Rep. Gomez’s Bill to Improve Public Lands Access Included in Environmental Justice for All Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Jimmy Gomez (CA-34) cosponsored the landmark Environmental Justice for All Actwhich includes his bill, the Transit to Trails Act. The Environmental Justice for All Actintroduced by Congressmen A. Donald McEachin (VA-04) and Raúl M. Grijalva (AZ-03), is a transformative initiative centered on environmental justice and equity as House Democrats prepare to introduce robust infrastructure legislation in the 117th Congress.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has left many of us with a renewed appreciation for our local parks, green spaces, and public lands, as well as the roles they play in our communities,” said Congressman Gomez. “However, equitable access to these spaces continues to be a problem, particularly for people of color and low-income individuals nationwide. The introduction of the Environmental Justice for All Act – which includes my Transit to Trails Act – represents our shared commitment to expanding access to these spaces by giving all Americans the ability to enjoy the natural beauty and splendor of our country.”

The Transit to Trails Act, first introduced by Congressman Gomez in September 2019, is a bipartisan bill that improves equitable access to parks, public lands, waters, and green spaces for all. This legislation directs the Department of Transportation to establish the Transit to Trails Grant program, a block grant program to fund accessible transportation systems in critically underserved communities.

Among other provisions, the Environmental Justice for All Act:

  • Creates a Federal Energy Transition Economic Development Assistance Fund, paid for through new fees on oil, gas, and coal companies, to support communities and workers as they transition away from greenhouse gas-dependent economies;
  • Requires federal agencies to consider cumulative health impacts under the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act in making permitting decisions and provides greater public health protections for vulnerable communities;
  • Strengthens the Civil Rights Act and reaffirms that private citizens and organizations facing disparate impact discrimination can seek legal remedies, overturning the Alexander v. Sandoval ruling; and
  • Provides $75 million in annual grants for research and program development to reduce health disparities and improve public health in environmental justice communities.

For a  fact sheet on the Environmental Justice for All Act, please click here.

For full text of the Transit to Trails legislation, please click here.

For more on Congressman Gomez’s environment and energy priorities, please click here.

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