The Washington State Environmental Justice Council’s Transformative Role in the Implementation of the HEAL Act and the Climate Commitment Act

Apr 15, 2024, 12:15 pm1:15 pm
300 Wallace Hall
Open to the public, RSVP required.



Event Description

Abstract: Running-Grass will provide background and an update on the significant and evolving role of the Environmental Justice Council in the Implementation of the 2021 Healthy Environment for All Act (HEAL) which is the state’s Environmental Justice Law.  The Act mandated the establishment of an Environmental Justice Council to assist in the implementation of the law. The Council is also involved with implementation of the Climate Commitment Act, Washington’s Cap-and-Invest Program. He will draw from this background and update to broadly address how the movement for Environmental Justice continues to transform how government engages communities in environmental policy at the national and state levels.

Bio: Running-Grass is an educator and a long-time social justice and environmental activist.  

He is nationally recognized for his formative contributions to the fields of Multicultural Environmental Education and Environmental Justice.  Running-Grass was one of the 300 delegates to the First National People of Color Environmental Leadership Summit in 1991, which launched the Environmental Justice movement onto the national stage. 

He served for 22 years at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, focused on Environmental Justice issues at multiple levels of government, where he applied his expertise to identifying and addressing these issues at the community level.

He was appointed by Governor Inslee of Washington State to the first Environmental Justice Council in the state, which is tasked to track and assist state agencies in the implementation of the HEAL Act and the Climate Commitment Act.

Running-Grass is a founding faculty member of the Urban Environmental Education Graduate Program at Antioch University, Seattle, where he teaches courses on Multicultural Environmental Education; Multicultural Environmental Leadership; and Race, Culture, and Equity.

  • Center for policy Research on Energy and the Environment
  • High Meadows Environmental Institute
  • Office of Sustainability