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Environmental Justice Primer for Ports Good Neighbor Roadmap: Step 4. Identify Levers for Change

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Start to consider how to address the prioritized community goals by identifying upcoming projects and plans that could be leveraged to mitigate impacts or develop innovative solutions to address the community issues. Further, evaluate key regulatory planning or policy documents related to these projects, and identify existing requirements and guidance for social responsibility, impact mitigation and community engagement. After evaluating potential levers of change, various opportunities and scenarios can be explored to achieve community goals.

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Try It Out!  Identify Levers for Change

Review upcoming expansion or infrastructure projects at your port as well as related projects and plans proposed by other agencies and organizations (e.g., transportation corridor upgrades, waterfront development, job training programs).

Identify how each of these efforts could impact near-port communities and explore opportunities to align efforts to meet shared goals.

  • What are the potential negative impacts on near-port communities?
  • What are the potential positive impacts on near-port communities?
  • What are specific community goals that could be considered during the planning process?
Upcoming Projects and Plans Potential Negative Impacts on Near-Port Communities Potential Positive Impacts on Near-Port Communities Specific Community Goals to Consider

Digging Deeper Exercise

As you review each upcoming decision, regulatory or permit document through the IAP2 lens, reflect on the questions below:

  • Is the community aware of these documents or decision points?
  • Are documents easily accessible, written in plain language, and translated in multiple languages as needed?
  • What level of community engagement does the process and materials currently reflect?
  • What are the port’s expectations for the level of engagement by the community? How do these expectations differ from the community’s expectations?
  • What would it take to get to the next level of engagement?
  • How can upcoming projects be leveraged to assist the near-port community?

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Try It Out!  Align Community Goals with Ports Projects

Use a table such as the one below to identify projects with the most potential to address community goals and priorities. Consider which projects might be most important to the community based on their priority concerns. Consider whether coordination among related projects many help better address community concerns.

Upcoming Projects and Plans (mark all interests impacted) Air Quality Noise Control Human Health Jobs Waste Pedestrian Safety
Multi-modal facility            
Waterfront development            
Pedestrian and bike plan            
New container storage            
Recycling and hazardous waste program            
Channel expansion and deepening            

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Consider an Integrated Approach to Addressing Regulations and Community Goals

Port agencies are subject to a range of federal laws that seek to mitigate environmental and social impacts, including:

Many of these regulations include standards and guidance for addressing common community issues related to air quality and other project-related or operational impacts to the community. These regulations also specify minimum requirements for public input. For each upcoming plan or project, identify which environmental laws apply, and then evaluate which of these align with community priorities. Federal environmental standards can offer a starting place for discussing community goals and targets. The associated regulatory guidance for each law offers best practices, technical resources, funding and other tools that can help guide discussions and evaluate options for setting shared goals and targets. See the Resources section in the Appendix for additional opportunities to integrate community goals with regulatory drivers.

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