U.S. Attorney Vanessa Waldref to lead Attorney General’s Advisory Subcommittee on Environmental Justice | USAO-EDWA

Spokane – U.S. Attorney Vanessa Waldref for the Eastern District of Washington has been selected to lead the Environmental Justice & Environmental Issues Subcommittee for the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee (AGAC). As the leader of the Environmental Justice Subcommittee, U.S. Attorney Waldref will play a key role in advising the AGAC on environmental matters of importance to the Department of Justice and U.S. Attorney’s Offices across the country.

“I am gratified that my colleagues and Attorney General Garland selected me for this important role,” said U.S. Attorney Waldref. “The Department of Justice makes critical contributions to protecting the environment and public health. We all benefit from robust enforcement of laws that ensure a healthy environment for all families to live, learn, play, and work.”

As Subcommittee Chair, U.S. Attorney Waldref also serves as a leader to implement the Department of Justice’s Comprehensive Environmental Justice Strategy. U.S. Attorney Waldref is training Assistant United States Attorneys throughout all of the 94 U.S. Attorney’s Offices to develop an environmental justice practice and engage in community outreach on the critical environmental issues impacting each District. U.S. Attorney Waldref stated, “I am thrilled to build an infrastructure within the United States Attorney’s Offices around the country to tackle environmental protection cases that defend critical resources and ensure safe living and working conditions for all the residents of our communities. No group of people should bear a disproportionate share of the negative environmental consequences resulting from industrial, governmental, and commercial operations or policies.”

Prior to her appointment, U.S. Attorney Waldref worked in the Department of Justice’s Environment and National Resources Division advocating for the enforcement of pollution control statutes. While she was an Assistant United States Attorney, she also taught several courses at Gonzaga Law School, including Environmental Law, where her teaching focused on the concrete ways that environmental and workplace safety regulations protect our homes, neighborhoods, and workplaces.

U.S. Attorney Waldref is committed to enhancing the environmental protection practice in her home district: “In Eastern Washington, we have great pride in the beauty of our mountains, trees, lakes, and rivers and the sustenance that our natural resources provide. Indigenous people first lived on these lands, cultivating these resources for future generations. Protecting our resources for fishing, hunting, agriculture and a healthy, high quality of life makes our region safer and stronger.”

The Attorney General’s Advisory Committee was established nearly 50 years ago by Attorney General Elliott Richardson. The Committee’s purpose is to give United States Attorneys a voice in Department policies and to advise the Attorney General of the United States.

Reporting public health and safety concerns supports a safe community for all. EPA’s online reporting form directs concerns to the appropriate regulatory authority: https://echo.epa.gov/report-environmental-violations. When reporting environmental, health and safety concerns, U.S. Attorney Waldref encourages Eastern Washington residents to also contact the U.S. Attorney’s Office dedicated Civil Rights and Environmental Protection phone line at (509) 835-6306 or email at [email protected] Notifying the U.S. Attorney’s Office helps us protect the community from harmful violations of federal environmental, health & safety laws.

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