Washington (August 22, 2022) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Congresswoman Cori Bush (MO-01) today released the following statement celebrating the passage of funding that works to achieve their Environmental Justice Mapping and Data Collection Act of 2021 as part of the Inflation Reduction Act, signed by President Biden on Tuesday, August 16th. This bill authorizes funding for data collection on the disproportionate environmental and climate harms as well as the cumulative impacts of pollution and rising temperatures. It also requires that funding be used to help ensure tracking and mapping tools will be accessible to those in the community. This data will assist the Biden administration and Congress in directing at least 40 percent of investments for a clean and climate-safe future into communities that have been harmed by racist and unjust environmental practices. 

“When taking action on the climate crisis, it is critical that we prioritize our frontline communities – disproportionately Black, brown, and Indigenous communities – who continue to face the brunt of the effects of climate change. This is why we worked hard to ensure that funding for our Environmental Justice Mapping and Data Collection Act was included in the Inflation Reduction Act, signed into law by President Biden last week. Our bill will take ground-breaking steps toward identifying the location, effects, and makeup of these frontline communities. Knowledge is power, and understanding the full scope of the climate crisis’s impact is necessary for connecting people with tangible policy solutions and the investments needed to fully address environmental racism.

“Even though the Inflation Reduction Act isn’t the legislation we would have written ourselves and doesn’t deliver all that we believe it could have, we see the inclusion of our bill as important progress toward achieving environmental justice and equity.  Environmental justice communities, organizers, and advocates must have a seat at the table in determining the solutions that will benefit their families, and we will continue to work together with grassroots leaders to ensure that our work does not stop here. This is only the beginning of our efforts at the federal level to prioritize equitable investments in environmental justice.”