Dr. Robert Bullard, distinguished professor of Urban Planning and Environmental Policy at Texas Southern University (TSU), has been appointed to the White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council (WHEJAC). The 26-member body will advise the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) and the White House Environmental Justice Interagency Council on current and historic environmental issues. Dr. Bullard is recognized across the United States as the ‘father of environmental justice.’

Vice President Kamala Harris (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

“We know that we cannot achieve health justice, economic justice, racial justice, or educational justice without environmental justice,” said Vice President Kamala Harris. “That is why President Biden and I are committed to addressing environmental injustice. This historic White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council will ensure that our administration’s work is informed by the insights, expertise, and lived experience of environmental justice leaders from across the nation.”

WHEJAC members represent a diverse range of geographical regions across the United States, including 17 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Texas is represented by Dr. Bullard and Susana Almanza, an environmental and political activist in Austin. WHEJAC held its first meeting on March 30.

Dr. Robert Bullard (l) with Dr. Beverly Wright during an environmental justice conference in Pleasantville, January 2018. Photo by Aswad Walker.

“Texas Southern is proud that Dr. Bullard is representing our University and state through such a prestigious caucus,” said Kenneth Huewitt, interim president. “His dedicated and focused work has impacted countless lives and communities. Dr. Bullard stands in the vanguard to protect the environment and has saved innumerable citizens from facing health challenges due to economic and racial injustice.”

The White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council was established by President Biden’s Executive Order on Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad (Executive Order 12898) committed to confronting longstanding environmental injustices and ensure that historically marginalized and polluted, overburdened communities have greater input on federal policies and decisions. The Council will provide recommendations to government leaders to erase toxic pollution, create jobs in communities across America and give children a chance to live in healthy environments. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will provide funding and support for the Council.

WHEJAC complements the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council (NEJAC), a federal advisory committee established in 1993 to provide advice to the EPA. For more information, visit www.epa.gov/environmentaljustice/white-house-environmental-justice-advisory-council and https://www.epa.gov/environmentaljustice/national-environmental-justice-advisory-council