Mr. Lee is widely recognized as a true pioneer in the arena of environmental justice. He was the principal author of the landmark report, Toxic Wastes and Race in the United States. He helped to spearhead the emergence of a national environmental justice movement and federal action including the First National People of Color Environmental Leadership Summit, Executive Order 12898, EPA’s Office of Environmental Justice, National Environmental Justice Advisory Council (NEJAC), and the Federal Interagency Working Group on Environmental Justice. A recent interview marking the 30th anniversary of his landmark report recounts the many developments in the environmental justice movement over the past three decades.
Charles Lee is currently the Senior Policy Advisor for Environmental Justice at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In this capacity, he leads development and implementation of EPA’s agency-wide environmental justice strategic plans, i.e., Plan EJ 2014 and EJ 2020. He has served in multiple capacities, ranging from creating the United Church of Christ’s environmental justice program to directing EPA’s environmental justice office. He was a charter member of the NEJAC, where he chaired its Waste and Facility Siting committee, as well as serving on National Academy of Science/Institute of Medicine Committee on Environmental Justice and numerous other panels. Mr. Lee has authored numerous papers, reports, journals and articles on environmental justice over the past three decades.
The presentation was given in Mr. Lee's personal capacity and the views represented were his own and did not necessarily reflect the positions of the federal government.
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