Director Michelle DePass Comments on the Resignation of Mustafa Ali from the U.S. EPA
Mustafa Ali resigned from his post as Assistant Associate Administrator for Environmental Justice at the U.S. EPA last Friday. Ali's resignation letter included some key lessons from his 24 years of service, including: "Communities Speak For Themselves," the value of knowledge held by "Frontline" communities, and the importance of preserving the EPA's Brownfields program.In an interview with E&E News, Michelle DePass, Director of the Tishman Environment and Design Center and Dean of the Milano School of International Affairs, Management, and Urban Policy, attested to the drive and passion of EPA staff who work to promote environmental justice (EJ), insisting that these officials "are not going to sit by and watch the decimation of the most important work of the agency." DePass later expanded on her comments, noting, "There are career staff that are committed to and trained in EJ throughout the whole agency, throughout headquarters, and in the regions. The current administration won't be able to entirely root out that commitment to this important work. Work in EJ communities is precisely what 'protection of human health and environment' means."