by Leslie Eastman at legalinsurrection.com
Biden signed another executive order; this one expands the reach of the federal government and thrusts more race-based policies onto Americans.
In an ironic twist, the catastrophe in a predominately white and Republican region is being cited as a key factor in the decree.
Biden on Friday signed an executive order directing every single federal agency to work toward “environmental justice for all” and improve the lives of communities hit hardest by toxic pollution and climate change.
The order will establish a new Office of Environmental Justice within the White House to coordinate efforts across the government, and requires federal agencies to notify communities if toxic substances are released from a federal facility.
Disasters like the February derailment of a freight train in East Palestine, Ohio, that caused a hazardous chemical spill brought attention to environmental damage that some communities experience at higher rates.
“This is about people’s health. It’s about the health of our communities. It’s only about the future of our planet,” Biden told activists, lawmakers and others before signing the order in the Rose Garden at the White House.
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre gave an incoherent response when asked how the move would impact the people of East Palestine, Ohio, which was the scene of a chemical release catastrophe after a train derailed.
The reason for the move may be to appease environmental activists ahead of Biden’s anticipated announcement that he will run again for president.
Friday’s move comes as as many environmental justice groups have been frustrated at the administration’s recent approval of a major Alaska oil project. CNN also reported Friday that the Biden administration is planning to roll out aggressive new rules to regulate planet-warming pollution from natural gas power plants – a move that could face fierce legal challenges.
Friday’s move also took place as Biden is preparing to announce his reelection bid as soon as next week, CNN reported Thursday. During his last presidential campaign, he worked hard to court environmental justice activist groups.
Biden’s new order directs agencies to work more closely with impacted communities and improve “gaps” in scientific data to try to better tackle the impacts of pollution on people’s health, a White House official said. If toxic substances were released from a federal facility in the future, the order requires federal agencies to notify nearby communities.
Meanwhile, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the results of its dioxin testing. Long-term exposure to dioxin, which was one of the many products generated in the wake of the massive chemical fire, is linked to impairment of the immune system, the developing nervous system, the endocrine system, and reproductive functions.
The residents were skeptical of the minimization of the hazards present in the data given by the EPA.
“You’re telling me a campfire would cause dioxins but something of this magnitude wouldn’t?” asked Linda Murphy, an East Palestine resident.
“Our modeling did show that dioxins were created, absolutely. The science suggests that the level of dioxins over the wide area that that smoke plume went would not produce a significant impact to that particular contaminant in those areas. Impacts, yes, but significant impacts, no,” Durno said.
Other attendees brought up questions about vinyl chloride exposure, stating that people have tested positive for traces of vinyl chloride in their urine.
Durno said data showed similar low-level results for the semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOC) tested for, which include vinyl chloride and butyl acrylate.
Both Durno and attendees questioned how the SVOC results can show low levels while people are testing positive for traces of it.
The residents are also dealing with plummeting home prices.