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North Carolina the backdrop for announcement of new EPA office that prioritizes environmental justice and civil rights.

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(Environmental protection Agency logo)
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The Environmental Protection Agency is creating a new office that prioritizes environmental justice and civil rights.

The Environmental Protection Agency is creating a new office that prioritizes environmental justice and civil rights.

The announcement was made on Saturday in Warren County, which is considered to be the birthplace of the environmental justice movement.

Forty years ago this month, mostly Black residents of Warren County, civil rights activists, and supporters marched and laid down in the street to block trucks from dumping toxic waste in their landfill.

EPA Administrator Michael Regan, a native of North Carolina, said it was time for a new office of Environmental Justice and External Civil Rights.

"So, from Lowndes County, Alabama to Warren County, North Carolina, these communities show us that the fight for civil rights and environmental justice are inseparable," he said.

The EPA says it will more than triple its staff and distribute $3 billion in block grants to address environmental problems in overlooked communities.