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National Environmental Justice Advisory Council

Introduction

The National Environmental Justice Advisory Council (NEJAC), a federal advisory committee to EPA was established September 30, 1993. The Council provides advice and recommendations about broad, cross-cutting issues related to environmental justice, from all stakeholders involved in the environmental justice dialogue. In addition, the NEJAC provides a valuable forum for discussions about integrating environmental justice with other EPA priorities and initiatives.

Fact sheets in English, Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese and Portuguese.

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20th Anniversary

September 30, 2013, marks the 20th anniversary of the NEJAC. For the past 20 years, NEJAC has provided a valuable forum for discussions about integrating environmental justice into EPA's programs, policies, and activities.

The NEJAC has worked to shape agency policy including recommendations from the 1996 Brownfields report on Unintended Impacts from Revitalization that created the national Brownfields conference, as well as the 2005 Gulf Coast Hurricanes and Vulnerable Populations Recommendations that helped shape the agency response to the Gulf Oil Spill.

See a map of past NEJAC meeting locations

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Obtaining Stakeholder Advice

The NEJAC provides independent advice and recommendations to the EPA Administrator. The Council’s efforts include the evaluation of a broad range of strategic, scientific, technological, regulatory, community engagement, and economic issues related to environmental justice. A complete list of advice can be found on the NEJAC Recommendations page. The Council’s major objectives are to provide advice and recommendations about EPA efforts to:

  1. Integrate environmental justice considerations into Agency programs, policies and activities
  2. Improve the environment or public health in communities disproportionately burdened by environmental harms and risks
  3. Address environmental justice by ensuring meaningful involvement in EPA decision-making, building capacity in disproportionately burdened communities, and promoting collaborative problem-solving for issues involving environmental justice
  4. Strengthen its partnerships with other governmental agencies, such as other Federal agencies and State, Tribal, or local governments, regarding environmental justice issues
  5. Enhance research and assessment approaches related to environmental justice

The NEJAC often uses subgroups (such as Work Groups) to develop initial advice which is reviewed, discussed and approved by the NEJAC. Such subgroups are formed to deal with a specific topic and to facilitate the conduct of the business of NEJAC. Each is chaired by a NEJAC member and managed by a Designated Federal Officer (DFO). Subgroups of the NEJAC meet independently of the full NEJAC and present their findings to the NEJAC for review. Subgroups cannot make recommendations independently to EPA.

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Public Involvement in Advisory Committee Activities

The Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) provides for public involvement in committee activities primarily through open access to meetings and records and by providing the public an opportunity to submit comments to the committee. As such, members of the public are encouraged to attend and observe NEJAC public meetings and teleconferences, review materials used by committee members in their deliberations, and review minutes of committee meeting and deliberations.

Public comment for consideration by EPA's federal advisory committees has a different purpose from public comment provided to EPA program offices. Therefore, the process for submitting comments to a federal advisory committee is different as well. Members of the public can:

Public comments should be sent directly to the Designated Federal Officer, Sherri White (white.sherri@epa.gov), with a subject line: "NEJAC Public Comment."

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NEJAC Membership

The NEJAC is made up of approximately 26 members and one Designated Federal Officer (DFO). The membership (PDF) (2 pp, 94K) is rotated to provide the greatest possible opportunity for a variety of individuals to serve on the NEJAC. Current NEJAC Member Bios (PDF) (10 pp, 153K)

To ensure that all views are represented, membership is comprised of a balanced representation of the following sectors:

Organizations or members of the public may nominate qualified persons to be considered for appointment to serve on the NEJAC or one of its subgroups. Individuals may also self-nominate. A sample template for submitting nominations is available here: NEJAC Membership Nomination Form (MS Word) (1 pp, 36K).

Frequently Asked Questions about NEJAC Nominations (PDF) (2 pp, 40K)

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NEJAC Charter

The charter (PDF) (3 pp, 570K) renews the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council (NEJAC) in accordance with the requirements of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), 5 U.S.C. App. § 9 (c).

Contact for the NEJAC: Sherri White (white.sherri@epa.gov), Designated Federal Officer

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DISCLAIMER

The information, reports and recommendations listed on these pages are the products of the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council, an independent council created under the Federal Advisory Committee Act, to provide independent advice and recommendations on the subject of environmental justice to the EPA Administrator

The information, reports and recommendations found on this site reflect the opinions and views of the independent National Environmental Justice Advisory Council, and not necessarily the views or opinions of the U.S. EPA.

You will need Adobe Reader to view some of the files on this page. See EPA's PDF page to learn more.

 


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