HHS Secretary Sebelius announces environmental justice strategy

Renews commitment to protect the health of every American

Health & Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, along with other federal agencies, today released the Department’s 2012 Environmental Justice Strategy and Implementation Plan, outlining steps that will be taken to protect communities facing greater health and environmental risks. The strategies outlined in the implementation plans represent a significant step forward in the Administration’s commitment to integrating environmental justice into federal decision-making and programs in areas such as transportation, labor, health services, and housing.

“We at the Department of Health & Human Services understand the important connection between our environment and our country’s health but we also know that we cannot do this work alone,” said Secretary Sebelius. “We look forward to our continued collaboration with the Environmental Protection Agency and others to focus on building safe and healthy communities.”

The newly released plan describes many programs that are already making a difference, such as the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences’ (NIEHS) Minority Worker Training Program.  This program has awarded grants to more than 30 communities at risk of exposure to contaminants for the purpose of recruiting and training individuals for employment in the environmental field.

With the release of our Strategy and Implementation Plan, the Department of Health and Human Services is renewing our commitment to working with our federal partners to promote environmental justice. Equally important, we are reaffirming our commitment to work with communities who are eager to get involved in this effort.

The final strategy can be found at http://www.hhs.gov/environmentaljustice/strategy.html

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