In January, President Joe Biden established a White House Environmental Justice Interagency Council to address current and historic environmental injustice and develop performance metrics to ensure accountability. His action amended President Bill Clinton’s 1994 executive order that was the first federal directive to address issues of environmental justice and inequality.
After Clinton’s initial order, attention to these issues began to grow, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency eventually defined the concept in 1994 as “the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin or income with respect to the development, implementation and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations and policies.”
Kerry Ard, associate professor of environmental and natural resource sociology in the School of Environment and Natural Resources and Sustainability Institute affiliated faculty, has devoted an extensive amount of research to environmental justice and inequality, the structural causes and ultimate consequences. The Sustainability Institute compiled this story from expertise Ard shared at a recent Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center Green Team event.
Read the full story here and find out about Dr. Ard's research, including what environmental justice and environmental inequality are, how they differ, and what has changed since the first federal directive to address these issues.