Saturday, April 9, 2011

Seeking Input for EPA EJ Permitting Initiative

By Friday April 29, 2011

In the summer of 2010, EPA launched Plan EJ 2014 - a roadmap that will help EPA better integrate environmental justice into the Agency’s programs, policies, and activities. Plan EJ 2014 consists of various efforts across the Agency focused on advancing environmental justice. One such effort is the EJ Permitting Initiative, co-lead by EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation, Office of General Counsel and Region 1. Through the EJ Permitting Initiative, EPA wants disproportionately burdened communities to have full and meaningful access to the permitting process, and EPA wants permits issued under EPA’s authorities to address environmental justice issues to the greatest extent practicable. EPA has posted their draft implementation plan on their website, and are currently soliciting comments on the plan by Friday, April 29, 2011.

As part of the EJ Permitting Initiative, EPA is assembling and, in some cases, creating tools and recommendations to better integrate environmental justice into the permitting process and the permits themselves. EPA is examining templates, guidance, best practices, policy decisions, training modules, case studies, websites and other resources, as well as tools and recommendations "outside" the traditional permitting process that help to achieve real benefits for disproportionately burdened communities. EPA recognizes that other federal agencies, states, local agencies and tribal governments, as well as community organizations, non-profits, industry, trade associations and experts have first-hand experience and knowledge in this arena and EPA would like your input.

While EPA welcomes your ideas throughout their process, they would like your advice in these three specific areas as soon as possible; and therefore ask that you provide your comments via their website by Friday, April 29, 2011: They have compiled an initial draft list of potential ideas (see Attachment A of the draft plan) and would like your comments on this list and suggestions for additions. EPA seeks information on existing tools and best practices from other government agencies that can serve as a model for EPA's efforts.

Lastly, EPA seeks examples of past permits/permit processes that examined issues relating to environmental justice, identified the need for new tools/protocols, used existing practices successfully, and/or offer other lessons learned for their effort moving forward.

Contact Michelle Roos if you have any questions.

To view the draft plan

To comment on the draft plan

No comments: