Pacific Southwest, Region 9
Serving: Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Pacific Islands, Tribal Nations
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.
National Environmental Justice Advisory Council Public Teleconference Meeting on June 13, 2013
The National Environmental Justice Advisory Council (NEJAC) will host a public teleconference meeting on Thursday, June 13, 2013, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. PST. The primary topics of discussion will be (1) preliminary recommendations concerning EPA's research programs and the scientific foundation needed to address and prevent environmental inequities and (2) EPA's draft Technical Guidance for Assessing Environmental Justice in Regulatory Analysis. There will be a public comment period from 11:30 to 12:00 p.m. PST. Members of the public are encouraged to provide comments relevant to the topics of the meeting. Please see the NEJAC meeting webpage for additional details, including how to register.
Public Comments on the Draft Technical Guidance for Assessing Environmental Justice in Regulatory Analysis Due on July 8, 2013
EPA released the Draft Technical Guidance for Assessing Environmental Justice in Regulatory Analysis for public comment. The purpose of this draft guidance is to provide EPA analysts with technical information on how to consider environmental justice in regulatory analyses. This draft guidance takes into account EPA's past experience in integrating environmental justice into the rulemaking process, and underscores EPA's ongoing commitment to ensuring the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies. You can view and comment on the draft technical guidance at Regulations.gov, Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OA-2013-0320. Public comments must be received on or before July 8, 2013.
EPA is hosting two public informational webinars to discuss the details of the proposed technical guidance. Call-in information for the webinars is below. For more information, please visit the EPA EJ and Rulemaking webpage.
May 29, 2013, 10:00 to 11:30 a.m. PST
June 6, 12:00 to 1:30 p.m. PST
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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