The bogus concept was actually brought to EPA in 1990 (during the administration of George H.W. Bush) in the form of the Workgroup on Environmental Equity and expanded into an office of its own in 1992.
From LJ’s interview with Mom’s Clean Air Force:
MCAF: You had a very successful tenure as the Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. What accomplishments make you most proud? What do you hope the next Administrator will accomplish?
Lisa Jackson: I’m particularly proud of three achievements…
The third is my favorite. I’m very proud of the fact that I was the first African-American to run the EPA. I believe it is truly important to expand the conversation on the environment to include environmental justice. Addressing pockets of polluted air and water is still the unfinished business of the environmental movement as a whole, and that often needs to be done in low-income communities. Bringing new voices – moms, people of color, tribal nations – into the conversation felt good. No one ever said, “I’m willing to sacrifice clean air or water for my kids.” It was gratifying to see so many people realize that we don’t need to choose between the environment and the economy.