External Civil Rights Compliance Office (Title VI)
On this page:
- Filing a discrimination complaint against a recipient of EPA funds
- External Civil Rights Compliance Office Strategic Plan, Case Resolution Manual, and Chapter 1 of the U.S. EPA's External Civil Rights Compliance Office Compliance Toolkit: Chapter 1, transmittal letter, and FAQ's
The External Civil Rights Compliance Office (ECRCO), within the Office of General Counsel is responsible for enforcing several civil rights laws which, together, prohibit discrimination on the basis of:
- race, color, or national origin (including on the basis of limited-English proficiency)
by applicants for and recipients of federal financial assistance from EPA. (Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, respectively.) ECRCO is also responsible for enforcing Section 13 of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act Amendments of 1972 which prohibits discrimination based on sex under programs or activities receiving financial assistance under the Clean Water Act.
It is the duty of ECRCO to ensure that any entity that receives EPA funds comply with federal non-discrimination laws. ECRCO is the EPA program office designed to ensure that recipients of EPA financial assistance and others comply with the relevant non-discrimination requirements under federal law. If a complaint of discrimination is filed with ECRCO against a program receiving EPA funding, ECRCO processes it.
Filing a Discrimination Complaint Against a Recipient of EPA Funds
For additional information please see the How to File a Complaint of Discrimination brochure.
- How to File a Complaint of Discrimination brochure (Folleto sobre Cómo presentar una querella por discriminación)
- The complaint must be in writing.
- The complaint should identify the entity which allegedly committed the discrimination.
- The complaint must allege discrimination prohibited by one of the laws ECRCO enforces.
- The complaint must be filed within 180 calendar days of the date of the last act of alleged discrimination.
Mail information to:
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Mail code 2310A
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20460
Email information to:
Or fax:(202) 565-0196
For any other inquiries, please write to ECRCO at the above address or call ECRCO at (202) 564-3316
External Civil Rights Compliance Office Case Resolution Manual & Strategic Plan
On January 5, 2021, the External Civil Rights Compliance Office issued a revised version of its Case Resolution Manual (CRM) (Case Resolution Manual, January 2021), replacing the version posted on ECRCO’s website in January 2017. This January 2021 CRM supersedes any prior version of the CRM and is available at
On January 12, 2017, the External Civil Rights Compliance Office issued in final its EPA’s External Civil Rights Compliance Office Strategic Plan 2015-2020, and the Case Resolution Manual, to achieve prompt effective, and efficient docket management. The Strategic Plan is available at the following link:
On January 18, 2017, the External Civil Rights Compliance Office issued the Toolkit Chapter 1 provides technical assistance to recipients of EPA financial assistance (EPA recipients) by identifying existing law and policy to promote and support EPA recipients’ compliance with federal civil rights laws when investigating and resolving discrimination complaints, including those that involve allegations related to human health and the environment, and other non-health harms. The companion Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) document assists with responding to potential questions addressed in Chapter 1.
- Chapter 1 of the U.S. EPA’s External Civil Rights Compliance Office Compliance Toolkit: Chapter 1, transmittal letter, and FAQs (2017)(PDF)
Statement by U.S. Department of Justice Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights Eric S. Dreiband Protecting Civil Rights While Responding to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
- See https://www.justice.gov/file/1271776/download
- En español https://www.justice.gov/file/1272091/download
Matthew Z. Leopold, EPA General Counsel issues “Virtual Public Hearing and Meetings” memo, which provides additional information about Agency best practices and resources.
“Important Notice Regarding “Hard Copy” Submissions to EPA:
During this time of national emergency due to COVID-19, EPA is taking actions to maintain the health and safety of our workforce while implementing contingency plans to ensure the fulfillment of our mission responsibilities. The Agency is paying close attention to guidance issued by the Office of Personnel Management, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and other federal agencies as well as our state and local public health partners.
Following CDC and OPM guidance and specific state guidelines impacting our regional offices, EPA’s workforce has been authorized to telework to help prevent transmission of the coronavirus. While in this workforce telework status, there are practical limitations on the ability of staff to collect, and for Agency personnel to respond to, "hard copy" mailed queries sent directly to Agency office locations. Therefore, until the workforce is able to return to office locations, we recommend that, to the extent feasible, any correspondence mailed to the Agency should also be sent via email through our Contact Us information. Please note, however, that there is one exception: FOIA requests for Agency records are most effectively submitted through FOIAonline, especially during this period.
EPA is committed to continuing our critical work on behalf of the American public while also safeguarding the health and safety of the public and the families of EPA employees by taking responsible measures to help prevent transmission of the coronavirus. Thank you for your cooperation and understanding.”
In December 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency took steps to strengthen the agency’s ability to carry out its external civil rights enforcement responsibilities by reorganizing the functions of the formerly Office of Civil Rights (OCR) with respect to its External Compliance and Complaints Program. This external civil rights enforcement function now resides organizationally within the External Civil Rights Compliance Office, which is located in EPA’s Office of General Counsel.
The External Civil Rights Compliance Office will continue to carry out the same federally-mandated responsibilities to enforce several civil rights laws which, together, prohibit discrimination on the basis of: race, color, or national origin (including on the basis of limited-English proficiency); sex; disability; and age by applicants for and recipients of federal financial assistance from EPA. (Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, respectively), as well as the responsibility for enforcing Section 13 of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act Amendments of 1972 which prohibits discrimination based on sex under programs or activities receiving financial assistance under the Clean Water Act.