Emerging Issues

Environmental Justice Plan 2014 — Will it Make A Difference?

by Alexandra Dunn
The Environmental Protection Agency is taking comments through October 1 on its Environmental Justice (EJ) Plan 2014. Designed t o commemorate the 20 year anniversary of the 1994 Clinton Executive Order 12,898 on EJ, the plan will “help EPA integrate environmental justice into its programs.”  I took a look at the plan and found that it: recognizes EPA’s 7/10 Interim Guidance on Incorporating Environmental Justice During the Development of an Action as a big step forward; calls upon EPA to consider environmental justice concerns during the permitting process; emphasizes the Enforcement and Compliance program giving full consideration to environmental justice issues and communities when developing and implementing program strategies; commits to supporting efforts in overburdened minority, low-income, and indigenous communities; anticipates the reconvening of the Interagency Working Group on Environmental Justice (IWG), created by 12,898, this Fall; and calls on various offices to look for ways to use their statutes and scientific tools to promote EJ.

As someone who has worked on EJ issues for a long time, I’m pleased to see progress and attention.  However, I am disappointed there isn’t more anticipted by the draft Plan.  I encourage interested parties to weigh in and encourage the Agency to put some teeth into what could be quite a tiger, but right now is a lap cat.  Comments can be posted at:http://www.epa.gov/environmentaljustice/resources/policy/plan-ej-2014.pdf

1 Comment

  1. On January 4, 2011 council wil vote to permit a gas well within 3,000 feet of the Cowboy Stadium in the low income area within 600 ft of multi-family apartments, gov housing, and an established mobile home park. Over 500 street walked signatures in opposition to this was obtained from the immediate area affected.

    A pricier piece of property at 1111 E Division St away from this area is available for drilling, but council would not discuss the feasibility of that alternative site-even though their ordinance states that they consider that option. My council member, Mel LeBlanc, responded that the alternate site is a $5 million dollar piece of property and would be an eye sore.

    Please ask them to be considerate of not dumping on a low income area-we do not want to be part of Plan EJ2014. It is preventable.

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