stated to CNN in July.

CNN’s Kristen Holmes and Liz Stark, Isabelle Chapman, Drew Kann and Drew Kann contributed to this article.

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