Veronica Carter, center, at the introductory ceremony on Wednesday. Photo by Mark Hibbs.

Veronica Carter, a long-time North Carolina Coastal Federation board member, has been appointed to the Environmental Justice and Equity Advisory Board, which will advise the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ).

Secretary Michael Regan created this panel to help DEQ involve and engage disadvantaged and minority populations in its decision-making processes.

Carter has been involved in promoting environmental justice for 15 years. She helped the federation put more of a focus on environmental justice in its programs and priorities.

“Veronica has been a passionate member of our board and advocate for communities that don’t always have the means to make their voices heard,” said Todd Miller, executive director of the federation. “There is no one more deserving than Veronica to be a member of this panel. Making sure all North Carolinians have clean air and water is incredibly important and something that should never be overlooked.”

Regan announced the 16 panel members at the DEQ headquarters on Wednesday. Carter is the only panel member from one of North Carolina’s 20 coastal counties.

“Every organization, every group that we run into needs an EJ component,” Carter said in an interview with Coastal Review Online following the ceremony. “I’m so proud that the Coastal Federation picked that up a while ago and I’m so thankful to be a member of this board because it seemed like every major issue that we were trying to advocate for, for the Coastal Federation and other groups, had an EJ component that was somewhat missing, that it wasn’t being examined or addressed. We were looking at the environment, but we weren’t looking at the people and especially the least of these, as I like to call them, the communities of least resistance, the communities of color and the communities of a low socio-economic (status), that really didn’t have the means to fight back.”

Read the full story in Coastal Review Online.