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Environmental justice FAQs
Is size of the population important in making an environmental justice determination?
No. It is the magnitude or severity of the impacts that is important. A small number of minority or low-income persons in the plan, project or study area does not eliminate the possibility of a disproportionately high or adverse effect from proposed actions.
Do we have to assess all projects for environmental justice consideration?
Yes. The federal guidance document indicates that environmental justice is an integral part of the planning process. It should be included in all public involvement efforts; in the development of the Transportation Improvement Programs; and should be considered in all environmental documents, including Environmental Impact Statements, Environmental Assessments, and Categorical Exclusions. The Bureau of Environment has tiered the approach to environmental justice analyses.
How do you involve non-traditional groups (e.g., minority, low income persons) in the transportation decision-making process?
Visit FHWA's web site for the processes to follow to engage the public in transportation decision-making.
Must minority or low-income populations be present in order for environmental justice issues to be raised?
No. It is not the size of the populations that initiates environmental justice considerations. Disproportionately high and adverse effects on minority or low-income populations can still be determined in the absence of a defined neighborhood or community.
Monica Wauck, firstname.lastname@example.org
Last modified: December 20, 2013
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