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Pacific Southwest, Region 9

Serving: Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Pacific Islands, Tribal Nations

Environmental Justice and Permitting

The Plan EJ 2014 Environmental Justice Permitting Initiative (PDF) (20 pp, 804K) promotes the consideration of environmental justice in the permitting process by:

  1. enhancing the ability of overburdened communities to participate fully and meaningfully in the permitting process for EPA-issued permits; and
  2. taking steps to address environmental justice issues in the EPA permitting process to the greatest extent practicable under existing environmental laws.

As part of EPA’s ongoing efforts to integrate environmental justice in permitting, EPA has issued a Federal Register Notice entitled, EPA Activities to Promote Environmental Justice in the Permit Application Process (PDF) (48 pp, 192K), to better meet its responsibilities under Executive Order 12898 by increasing meaningful engagement of overburdened communities in EPA’s permitting process. The Federal Register Notice directs each EPA regional office to develop a regional implementation plan to address meaningful engagement of overburdened communities in the permitting process. The regional implementation plans will to evolve as “living documents” as the regional offices gain experience with using the plans to guide their outreach efforts for priority permits. The EPA Pacific Southwest plan (PDF) (9 pp, 98K) provides a framework to help the Pacific Southwest regional office prioritize permits for enhanced public outreach and describes the enhanced outreach activities that may be implemented to promote greater public involvement in the permitting process.

The Federal Register Notice also provides Promising Practices for Permit Applicants Seeking EPA-Issued Permits: Ways to Engage Neighboring Communities (PDF) (48 pp, 192K). The promising practices are designed to encourage and assist permit applicants to reach out to neighboring communities when applying for permits that may affect communities’ quality of life, including their health and environment. The promising practices are based on conversations with communities, permit applicants, and government stakeholders. The purpose of the promising practices is to publicize the good neighbor practices already employed by permit applicants across the country and to encourage their greater use.

Please see the EPA Activities to Promote Environmental Justice in the Permit Application Process FAQs (PDF) (8 pp, 131K) for additional information about the regional implementation plans and promising practices for permit applicants. Please see EPA's national Environmental Justice in Permitting website for further information about EPA’s efforts to integrate environmental justice in permitting.

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