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News Releases from Region 06

EPA Highlights Environmental Justice Innovation at Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge in Albuquerque, N.M.

Contact Information: 
Jennah Durant and Joe Hubbard (R6press@epa.gov)

DALLAS – (Nov. 18, 2016) Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognized several groups for their innovative work in environmental justice (EJ) at the Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge. EPA Regional Administrator Ron Curry highlighted work at the refuge, located in the urban Mountain View area just five miles south of Albuquerque, New Mexico, that will match refuge goals and missions with the needs of the community. The work supports the EJ 2020 Action Agenda, which is EPA’s five-year plan for achieving environmental justice goals.

“The Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge shows that prioritizing environmental justice brings multiplying benefits,” said Regional Administrator Ron Curry. “Congratulations to all the groups who made this innovative work possible.”

The plan was developed by Los Jardines Institute and Friends of the Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge using a grant from EPA, as well as a grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The groups worked with the Mountain View Neighborhood Association to develop a plan to integrate the needs and mission of the refuge with those of the community. By using surveys and research the groups learned of the community’s environmental concerns, such as stormwater management and water quality, and developed the plan to incorporate those concerns into the development and management of the refuge.

The plan is the first environmental justice strategic plan for a public land site, and aims to serve as a model for other urban public lands.

The EJ 2020 Action Agenda, or EJ 2020, focuses attention on environmental and public health issues and challenges facing the nation’s minority, low-income, tribal and indigenous populations. EJ 2020 summarizes EPA’s priority areas and significant national environmental justice challenges, objectives, and measures for success. Under EJ 2020, EPA will advance environmental justice to a new level and make a more visible difference in the environmental and public health outcomes for all people in the nation. Strengthening our collaborations with the communities we serve, our governmental partners and interested stakeholders will be key to achieving this vision.

Learn more about EPA’s work in New Mexico: https://www.epa.gov/nm

Learn more about EJ 2020: https://www.epa.gov/environmentaljustice/ej-2020-action-agenda-epas-environmental-justice-strategy

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