Federal Prosecutor Named as Environmental Justice Coordinator for the District of Rhode Island

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

PROVIDENCE – United States Attorney Zachary A. Cunha has appointed Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA) Kevin L. Hubbard to the position of Environmental Justice Coordinator for the District of Rhode Island.

On May 5, 2022, Attorney General Merrick B. Garland announced a series of actions to secure environmental justice for all Americans, including the launch of the Office of Environmental Justice within the Justice Department and a new comprehensive environmental justice enforcement strategy to guide the Justice Department’s work.  The Department also issued an Interim Final Rule that will restore the use of supplemental environmental projects in appropriate circumstances; where appropriate to the resolution of an environmental enforcement action, these projects often benefit communities by addressing specific local environmental issues.

In announcing these steps, Attorney General Garland noted, “Although violations of our environmental laws can happen anywhere, communities of color, indigenous communities, and low-income communities often bear the brunt of the harm caused by environmental crime, pollution, and climate change. For far too long, these communities have faced barriers to accessing the justice they deserve. The Office of Environmental Justice will serve as the central hub for our efforts to advance our comprehensive environmental justice enforcement strategy.”

The Attorney General directed U.S. Attorneys across the country to appoint a District Coordinator. In his role as Environmental Justice Coordinator for the District of Rhode Island, AUSA Hubbard will play a key part in identifying and pursuing environmental justice matters in coordination with the Environmental and Natural Resource Division and the Civil Rights Division at Main Justice; and will work closely with key local and regional agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Agriculture, and U.S. Housing and Urban Development.

“Our environment and natural resources are part of what makes the Ocean State such a beautiful and unique place,” said U.S. Attorney Cunha.  “But environmental protection is not just about preserving shoreline and scenery, it’s about ensuring that peoples’ health and safety are protected from pollution and contamination in all of our communities – including ones that have historically been ignored or marginalized.  Today’s appointment of Kevin Hubbard—an exceptional litigator—to this important new role underscores my office’s commitment to vigorously enforcing federal laws to protect our air, water, and environment for every Rhode Islander.”