EPA Releases Draft Environmental Justice Plan

On January 5, 2022, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a draft Environmental Justice Action Plan. The Action Plan outlines measures that have been or will be implemented by EPA’s Office of Land and Emergency Management (OLEM) to address environmental justice (EJ) concerns in OLEM programs, including Superfund, emergency response, and risk management.

The projects in the Action Plan are organized based on the EJ goals set by the Biden administration. These goals include

  • strengthening compliance with environmental statutes and civil rights laws in communities that have been overburdened by pollution; there are seven projects in support of this goal, including “Good Governance Referral Lists” to inform agencies of community environmental concerns
  • incorporating EJ considerations into OLEM work, “including assessing impacts to pollution-burdened, underserved and tribal communities in regulatory development and to maximize benefits to communities”
  • improving engagement with pollution-burdened communities to provide for regular and frequent consultation with underserved communities and tribal officials affected by EPA rulemaking and other activities
  • implementing the Biden administration’s Justice40 Initiative by prioritizing benefits to and engagement with underserved communities during grant application and award decisions

EPA will release another draft of the Action Plan after it has received feedback from external stakeholders.

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