Policy Update Feb 15, 2022

NPCA position on H.R. 2021

NPCA sent the following letter to Members of the House Natural Resources Committee ahead of a hearing scheduled for February 15th, 2022. 

H.R. 2021, the Environmental Justice for All Act: NPCA supports the bill’s effort to address long-standing racial and economic disparities in impacts from pollution and climate change and in access to and safe enjoyment of the outdoors. We also commend the sponsors’ inclusive process in assembling the bill by soliciting contributions and feedback from affected communities and other stakeholders.

H.R. 2021 is broad, including provisions far beyond NPCA’s expertise. However, in addition to the overarching goal of the bill, to improve equity in the imbalance of environmental ills and opportunities, we support specific provisions that seek more equitable access to parks, outdoor spaces, and recreational and educational opportunities. The Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership Grant Program importantly supports land and water conservation, recreation, outdoor education and volunteerism. The Transit to Trails Grant Program improves transportation opportunities for critically underserved communities, including by connecting them to federal and non-federal public lands and waters. The bill also extends the life of the Every Kid Outdoors program, which is proving essential in cultivating healthy outdoor educational activities for children and their families. Finally, we also applaud the efforts to provide environmental justice training for federal employees including those in the Department of the Interior. This training is needed to further an ethos and understanding of inclusivity and equity in the care and cultivation of our nation’s natural and cultural resources and in impacts of agency actions or inactions on communities.