Collateral Environmental Federalism


Diversity Equity and Inclusion, Environmental Justice and Equitable Development Series – Advancing environmental justice and equity at the state and local levels

Guest & Organization:

Dr. Adrienne L. Hollis is the Director of Federal Policy at WE ACT for Environmental Justice, in the Washington, DC office. Dr. Hollis is an experienced environmental toxicologist as well as an environmental attorney. She has worked with a number of community organizations and has a wealth of experience in community-based participatory research around environmental justice issues.

It is well-documented that some of the most polluted environments in America are where people of color live, work, play, and pray. WE ACT was started in 1988 when three fearless community leaders saw that environmental racism was rampant in their West Harlem neighborhood, and they demanded community-driven, political change. Today, the organization has grown to over 16 staff members and 2 locations in NYC and Washington, D.C., and is considered an active and respected participant in the national Environmental Justice Movement.

WE ACT’s mission is to build healthy communities by ensuring that people of color and/or low income residents participate meaningfully in the creation of sound and fair environmental health and protection policies and practices.

WE ACT envisions a community that has:

  • informed and engaged residents who participate fully in decision-making on key issues that impact their health and community.
  • strong and equal environmental protections.
  • increased environmental health through community-based participatory research and evidence-based campaigns.




WE ACT’s Cleaner Air, Cleaner Communities: 6 Steps to Develop Environmentally Just State Implementation Plans was created to provide state agencies, local governments and community-based organizations with a step-by-step process, tools and case studies to integrate environmental justice considerations into Clean Air Act State Implementation Plans (SIPs).

The Clean Air Act SIP is a federally-required plan under the Clean Air Act that describes how each state will reduce criteria air pollutants to meet the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). The SIP provides a consistent opportunity for communities to engage in clean air policy.

Environmental Justice Forum Releases Guidance on Incorporating Environmental Justice in State Implementation Plans