About the Office of Environmental Justice (OEJ)


To protect the health of disadvantaged communities and vulnerable populations on the frontlines of pollution, and other environmental hazards that affect health.


The Office of Environment Justice was officially established on May 31, 2022, and sits within the Office of Climate Change and Health Equity in OASH, in response to President Biden’s Executive Order on Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad. It is part of the Biden-Harris Administration efforts to strengthen and safeguard the health and well-being of the American people as it confronts climate change.


The Office of Environmental Justice undertakes actions that seek to directly improve the well-being of underserved communities, including, low-income communities and communities of color, who continue to bear the brunt of pollution from industrial development, agricultural practices, cumulative impacts of land use decisions, transportation, and trade corridors.

As the HHS-wide hub for environmental justice policy, programming, and analysis, the Office of Environmental Justice is tasked with:

  • Leading initiatives that integrate environmental justice in the HHS mission to improve health in disadvantaged communities and vulnerable populations across the nation.
  • Developing and implementing an HHS-wide strategy on environmental justice and health.
  • Coordinating annual HHS environmental justice reports.
  • Providing HHS Office of Civil Rights with environmental justice expertise to support compliance under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
  • Promoting training opportunities to build an environmental justice workforce.

Office Priorities

  • Be a resource for underserved and overlooked communities facing environmental injustice.
  • Help and empower communities to address the disparities they face at a local level by providing tools and resources.
  • Strengthen HHS Justice 40 efforts. Justice 40 is a whole of government approach to provide resources back into communities impacted most by environmental issues.
  • Mobilize environmental justice efforts across the department
  • Engage stakeholders at every level to develop and implement an environmental justice strategic plan.

Working Groups

Content created by Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health (OASH)
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