U.S. Attorney highlights Environmental Justice | USAO-NM

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Alexander M.M. Uballez, United States Attorney for the District of New Mexico, is promoting information and resources to highlight environmental justice and assist the public in reporting criminal environmental violations.

In May, U.S. Attorney General Merrick B. Garland announced the launch the Justice Department’s new Office of Environmental Justice as well as the Department’s environmental justice enforcement strategy. This strategy will guide the Justice Department’s litigators, investigators and U.S. Attorneys’ Offices nationwide to advance the cause of environmental justice through the enforcement of federal laws. Developed by the Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division (ENRD) in partnership with the Environmental Protection Agency, the strategy will ensure that the entire Department is using all available legal tools to promote environmental justice.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office (USAO) enforces federal laws that protect communities against harm caused by environmental crime, pollution and climate change. The USAO works in conjunction with federal, state, local and Tribal government partners to address human health and environmental harms that disproportionately affect overburdened and underserved low-income communities, communities of color, and Tribal and Indigenous communities.

The district’s Environmental Justice Coordinator receives reports of environmental violations within the district and engages in outreach to promote greater public participation in environmental justice efforts. Additionally, the Environmental Justice Coordinator is a member of the Environmental Crimes Task Force, a group convened by the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to increase federal, Tribal and state cooperation in investigating and prosecuting criminal violations of environmental laws.

“Low-income communities and communities of color have disproportionately borne the burden of environmental crime,” said U.S. Attorney Uballez. “Through the Environmental Crimes Task Force, we will bring fair treatment and meaningful involvement of underserved communities that have been historically marginalized and overburdened by systemic environmental violations, pollutions, climate change and abuse of natural resources.”

Information available on the website includes an explanation of what environmental justice is, as well as and examples of what constitutes criminal environmental violations. The website also provides links to additional resources and partnering agencies, as well as contact information for reporting criminal environmental violations.

Anyone who wants to report known or suspected environmental violations within the District of New Mexico can email the district’s Environmental Justice Coordinator at USANM.Environment@usdoj.gov.

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