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Authorities and Executive Orders

Authorities and Executive Orders

Environmental Justice Authorities and Executive Orders

Executive Order 12898:  Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations (February 11, 1994)

EO 12898 focuses federal attention on the environmental and human health conditions in minority and low-income communities with the goal of achieving environmental justice. It underscores public participation, stating, “Each federal agency shall provide opportunities for community input in the NEPA process, including identifying potential effects and mitigation measures in consultation with affected communities and improving the accessibility of meetings, crucial documents and notices.”

National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969

NEPA grants the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) overall coordination responsibilities for federal agency involvement in environmental justice.

Executive Order 13166: Improving Access to Services for Persons with Limited English Proficiency

EO 13166 requires federal agencies to examine the services they provide, identify any need for services to those with limited English proficiency (LEP), and develop and implement a system to provide those services so LEP persons can have meaningful access to them.

USDA Departmental Regulation (DR 5600-002, Environmental Justice

Provides detailed procedures for NEPA and non-NEPA activities and suggests social and economic effects to consider when assessing whether disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects to environmental justice communities can occur in a project area.

This requirement also impacts how NRCS implements its National Environmental Policy Act responsibilities and its Cultural Resources duties.

Public Participation is an important tool in implementing environmental justice. Public Participation provides a framework for residents of affected communities to comment on the impacts of agency action on their health and communities.

Outreach efforts are another component of environmental justice. NRCS uses its Outreach efforts to ensure all populations have access to tis programs and services nationwide.