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Is This a Perverse Joke? Virginia DEQ Issues Request for Proposals for Environmental Justice Study.


Is this some sort of trolling? Onion-style satire? A perverse joke? I mean, seriously, the Virginia Department of Extremely Questionable (DEQ) Judgement Regarding the Environment, the same folks that are allowing the fracked-gas compressor station to be built in historically African-American Union Hill (along with the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, which is  – as we speak – harming environmental justice communities), is now all about environmental justice? Suuuuuure.

Study will identify recommendations focused on environmental justice
RICHMOND, VA – The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) today
issued an Unsealed Request For Proposal (URFP) for a qualified external consultant to
conduct an environmental justice study for the agency. Through this URFP, research will be conducted to identify options and recommendations for DEQ in order to develop a strategic approach focused on environmental justice issues.
DEQ expects the selected consultant to research strategies, as well as the regulatory and statutory authorities, of other government entities including state, local and federal agencies. Anticipated recommendations include regulatory actions within existing DEQ authority and potential regulatory and statutory changes that clarify or expand state authority to promote equity in environmental decision making. The study will also result in a plan to further enhance DEQ’s education, communication and outreach.
“Environmental justice communities – such as areas with large minority populations, those with lower incomes, and indigenous residents – are on the frontlines of climate and environmental change,” said Governor Ralph Northam. “DEQ’s environmental justice study will help ensure the agency’s programs benefit all communities, especially those that have historically been the most burdened by pollution.”
“This important environmental justice initiative demonstrates the Commonwealth’s continued commitment to encouraging equity and fairness across Virginia,” said Virginia Secretary of Natural Resources Matthew J. Strickler. “These communities and their residents are often the first affected by the negative consequences of environmental impacts, which make existing health and economic disparities even worse. I anticipate this consultant coordinating with the Virginia Council on Environmental Justice to continue to leverage this important work.”
“In accordance with our mission, DEQ will develop a clear process for incorporating environmental justice principles into our strategic planning and program implementation,” said DEQ Director David Paylor. “DEQ will continue to keep the public informed and will engage stakeholders on the results of this important initiative as we move forward.”
The URFP can be found through eVA, the Commonwealth of Virginia’s procurement portal(https://m.vendor.epro.cgipdc.com/Vendor/public/AllOpportunities).

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