Environmental Justice Program Coordinator
At the Sierra Club, we are diligently working to explore the intesection of social justice and environmental issues. Our program seeks to provide an effective framework for addressing the damage, risk, and discrimination facing so many vulnerable and marginilized communities. By encouraging, connecting, and advising grassroots and community organizations, we aim to foster the growth of the environmental justice movement so that oppressed communities will find justice and everyone can benefit from a healthy and sustainable future.
Through the envrionmental justice framwork, the Virginia Chapter of the Sierra Club is committed to both investigating the connections between social justice and environmental quality and encouraging dialogue and action by all stakeholders. Recognizing that existing inequities among groups in society regarding opportunities to experience nature, to have clean water, clean air and a safe environment, the Virginia Chapter is working to support the right to a clean environment for all people.
What’s happening in Virginia?
Executive Order 6
Executive Order 6, originally announced April 4, 2018, acknowledges among other things that Virginians in low income and minority communities not enjoy clean and air water. This Executive order orders DEQ to:
Review DEQ’s permitting, monitoring, and enforcement activities across the air, water, and solid waste programs
Evaluate every proposed federal regulatory or guidance modification released after January 20, 2017, regarding air, water, and solid waste to determine the impact on public health, drinking water supplies, and land and water protection.
Work with stakeholders to improve communication with the public and the regulated community and provide more opportunities for proactive education, especially among underserved and lower income populations.
Executive Directive 11
Executive Order 11, announced May 16th 2017, ask the Director of the Department of Environmental Quality and the Secretary of Natural Resources to develop a proposed regulation to control CO2 from electric power facilities that allows for the use of market based mechanisms and the trading of CO2 allowances through a multi-state trading program. For more update information about ED 11 click here
Virginia Environmental Justice Collaborative
The Virginia Environmental Justice Collaborative was created in 2015 to address the issues of environmental justice in Virginia. The mission is to build the health and wealth of low income and color communities by reducing the disproportionate impact of environmental hazard.
Advisory Council on Environmental Justice
The Advisory Council on Environmental Justice was created via Executive order 73 on October 31, 2017. The Council provides advice and recommendations to the executive branch on environmental justice issues.
The Sierra Club is committed to make sure that the Northam administration provides the best and effective ways to let the most affected communities be heard and their opinions to be considered in decisions that directly affect them.
Working Together with local Sierra Club groups
The Sierra Club Virginia Chapter is working with their local groups to make their local campaigns have an Environmental Justice perspective. We are providing group presentations and working with group volunteers on EJ campaigns.
Also we help to organize community members that are directly affected by an environmental issue in particular low income and minority communities.