Pacific Southwest, Region 9
Serving: Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Pacific Islands, Tribal Nations
Environmental Justice (EJ)
Contact the Region 9 EJ Network, which is a cross-program team charged with integrating environmental justice in our work.
Office of Environmental
Justice National Hotline
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“The quality of your environment cannot be dependent on the color of your skin, the size of your bank account, whether you were born on tribal lands... Environmental justice cannot be an afterthought -- it must be central to how we think and what we do so that we can offer meaningful assistance to communities that have been left behind.”
Minority and low-income communities are often disproportionately exposed to pollution. EPA Region 9 supports programs and projects to help address these adverse and disproportionate effects. On this Web site, you will find examples of the ways communities have used EPA funding to increase their capacity to improve their local environment. We have also provided a list of tools and resources that may be useful to EJ organizations and residents. You may also want to join our listserve to receive occasional announcements about funding opportunities, conferences, or environmental justice news.
U.S. EPA Region 9 Fiscal Year 2015 Action Plan to Address Environmental Justice
The FY2015 EJ Action Plan (PDF) (5 pp, 262K) continues the process begun in 2014, with each Region 9 Division responsible for integrating EJ into its work. The new region-wide EJ Network develops and follows through on shared EJ commitments in places and projects, based on our permitting and enforcement initiatives and the use of EJSCREEN, EPA's nationally consistent screening tool for environmental justice.
In recognition of the 20th anniversary of the Environmental Justice Executive Order, EPA Region 9 organized a "Teach-In" on March 6, 2014.
Over 150 participants representing nonprofits, community organizations, academia, state and local government and the Region 9 workforce provided input on three key themes: Sustainable Development and EJ; EJ and the Law; and Tools and Task Forces.
- Participants (PDF) (7 pp, 129K)
- Sustainable Development (PDF) (12 pp, 254K)
- EJ and the Law (PDF) (13 pp, 306K)
- Tools and Task Forces (PDF) (11 pp, 221K)
EPA Takes Steps To Better Consider Environmental Justice and Engage Overburdened Communities in the Permitting Process
In continuing its commitments under Plan EJ 2014, EPA issued a Federal Register Notice that includes Actions that EPA Regional Offices Are Taking to Promote Meaningful Engagement in the Permitting Process by Overburdened Communities (EPA Actions) and Promising Practices for Permit Applicants Seeking EPA-Issued Permits: Ways to Engage Neighboring Communities (Promising Practices). EPA proposed EPA Actions and Promising Practices in June 2012 and has conducted a number of outreach activities to seek feedback from various stakeholders including communities, states, municipalities, tribes, businesses, environmental groups, trade associations, and federal advisory committees.
EPA Actions provides direction to EPA staff on how to prioritize permits for enhanced community outreach. Each region has developed a regional implementation plan for enhancing outreach in the permitting process. The EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Implementation Plan (PDF) (9 pp, 100K) provides a framework that the regional office can use to prioritize permits for enhanced outreach.
Promising Practices is a collection of suggested enhanced outreach practices that permit applicants might use to increase transparency and encourage meaningful engagement of overburdened communities in the permitting process. EPA Actions and Promising Practices only apply to EPA-issued permits.
Additional information about EPA's activities to integrate environmental justice into the EPA permitting process is available on the EPA EJ and Permitting webpage.
Environmental Justice Showcase Community
The Los Angeles Environmental Enforcement Collaborative is Region 9's Environmental Justice Showcase Community. The densely populated communities closest to the I-710 freeway in Los Angeles County are severely impacted by pollution from goods movement and industrial activity. In a multiyear effort, a unique collaboration of federal, state, and local governments and nonprofit organizations will work together to improve the environmental and public health conditions for residents along this corridor.
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