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Region 1: EPA New England

Environmental Justice Program and Civil Rights

EPA New England's Office of Civil Rights and Urban Affairs (OCRUA) administers the region's civil rights and environmental justice programs.

Environmental Justice

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Environmental Justice (EJ) is the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies.

Fair treatment means that no group of people, including any racial, ethnic, or socioeconomic group, should bear a disproportionate share of the negative environmental consequences resulting from industrial, municipal, and commercial operations or the execution of federal, state, local, and tribal programs and policies.

Meaningful involvement means that: (1) potentially affected community residents have an appropriate opportunity to participate in decisions about a proposed activity that will affect their environment and/or health; (2) the public's contribution can influence the regulatory agency's decision; (3) the concerns of all participants involved will be considered in the decision making process; and (4) the decision makers seek out and facilitate the involvement of those potentially affected.

EPA New England reaffirmed its commitment to environmental justice in the October 2001 EPA New England Regional Policy on Environmental Justice.

Civil Rights

EPA New England is committed to providing equal employment opportunity for all employees and applicants for employment based on merit, without regard to race, sex, color, national origin, religion, age, sexual orientation, parental status, or disability. Under EPA's Title VI implementing regulations found at 40 C.F.R. Part 7 (PDF) (11 pp, 40 K), EPA-funded agencies are prohibited from taking acts, including permitting actions, that are intentionally discriminatory or have a discriminatory effect based on race, color, or national origin. Such actions are reviewed and investigated through the external compliance program.

The OCRUA provides leadership, direction, and guidance in carrying out the Agency’s equal employment programs through promoting a work environment that is free of unlawful discrimination, sexual harassment and is accessible to individuals with disabilities; ensures fair and equitable treatment for all employees; values workforce diversity, and fosters mutual respect in an effort to achieve the mission of the Agency.

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