Evers creates new office of environmental justice

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Gov. Tony Evers on Friday signed an executive order creating a new office of environmental justice, announcing the move on Earth Day.

Republicans last year removed the office from Evers’ proposed budget. But the Democrat up for reelection this November got around them by creating it through an executive order.

The new office will work with the existing Office of Sustainability and Clean Energy, Evers’ office said. The goal will be to facilitate collaboration across state agencies to promote environmentally just policies, his office said.

The new office will work with farmers and rural communities, communities of color, Tribal Nations, state and local partners, and low-income populations, among other key stakeholders, the governor’s office said.

“Every Wisconsinite should have access to clean, safe drinking water, our state’s natural resources, and great places to live, learn, and work,” Evers said in a statement.

The new office “will play a critical role by helping promote policies and strategies to enhance climate resilience, ensuring our communities and families can prepare for and recover from the effects of climate change, and getting resources and support to folks who need our help the most,” Evers said.

Evers earlier this week announced the state’s first clean energy plan.