Conference Coordinator John Rosenthal met the Chairman of the Council on Enviornmental Quality (CEQ) Jim Connaughton to discuss The State of Environmental Justice Conference 2007. Chairman Connaughton has tentatively agreed to participate in the conference. Chairman Connaughton is helping to coordinate the Bush Administration's air quality and climate change initiatives. The meeting was productive and included discussions about other environmental justice issues.
CEQ was created by NEPA (1969) and has eight duties and purposes:
Assist and Advise the President in preparing an annual environmental quality report, gather, analyze, and interpret information on trends in the quality of the environment, review and appraise federal agency compliance with the environmental policies of NEPA, develop and recommend to the President national policies to foster and promote the improvement of environmental quality, conduct investigations, studies, surveys, research, and analysis relating to ecological systems, document and define changes and trends in the natural environment and their underlying causes, report at least once each year to the President on the condition of the environment, and make recommendations to the President with respect to environmental policies and legislation.
James L. Connaughton was unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate on June 14 and appointed by President Bush on June 18, 2001 to serve as the Chairman of the CEQ. Chairman Connaughton serves as the senior environmental advisor to the President as well as Director of the White House Office of Environmental Policy, which oversees the development of environmental policy, coordinates interagency implementation of environmental programs, and mediates key policy disagreements among Federal agencies, state, tribal and local governments and private citizens.
In addition to the duties and functions listed above, CEQ also has four specific NEPA responsibilities: Issue regulations and other guidance regarding NEPA, Resolve lead agency disputes, Mediate interagency disputes over environmental policy, Provide training and advice to federal agencies regarding NEPA compliance,