This panel will evaluate efforts in the Biden administration, building upon executive actions dating back to the Clinton administration, to refocus federal agencies in a “whole of government” manner on “environmental justice” (EJ). The Civil Rights Act and various executive orders are cited as the primary legal support for these initiatives. On this basis, enforcement priorities are being adjusted across all federal agencies. Agency budgets for EJ programs are being increased and new EJ offices opened.
The panel will explore the myriad legal, regulatory, and policy issues that arise in this context. It will offer a primer on administration EJ actions, and evaluate the use of disparate impacts under current law as well as related issues.