EPA’s Top Environmental Justice Official Resigned Due To Budget Cuts


Mustafa Ali, the leader of the Environmental Protection Agency’s environmental justice program has resigned Thursday.

Ali expressed concerns that President Donald Trump might deeply slash or eliminate funding for his office.

There were speculations that the EPA is going to face a hefty budget decrease. According to some reports, the environmental justice office, which addresses the impact of environmental issues on low-income and minority communities, could lose most or all of its funding.

“I never saw in the past a concerted effort to roll back the positive steps that many, many people have worked on though all the previous administrations. … I can’t be a part of anything that would hurt those [disadvantaged] communities. I just couldn’t sign off on those types of things,” said Ali, who has held his post since 1992.

“I hadn’t seen any positive movement in relationship to vulnerable communities … I hadn’t seen yet any engagement with communities with environmental justice concerns,” he added.

Ali is now working as a senior vice president at the Hip Hop Caucus, a civil and human rights group which creates political engagement through hip-hop music.

In a memo about his resignation, Ali voiced his doubts about the Trump team now running the EPA.

“I wonder if our new leadership has had the opportunity to converse with those who need our help the most,” Ali wrote in his memo. “I strongly encourage you and your team to continue promoting agency efforts to validate these community’s concerns, and value their lives.”


Ali expressed his views on climate change in a blog wrote on the EPA’s website.

“Climate change is real, its impacts are enormous, and we are already seeing these effects across the planet today. And while we are deeply engaged in a discourse about the extent of the disruptions and devastation that a changing and destabilized climate causes, we don’t talk nearly enough about how those burdens will be shared in our country,” he stated.

When asked about environmental justice during his confirmation hearing, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said he supported the concept, reports Western Journalism.

“I am familiar with the concept of environmental justice,” Pruitt said. “As I testified, the administrator plays an important role regarding environmental justice. I agree that it is important that all Americans be treated equally under the law, including the environmental laws.”


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