(CNSNews.com) - At a webstreamed White House Forum on environmental justice on Wednesday, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder called Dr. Martin Luther King a father of the environmental justice movement. Holder also said he is calling on all U.S. Attorney’s offices to start examining environmental requirements in conjunction with civil rights laws.
“Dr. Martin Luther King, who really was in some ways the father of our nation’s environmental justice movement, may have put it best when he declared, and this is a phrase that we all know, that ‘injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,’” Holder said.
“The Justice Department has integrated our environmental justice goals into all of our enforcement efforts in our comprehensive strategic plans and that’s why I’ve called on every US Attorney ’s office throughout the country, all 94, to do the same and to start thinking about environmental justice as a civil rights issue. By examining environmental requirements in conjunction with our civil rights laws. I’m confident that we can do a better job of ensuring fairness, advancing justice and making certain that the most vulnerable among us are not left out, left behind, and left to suffer disproportionately,” Holder added.
The Environmental Protection Agency defines “environmental justice” as the concept that minority, low income and indigenous communities deserve the same degree of protection from environmental and health hazards, equal access to the decision-making process and a healthy environment in which to live, learn, and work as wealthier communities do.