Process For Revising EPA's Interim Guidance for Investigating Title VI Administrative Complaints Challenging Permits
In June, 2000, EPA released the Revised Draft Guidance for Investigating Title VI Administrative Complaints Challenging Permits ("Draft Revised Investigation Guidance"). Both written and email public comments on the document were submitted during a 60-day period following publication in the Federal Register through August 28, 2000. During the comment period following publication, EPA conducted seven public listening sessions in Chicago, IL; Dallas, TX; Los Angeles, CA; New York, NY; Oakland, CA; Philadelphia, PA; and Washington, DC to receive stakeholder input, and a number of other meetings with diverse stakeholder groups. Copies of the public comments and listening session transcripts are being made available.
This guidance document describes a framework for OCR's processing of complaints that allege discrimination in the environmental permitting context filed under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Revised Draft Investigation Guidance is a revision of the Interim Guidance for Investigating Title VI Administrative Complaints Challenging Permits ("Interim Guidance") that was issued in February 1998.
In the same Federal Register publication, EPA published the Draft Title VI Guidance for EPA Assistance Recipients Administering Environmental Programs ("Draft Recipient Guidance") This document, intended for recipients, provides a flexible framework of possible approaches and activities that may be implemented by recipients to address Title VI concerns. This draft document was also published for public comment during the 60-day period through August 28, 2000.
EPA's Efforts to Date to Ensure Stakeholder Input Before Issuing the Revised Draft Guidance
- solicited public comment on the Interim Guidance (over 120 comments received);
- met with a number of stakeholder representatives including those from environmental justice groups, communities, industry, state and local governments, and the civil rights community to discuss their concerns and views on issues associated with the Interim Guidance.
- established an advisory committee which provided additional information on the spectrum of committee member perspectives on a number of issues under consideration in the Interim Guidance revision process.
- held facilitated session with stakeholder group representatives to receive more feedback on draft policy options under consideration for inclusion in the revised guidance.
- prepared a summary of issues identified by commenters, together with responses, for publication along with the Draft Revised Investigations Guidance.
- convene the public listening sessions
- continue to meet with individual stakeholder groups, such as the state and local government representatives, environmental justice groups, and industry, to discuss issues of concern;
- consider information collected during all these stakeholder forums in the development of the final guidance(s) to succeed the Interim Guidance; and
- continue interagency coordination through our work with the Department of Justice and the Council on Environmental Quality.