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Office of Environmental Justice

About the Office

The Office of Environmental Justice (OEJ) will engage all Justice Department bureaus, components and offices in the collective pursuit of environmental justice. The mission of OEJ is to protect overburdened and underserved communities from the harm caused by environmental crimes, pollutions and climate change. OEJ will

  • Serve as the central hub to implement the Department of Justice comprehensive environmental justice enforcement strategy
  • Build a partnership with community advocates; and
  • Provide fair and equal treatment and involvement of all people in the environmental decision making process.

Meet the Acting Director

Cynthia M. Ferguson
Acting Director

Office 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:

  • prioritize cases that will reduce public health and environmental harms to overburdened and underserved communities;
  • make strategic use of all available tools to address environmental justice concerns;
  • meaningfully engage with impacted communities; and
  • 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.