Activist turns EPA bigwig

Houston-based activist to lead Office of Environmental Justice

Environmental activist Matthew Tejada of Houston, Texas, has been named the Environmental Protection Agency’s new director for the Office of Environmental Justice.

Tejada (pictured), who begins his new job in March, faced some of the nation’s most serious pollution problems for the last five years along the Gulf Coast as the executive director for Air Alliance Houston, according to Environmental Health News. Tejada said “environmental racism” will be at the forefront of issues he faces during his tenure, referring to the widespread health risks posed by the proximity of oil refineries, power plants and chemical factories to neighborhoods of low-income communities of color.

Tejada said his candidacy was successful because “they feel like I can be a very reasonable but effective advocate for environmental justice issues throughout the EPA and, hopefully, throughout the federal government.”

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