Plan EJ 2014: Fostering Administration-Wide Action on Environmental Justice
Under the leadership of EPA and CEQ, federal agencies reinvigorated the federal Interagency Working Group on Environmental Justice (EJ IWG) and made significant progress towards fulfilling the promise of Executive Order 12898. Bringing the programs and authorities of multiple federal agencies will significantly advance implementation of Executive Order 12898 to meet the needs/issues of overburdened communities. The issues which arise in an EJ context often involve multiple aspects and implicate multiple federal agencies, in areas such as environment, health, transportation, housing, energy and economic development.
- Created two documents, the Environmental Justice Federal Interagency Directory and the Community-Based Federal Environmental Justice Guide, in response to community frustrations about the accessibility of federal information and resources.
- Seventeen cabinet members and White House offices signed the Memorandum of Understanding on Environmental Justice and Executive Order 12898 in 2011. Through the MOU, the IWG’s agencies committed to:
- Declaring the continued importance of identifying and addressing EJ considerations in agency programs, policies and activities;
- Issuing EJ strategies and implementation progress reports;
- Establishing structures and procedures to ensure that the IWG operates effectively and efficiently
- Identifying four areas of focus for inclusion in the agencies’ EJ efforts, i.e., NEPA, goods movement, climate change, and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
- In addition, the EJ IWG established a committee on regional activities. The EJ IWG will also support the President’s Climate Action Plan. Another interagency partnership with a focus on EJ issues is the Coordinated Federal Action Plan to Reduce Racial and Ethnic Asthma Disparities.
- Draft Analytic Methodologies for Considering EJ in National Environmental Policy Act - a draft compendium of best practices for conducting EJ analysis for considering EJ in NEPA reviews. They represent the first comprehensive compilation of best practices since the White House Council on Environmental Quality issued Environmental Justice Guidance under the National Environmental Policy Act in 1997.