Environmental justice leader Mustafi Ali resigns from EPA

Mustafa Ali, leader of Environmental Justice at the U.S. EPA, announced his resignation on Thursday, in the face of Trump administration plans to gut the program.

“How can you have a positive role in communities if you are proposing rolling back regulations and cutting resources? These grants are important to these communities when you talk about rolling it back, it tells me these communities are not a priority and I can not be a part of that,” (Source: CNN)

Ali started with the EPA as an intern, and was one of the founding members of the EPA Environmental Justice program.  He worked with over 500 communities during his career, including many Moving Forward Network members, to secure environmental, health and economic justice. A few photos from his work with the Moving Forward Network are below.

Angelo Logan, campaign director of the Moving Forward Network said, “We deeply regret Mustafa Ali’s resignation and the conditions at EPA under Scott Pruitt that caused him to resign. With Ali’s assistance, the Moving Forward Network had moved EPA to agree to develop a working group to look for zero emissions solutions that would reduce the deadly effects of diesel exhaust on the millions of Americans living in neighborhoods near our ports, freight facilities, and truck transportation corridors.”

Ali will remain active in Environmental Justice as senior vice president of Climate, Environmental Justice & Community Revitalization at the Hip Hop Caucus, a nonprofit civil and human rights group that connects the hip hop community to the civic process to build power and create positive change. For more information about Mustafa Ali, the reasons for his resignation, and his new position, see the references below.

EPA environmental justice leader resigns, amid White House plans to dismantle program, Washington Post

EPA veteran quits, says Trump admin isn’t supporting ‘vulnerable communities’, CNN

Chief Environmental Justice Official at EPA Resigns, With Plea to Pruitt to Protect Vulnerable Communities, Inside Climate News

EPA’s Environmental Justice Head Resigned After 24 Years. He Wants to Explain Why, Mother Earth News

The Hip Hop Caucus Announces Mustafa Santiago Ali as the Senior Vice President of Climate, Environmental Justice & Community Revitalization, Hip Hop Caucus

Huffington Post reports on MFN Meeting with EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, and Request for Help for Overburdened Port & Railyard Communities

Earlier this week,  Huffington Post reporter Robert Baldwin III spent two days in Washington, D.C. with over 15 Moving Forward Network members from overburdened communities across the United States and national environmental groups, and wrote an excellent news article.

Among our group were representatives from California, Florida, Kansas, New Jersey, South Carolina, and Texas port and railyard communities, Earthjustice, the National Resources Defense Council, and the Moving Forward Network national office.

While in Washington, we met with staff from several EPA organizations, presented Senator Cory Booker with an award, and visited other congressional offices. We capped off our trip with a meeting with EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and her staff.

During the meeting, several of our members described the port and railyard pollution in their communities, and the public health impacts. We asked Administrator McCarthy to set up a cross-agency team to evaluate our recommendations for cleaning up ports and railyards, and plan how the EPA will take action.

Administrator McCarthy listened carefully, emphasized that she shares our concerns about port and rail yard air pollution, and asked thoughtful questions. We anticipate a response within a few weeks.

Check out this excellent Huffington Post article:

Diesel Pollution Is Affecting Dozens of Communities. Will The EPA Act? Emissions from freight facilities disproportionately affect blacks and Latinos.

To learn more about our recommendations for cleaning up ports and railyards, and to sign our petition to the EPA, please click below:

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New! Webcast on Using EJScreen and the National Equity Atlas for Environmental Justice Analyses and more

Photo: Oregon State University
The EPA Office of Environmental Justice and the American Planning Association just released a Webcast that every EJ organization should check out.

It focuses on two great tools – the EPA EJSCREEN environmental justice screening and mapping tool; and the National Equity Atlas, a comprehensive data resource to track, measure, and make the case for inclusive growth, developed by PolicyLink and the Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE).

EJSCREEN is an easy-to-use mapping tool that shows and calculates indexes for environmental and demographic data, and can be used for EJ analyses of communities or entire cities.

The National Equity Atlas just added data that will be of great interest to Moving Forward Network members, the Air Pollution Exposure Index.  The National Equity Atlas tool can show air pollution in a city by race, ethnicity, and by poverty level; can compare two cities, show unequal burden, and much more.

Presenters are Sarah Treuhaft, Director of Equitable Growth Initiatives at PolicyLink, and Carlton Eley and Kevin Olp with the EPA Office of Environmental Justice.

Click below to watch the video.