EPA Releases Equity Action Plan to Advance Environmental Justice and Civil Rights

On April 14, 2022, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA or the Agency) released an Equity Action Plan, in accordance with Executive Order 13985, which directs EPA and other federal agencies to develop a plan to address barriers faced by underserved communities regarding full and equal participation in the Agency’s programs and procurement and contracting opportunities. Within the Equity Action Plan, EPA identifies six agency priority actions:

  • Priority Action #1: Develop a comprehensive framework for considering cumulative impacts in relevant EPA decisions and operationalize that framework in EPA’s programs and activities.
  • Priority Action #2: Build the capacity of underserved communities to provide their experience to EPA and implement community-led projects.
  • Priority Action #3: Develop EPA’s internal capacity to engage underserved communities and implement clear and accountable processes to act based on communities’ input.
  • Priority Action #4: Strengthen EPA’s external civil rights compliance program and ensure that civil rights compliance is an agencywide responsibility.
  • Priority Action #5: Integrate community science into EPA’s research and program implementation.
  • Priority Action #6: Make EPA’s procurement and contracting more equitable.

The Equity Action Plan, which follows the Agency’s upgrade to the Environmental Justice Screening and Mapping Tool, and finalization of the FY 2022 – FY 2026 EPA Strategic Plan that features advancement of environmental justice and civil rights as a strategic goal, represents the Agency’s latest action to advance environmental justice.

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