(RICHMOND, VA)—Today Virginia’s Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) released a long-awaited environmental justice study conducted with consultants Skeo Solutions, Inc. and Metropolitan Group, and announced that the agency is creating a new Environmental Justice Director position.
Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) Virginia Executive Director Peggy Sanner issued the following statement.
“We applaud DEQ for commissioning a study on this important issue. While we are carefully reviewing the report, we hope that its issuance will mark a significant advancement of Virginia’s honest reckoning with past environmental injustices. For far too long, people in vulnerable communities in Virginia have disproportionately been subjected to water and air pollution, experiencing increased health problems as a result.
“We also hope the report’s conclusions will map out a constructive path toward fairness and equity through meaningful inclusion of all affected Virginians in environmental decisions, especially in vulnerable communities.
“DEQ’s decision to create a new environmental justice position adds momentum to the agency’s environmental justice commitments, creating an opportunity for Virginia to lead the way on environmental justice.”