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File #: 210125    Version: 0 Name:
Type: Resolution Status: ADOPTED
File created: 2/11/2021 In control: CITY COUNCIL
On agenda: Final action: 2/18/2021
Title: Recognizing February 2021 as Environmental Justice Month in the City of Philadelphia.
Sponsors: Councilmember Gilmore Richardson, Councilmember Gym, Councilmember Brooks, Councilmember Henon, Councilmember Gauthier, Councilmember Green, Councilmember Jones, Councilmember Domb, Councilmember Parker, Councilmember Johnson, Councilmember Squilla, Councilmember Bass
Attachments: 1. Resolution No. 21012500, 2. Signature21012500


Recognizing February 2021 as Environmental Justice Month in the City of Philadelphia.



WHEREAS, In 2014, February was designated Environmental Justice Month by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to commemorate the signing of historic Executive Order 12898: "Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations" in 1994; and


WHEREAS, Executive Order 12898, for the first time, directed federal agencies to create strategies to address the overwhelming adverse human health and environmental impacts of their programs on communities of color and low-income communities, and it created the Interagency Working Group on Environmental Justice; and


WHEREAS, Environmental Justice is defined by the EPA as “the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations and policies”; and


WHEREAS, The Environmental Justice movement has been championed by Black, Latino, Asian and Pacific Islander, and Native Americans to combat the systemic environmental racism that exists in America; and


WHEREAS, Environmental racism is well-documented with peer-reviewed studies finding a wide range of disparate impacts of pollution on communities of color and low-income communities; and


WHEREAS, A study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that pollution exposure among Black and Hispanic people far outweighs the amount of pollution they cause; and


WHEREAS, Fenceline communities, or communities surrounding industrial areas, are disproportionately communities of color, low-income communities, and areas that lack access to healthy food. Additionally, research has found these communities have high cancer risks and respiratory hazards; and


WHEREAS, On average, Black and Hispanic minorities bear a disproportionate burden compared to non-Hispanic whites from air pollution; and


WHEREAS, Recent research has found that neighborhoods with significantly higher temperatures, caused by the urban heat island effect, are the same communities that faced discriminatory practices in housing and urban development, specifically “redlining”; and


WHEREAS, These environmental impacts have led to significant health disparities for people of color, including higher rates of asthma, as well as premature, underweight, and stillborn births, and now higher rates of Covid-19 mortality; and

WHEREAS, The impacts of climate change will disproportionately impact communities of color and low-income communities, especially through hotter temperatures and more extreme weather; and


WHEREAS, Environmental racism has impacted Philadelphians for generations and continues to impact our communities to this day; and


WHEREAS, Philadelphia has committed to addressing this injustice and centering the voices of impacted communities on the newly created Environmental Justice Advisory Commission, which will be made up of participants with lived experiences of Philadelphia’s environmental issues, amplify the concerns of frontline communities, and work with the City to co-develop plans to address disparities in exposure to environmental harm; now, therefore, be it


RESOLVED, BY THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF PHILADELPHIA, That we hereby recognize February 2021 as Environmental Justice Month in the City of Philadelphia.