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Community Involvement and Demolition

Community relations should be part of any planned demolition activity. Community engagement is important for residential demolitions because they can involve management of harmful materials and they also present opportunities for site reuse. 

EPA's goal is to provide an environment where all people enjoy the same degree of protection from environmental and health hazards and have equal access to the decision-making process to maintain a healthy environment.

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.

Fair treatment means that no group of people should bear a disproportionate share of the negative environmental consequences resulting from industrial, governmental and commercial operations or policies.

Audience at a public meeting

Meaningful involvement means that:

  • people have an opportunity to participate in decisions about activities that may affect their environment and/or health
  • the public’s contribution can influence the regulatory agency’s decision
  • their concerns will be considered in the decision making process
  • the decision makers seek out and facilitate the involvement of those potentially affected

You are not obligated to follow EPA’s environmental justice practices. However, you may want to look to EPA’s commitment to environmental justice when you address community involvement in the demolition process. The approach you choose should suit your community's unique needs.