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Environmental Justice

Key Environmental Justice Links:

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Environmental justice 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. EPA has this goal for all communities and persons across this nation. It will be achieved when everyone enjoys the same degree of protection from environmental and health hazards and equal access to the decision-making process to have a healthy environment in which to live, learn and work.

National Environmental Justice Advisory Council
EPA chartered the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council (NEJAC) on September 30, 1993, as a federal advisory committee that provides independent advice, consultation and recommendations to the EPA Administrator on matters related to environmental justice.

Federal Facilities Working Group
EPA tasked NEJAC to identify key issues of concern to environmental justice communities, including tribes, regarding activities at federal facilities, and formulate a set of national policy recommendations to address those concerns. In 2000, NEJAC formed the Federal Facilities Working Group (PDF) (3 pp, 34K), which consisted of 11 ethnically and geographically diverse members representing tribal, state and local governments; private industry; community groups; academia; and non-governmental organizations.

Emphasizing the national scope of their effort and the need for inter-agency participation, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) (PDF) (3 pp, 481K) was co-signed in December 2000 between the Department of the Interior (DOI), Department of Defense (DoD), Department of Energy (DOE), and EPA's Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response (OSWER). Each agency agreed to support the NEJAC Federal Facilities Working Group's efforts.

Environmental Justice and Federal Facilities Report
The report, Environmental Justice and Federal Facilities: Recommendations for Improving Stakeholder Relations Between Federal Facilities and Environmental Justice Communities (PDF) (94 pp, 1.4MB), provides recommendations to EPA and other federal agencies on how to improve communication, cultural sensitivity, health services, lack of resources and stakeholder influence in the decision-making processes at federal facilities in communities striving to reach environmental justice.

See the OSWER response (PDF) (2 pp, 70K) and headquarters and regional responses (PDF) (25 pp, 857K). See also the Plan EJ 2014.

Web page maintained by the Federal Facilities Restoration and Reuse Office
Send comments to: comments_ffrro@epa.gov

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