INCORPORATING ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE INTO THE NATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY ACT PROCESS

“Civil Rights the Past 50 Years—
Now Climate Change/Climate
Justice”
K I M L A M B E RT , U . S . F I S H A N D W I L D L I F E S E RV I C E
T H U R S D AY , M A RC H 1 2 , 2 0 1 5

WHY CARE?
Executive Order (EO) 12898 requires Federal agencies
to:
• Consider disproportionately high and adverse
environmental effects on minority and low-income
populations.
• Minority and low-income populations be given
access to information and opportunities to provide
input to decision-making on Federal actions; and,
• Federal practitioners and contractors struggle with
identifying and assessing EJ impacts under NEPA.

CLIMATE CHANGE/CLIMATE
JUSTICE
Human activities have led to declining conditions on
the planet in profound ways. Climate change is a
fundamental environmental issue and it falls squarely
within NEPA / EJ focus. The NEPA review process is a
valuable tool for public engagement.
NEPA guidance (draft) community benefits:
• Better outcomes includes meaningful public
engagement
• Transparency, accountability and informed
government decision-making
• Consideration for reasonable alternatives that may

WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO
ABOUT IT?
• There is no cookbook answer but start with the
scoping process. Scoping is the process used to
determine the contents of an Environmental Impact
Statement (EIS).
• Scoping begins before any analysis of impacts is
done, and it continues until the EIS is finished.
• Public participation is an integral part of scoping.

RISING UP TO THE CHALLENGES
• The Earth Conservation Corps located in
Washington, DC, is powered by unemployed
community youth in the Anacostia River devoting
thousands of hours to restoration and climate
change projects against all odds
http://www.earthconservatoncorpsorg/.
• The Urban Waters Federal Partnership reconnects
urban communities that are overburdened or
economically distressed by restoring urban waters
and revitalized communities www.urbanwaters.gov.

RISING UP TO THE CHALLENGES
(cont)
• 16 U.S. communities recognized as Climate Action
Champions serves as models for others
www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/ceq/about.
/
• The FWS is undertaking efforts to incorporate EJ
considerations into rulemaking and other
administrative processes. July 2014, a draft manual
chapter on “Incorporating EJ Principles into
NEPA/Checklist” was developed to ensure
compliance with EO 12898.

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