Environmental Justice (EJ) is “the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, sex, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation and enforcement of federal laws, regulations, and policies. In the words of Bunyan Bryant, “Environmental justice is served when people can realize their highest potential.”
The EJ Executive Order signed by President William Jefferson Clinton in 1994, supplements the existing requirements of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act. Each Federal agency is required to ensure that no person on grounds of race, color, or national origin is excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of, or in any other way subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal assistance. Accordingly, Title VI prohibits recipients of Federal funds from actions that reflect “intentional discrimination” or that exhibit “adverse disparate impact discrimination” on the basis of race, ethnicity or national origin. Supplemental legislation provides these same protections from discrimination based on sex, age, disability or religion.
Environmental Justice is more than a set of legal and regulatory obligations. Properly implemented, environmental justice principles and procedures improve all levels of transportation decision making. This approach will:
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