EPA issues key environmental justice rules

On May 29, the EPA issued important and long-awaited final “Guidance on Considering Environmental Justice During the Development of a Regulatory Action.”

The guide, an update to interim guidance published in 2010, “explicitly integrates Environmental Justice considerations into the fabric of the (EPA regulatory process) —from the point when the agency first starts considering a rule, then through its promulgation and implementation.”

Although the intended audience for the guide are EPA decision-makers and rule-writers, it is a valuable resource for anyone involved in environmental justice.

Among the useful information contained in the guide are definitions of populations of concern and disproportionate impact, steps rule-writers should follow to ensure EJ considerations are taken into account, and recommendations for meaningfully engaging with low-income, minority, and tribal communities.

The appendices include a checklist for rule-writers, examples of regulatory actions that directly or indirectly affect EJ concerns, and a bibliography of EJ documents.

For more information, see:

Integrating Environmental Justice Into Our Work, EPA blog post by Cynthia Giles and Jim Jones

EPA documents in the MFN Library collection, Considering Environmental Justice During the Development of a Regulatory Action