Office of Environmental Justice

Environmental Justice at The Department of Justice

Meet the Director

Acting Director Cynthia M. Ferguson

Acting Director (OEJ)

Cynthia M. Ferguson is the Acting Director of the Office of Environmental Justice housed within the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the U.S. Department of Justice.

Ms. Ferguson began her career as an attorney in the Division’s Environmental Enforcement Section as an Honors Attorney in 2000 and has handled a variety of challenging matters. In June of 2012, she was selected to take on the new senior level position as the Division’s Senior Litigation Counsel for Environmental Justice.

About the Office

The Office of Environmental Justice will engage all Justice Department bureaus, components and offices in the collective pursuit of environmental justice.

Comprehensive Environmental Justice Enforcement Strategy

On May 5, 2022, Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta signed the Comprehensive Environmental Justice Enforcement Strategy. The Strategy provides a roadmap for using the Justice Department’s civil and criminal enforcement authorities and tools to achieve President Biden’s call. Under the Strategy, the Department seeks to advance environmental justice in underserved communities that have been historically marginalized and overburdened, including low-income communities, communities of color, and Tribal and Indigenous communities.

The Strategy is grounded in four core principles, which direct Department attorneys to: (1) prioritize cases that will reduce public health and environmental harms to overburdened and underserved communities; (2) make strategic use of all available tools to address environmental justice concerns; (3) meaningfully engage with impacted communities; and (4) be transparent about environmental justice efforts, as well as the results of those efforts.

As we work to advance environmental justice, the Justice Department through the Office of Environmental Justice will look to strengthen our partnerships with community advocates and other stakeholders. We look forward to your input and engagement, to make this Strategy a living document that guides DOJ’s enforcement efforts.