ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE: IMPLICATIONS FOR THE BALTIMORE RED LINE TRANSIT PROJECT

Presented by: Tracee Strum-Gilliam, AICP National Environmental Justice Conference March 27, 2014 Washington, DC

Traceé Strum-Gilliam, AICP
National Environmental Justice Practice Lead
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Parsons Brinckerhoff 18 Years Experience
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LA Congestion Pricing Plan Corridor Cities Transitway Baltimore Red Line Transit Study I-270 / US 15 Multi-Modal Corridor Study

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NEPA Practitioner Environmental Justice Analysis and Outreach Specialist Member TRB Committee on Environmental Justice Member TRB Sub-Committee on Community Impact Assessment

Environmental Justice Service Offerings
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EJ methodology development EJ population identification and impact analysis Benefits and Burden Analysis Strategic Outreach Services and Public Involvement Program Development Title VI compliance review and documentation Grassroots Outreach and Facilitation Peer Reviews and QA/QC Training Policy Review

What is Environmental Justice?
Environmental Justice is “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. Fair treatment means that no group of people, including racial, ethnic, or socio-economic groups, should bear a disproportionate share of the negative environmental consequences resulting from industrial, municipal, and commercial operations or the execution of federal, state, local, and tribal programs and policies.” (USEPA)

Source: Final Guidance for Incorporating Environmental Justice Concerns in EPA’s NEPA Compliance Analyses (EPA, 1998a)

Executive Order 12898
Issued by President Clinton on February 11, 1994 – Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority and Low-Income Populations (EO 12898) directs federal agencies to: “Promote nondiscrimination in Federal programs substantially affecting human health and the environment, and provide minority and low-income communities access to public information on, and an opportunity for public participation in, matters relating to human health or the environment.” Agencies use existing law to ensure that when they act:
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They do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, or national origin They identify and address disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects of their actions on minority and lowincome communities They provide opportunities for community input in the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process (potential effects and mitigation)

EJ and Projects/Policies
The fundamental principles of environmental justice in the context of infrastructure projects are defined as:

Avoiding, minimizing, or mitigating disproportionately high and adverse human health and environmental effects, including social and economic effects, on minority populations and low-income populations; Ensuring full and fair participation by all potentially affected communities in the decision-making process; and

Preventing the denial of, reduction in or significant delay in the receipt of benefits by minority and low-income populations.

EJ Populations Definitions

Low-Income – a person whose household income is at or below the Department of Health and Human Services poverty guidelines. Minority – a person who is Black, Hispanic, Asian American, American Indian, or Alaskan Native Low-Income Population – any readily identifiable group of low-income persons who live in geographic proximity Minority Population – any readily identifiable group of minority persons who live in geographic proximity

Renewed Focus

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MOU on Environmental Justice signed by all lead Federal agencies on August 4, 2011 Department of Transportation Updated Environmental Justice Order 5610.2(a) May 2012 “Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and LowIncome Populations” FTA Title VI Circular 4702.1B and EJ Circular 4703.1 EPA’s Plan EJ 2014 and its supplement Advancing Environmental Justice Through Title VI of the Civil Rights Act

As Applied to Transit Projects
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Develop EJ methodology and review available EJ plans for agency EJ population identification (Census 2010 data and ACS estimates) by County and by Tract, Block Group or Block for areas as appropriate Don’t forget transit dependent populations, elderly, children, service zones, minority transit routes and Limited English Proficient (LEP) populations Prepare Socio-Economic Descriptions of the corridor service areas and general service areas-information should be readily available Complete a high level EJ impact analysis and disproportionate impact determination for potential affects-routes, pricing in addition to “par for the course” areas Analyze Outreach and Public Involvement Program Integration to date for the project and major agency programs

Synthesize data and results into a written report

Title VI Nuances
Under Title VI, each Federal agency is required to ensure that no person, on the ground of race, color, or national origin, is excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of, or subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.  Title VI Reporting (monthly, quarterly etc.)  Title VI Claims (Investigation of complaints)  Allocation of funds for projects and agencies as a whole  Project Prioritization  Fare Increases/Service Changes (equity analysis)

Title VI Nuances
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Public Participation Plan (entire agency not just a project) LEP Plan Does not apply to UDOT

Public Outreach and Engagement
People are to be informed of federal actions and the potential environmental impacts, and are to be given the opportunity to influence federal agency decisions. Environmental justice places an additional requirement in the NEPA to go above and beyond the typical public processes to encourage the involvement of low income and minority communities, including Indian tribes, in these processes.
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Tools review database list Contact groups and inquire as to participation and awareness Geo-code location of meetings and events to the location of EJ populations Analyze outreach strategies used

Recipe For Successful Outreach
Provides Opportunity for Two-Way Communication  Embraced by the Community  Visually Engaging  Credible and Fair  Financially Feasible  On Schedule

Stakeholder Identification Ensures The Inclusion Of All Affected Parties

Agency and Elected Officials
Local/State Agencies  Federal Agencies  Commissioner, State Representatives, Mayors

Businesses
Ethnic Chambers of Commerce  Institutions of Higher Learning, Medical Facilities

Neighborhood Groups
HOA’s  Community & Civic Organizations and Advocacy Groups  LEP Populations  Pro-transit and sustainability organizations

Focused Outreach Facilitates Consensus

Agency/Elected Officials
Bus Tours/Walking Tours  Briefings/Briefing Packages  Working Groups (if needed)

Businesses
Small Group Meetings  Surveys

Local Residents
Small Group Meetings  Surveys/Interviews  Information Stations  School Age Education Programs  Outreach to Religious Centers/Social Service Organizations  Outreach to Senior Centers and Care Providers

Baltimore Red Line A “Grassroots” Outreach Approach

Grassroots Outreach Strategies
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Walking Tours Door-to-Door Outreach Transit Center Outreach Transit Card Stations and Offices Programs for Seniors and LEP Populations

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Press Kits/Newsletters

Material Development
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Pens, Shirts, Sticker, Bags Branding

The Red Line Corridor Transit Study Engaged Minority & Low-Income Neighborhoods
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Impacted Several Minority and Lowincome Neighborhoods Opposition was at a boiling point Strategic Recommendations included:
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“Walk Through” Visualization Simulations Small Group Meeting (Perceived Impacts vs. Actual Concerns)

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Locally Preferred Alternative was Selected in August 2009 Preferred Alternative Assessed in 2012 FEIS Community Compact Community Liaisons and Advisory Committees Competing for Federal Funding with Full Support from Community and Elected Officials

The Red Line Corridor Transit Study Engaged Minority & Low-Income Neighborhoods

Methodology Developed centered around ½ mile buffer area, use of Census 2010 data, baseline CEQ methodology note: FTA circular does not adopt CEQ methodology
Analysis of impacts by subject area Field review and documentation Strategic Public Involvement Plan (submitted for FTA) Legal analysis FTA review process Lessons Learned

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Sources
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Executive Order 12898 (Clinton, 1994a) PBS NEPA Desk Guide (EPA, 1999) · Interim Guidance for Investigating Title VI Administrative Complaints Final Guidance for Incorporating Environmental Justice Concerns in EPA’s NEPA Compliance Analyses (EPA, 1998a) The Model Plan for Public Participation (National Environmental Justice Advisory Council, 2000) Environmental Justice, Guidance Under the National Environmental Policy Act (Council on Environmental Quality, 1997) FTA website www.fta.dot.gov EPA website www.epa.gov/environmentaljustice/

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