EPA has released “EJ 2020 Action Agenda,” its action plan for addressing environmental justice (“EJ”) for 2016 through 2020.  The Agenda builds on the foundation established in its last EJ strategic plan, Plan EJ 2014, which laid the groundwork of EJ practices with guidance and tools to integrate EJ in EPA’s programs and policies. The Agenda is framed by three overarching goals with priority areas and examples of key actions for each goal, as well as measures to evaluate progress.
Continue Reading EPA Releases Environmental Justice 2020 Action Agenda

EPA defines “environmental justice” as “the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies.” On June 7, 2016, EPA released its final version of the Technical Guidance for Assessing Environmental Justice in Regulatory Analysis (EJ Technical Guidance). EPA previously released a draft version of this guidance on May 9, 2013.  The new guidance complements EPA’s Guidance on Considering Environmental Justice During the Development of Regulatory Actions, issued in May 2015, which provides direction on when EJ should be considered during the development of a “regulatory action,” and begins to address the issue of how to do so in an analytical fashion. A “regulatory action” is “any substantive action by an agency (normally published in the Federal Register) that promulgates or is expected to lead to the promulgation of a final rule or regulation, including notices of inquiry, advance notices of proposed rulemaking, and notices of proposed rulemaking.”
Continue Reading EPA Releases Final Environmental Justice Technical Guidance

EPA recently released its draft “FY 2014-2018 EPA Strategic Plan” for public review and comment.  The Plan generally outlines the Agency’s regulatory, policy, and enforcement goals for next year through 2018.  As part of the Plan, EPA summarizes its specific priorities for “Enforcing Laws and Assuring Compliance” with environmental requirements (pages 42-45).  EPA notes that it will pursue “vigorous civil and criminal enforcement” that will target “the most serious water, air, and chemical hazards in communities in order to obtain compliance.”
Continue Reading EPA Outlines Enforcement Priorities and Targets for 2014-2018