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Environmental Justice

Plan EJ 2014: Considering Environmental Justice in Permitting


EPA has completed its commitments under Plan EJ 2014 to create a foundation for considering environmental justice concerns in the permitting process. The initial phase of the EJ in Permitting Initiative focused on enabling overburdened communities to have full and meaningful access to the permitting process. More recent efforts focus on how to consider and address EJ issues in EPA-issued permits to the greatest extent practicable under existing environmental laws.

In 2015, EPA is beginning to test the draft framework and analytic tools internally, and engage with our regulatory partners and external stakeholders. Our goal is to revise the framework and analytic tools in light of lessons learned and stakeholder input. This two-year process will should be completed in 2017.

Read the implementation plan on permitting (PDF) (20 pp, 805 K, About PDF)

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  • Provided guidance to EPA regions on incorporating enhanced public participation for priority EPA-issued permits. Every region is implementing a Regional Implementation Plan to incorporate enhanced outreach for priority EPA-issued permits in overburdened communities.
  • Provided recommended practices for business and industry on engaging neighboring communities. By adopting promising practices, permit applicants can build trust, promote a better understanding in the community of the facility's environmental impact, and build strong relationships that will lead to better results for both the community and the permit applicant.
  • Frequently asked Questions about EPA Actions and Promising Practices
  • Developed a draft framework and analytic tools to help EPA permit writers and managers decide when and how to conduct an EJ analysis for an EPA-issued permit and what, if any, permit terms or other actions may be appropriate to address EJ concerns. This framework and analytic tools provide information to EPA permitting offices on issues such as:
    • screening for enhanced outreach and EJ analysis
    • conducting enhanced outreach 
    • conducting EJ analysis
    • identifying appropriate permit terms and conditions and other outcomes that may result from the permitting process, such as a good neighbor agreement

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