Governor Terry McAuliffe announced on October 31 the convening of the Commonwealth of Virginia’s first Environmental Justice Advisory Council (EJAC). The EJAC, established by Executive Order 73, will provide advice and recommendations to the Executive Branch on ways in which environmental justice should be incorporated in decision-making. Environmental Justice is the principle that no community or individual should bear disproportionate impacts from pollution.
The Governor said: “This Environmental Justice Advisory Council will work to ensure that every Virginian has a voice in protecting the quality of our air and water. This Council will provide critical advice on how to protect our natural resources and address environmental pollution in a way that is both inclusive and action-oriented.”
The issuance of the Governor’s Executive Order follows the October 28 People’s Tribunal event in Charlottesville, which highlighted environmental justice issues raised by the proposed Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley pipelines.