Thursday, October 20, 2011

American Public Health Association EJ Session

EJ Session at the Upcoming American Public Health Association Meeting

Session Title: Working Toward Achieving Environmental Justice through Scientific Enterprise, Policy Action, and Community Empowerment

Session Description: The purpose of this session is to share two products of a March 2010 US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Symposium on the science of disproportionate environmental health impacts with the public health community and other environmental justice stakeholders:

1) analytic essays on issues likely to contribute to disproportionate environmental health impacts, now published in the December issue American Journal of Public Health; and

2) an EPA report, "An Update on Ongoing and Future EPA Actions to Empower Communities and Advance the Integration of Environmental Justice in Decision Making and Research", which provides information on EPA's ongoing and proposed actions that address environmental justice issues raised by participants at the Symposium.

At this session, updates will be provided on other related activities within EPA, the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, and the Office of Minority Health within the Department of Health and Human Services, and feature perspectives of community EJ and social justice advocates on the potential impact of EPA's ongoing and planned actions on improving community health and environment.

More information about the March 2010 Symposium.

Date: Tuesday, November 1, 2011Time: 6:30PM - 7:30PMVenue: Room 204A, Walter E Washington Convention Center, Washington DC 20001

Session Co-Chairs

Onyemaechi C. Nweke, DrPH, MPH
Office of Environmental Justice, US EPA

Devon Payne-Sturges, DrPH
National Center for Environmental Research, US EPA


Lisa F. Garcia, JD
Senior Advisor to the EPA Administrator on Environmental Justice
Associate Assistant Administrator, Office of Environmental Justice, US Environmental Protection Agency

John Ruffin,PhD
Director, National Institute for Minority Health and Health Disparities

Garth Graham, MD, MPH, FACP
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Minority Health, Department of Health and Human Services

Hilton Kelley
Founder and CEO, Community In-Power Development Association, Inc., Port Arthur, TX North American Winner, Goldman Environmental Prize (2011)American Public Health Association Damu Smith Environmental Achievement Award (2008)

Bill Gallegos
Executive Director, Communities for a Better Environment, Huntington, CA Member, California Environmental Justice Advisory Committee

For more information, please contact: Onyemaechi Nweke: Phone: 202 566 2314

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

EJ at the U.S. Department of Labor

The US Department of Labor (DOL or Department) has announced a renewed effort to achieve environmental justice (EJ). The Department views environmental justice from a workplace training, health and safety perspective. The Department is developing an environmental justice strategy that is in line with the mission of the Department and Secretary Solis' vision for the future: good jobs for everyone.

The vision of good jobs for everyone includes ensuring that workplaces are safe and healthy; helping workers who are in low-wage jobs or out of the labor market find a path into middle-class jobs; and helping middle-class families remain in the middle-class. The Department's environmental justice strategy focuses on agencies directly involved with worker training (the Employment Training Administration (ETA)), and health and safety issues (the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA).

As DOL takes a fresh look at our EJ policies in order to strengthen the EJ process, they will be looking for ideas and feedback. DOL invites public comment for how they can address environmental justice through programs, policies, regulations or reporting requirements. The site for public comment will be open until November 18th. The Department will then review those comments. A strategy is planned in 2012.

The Department of Labor is committed to environmental justice. President Obama has renewed agencies' environmental justice planning by reinvigorating Executive Order 12898 (EO 12898), which tasked several Federal agencies with making environmental justice part of their mission. The agencies were directed to do so by identifying and addressing, as appropriate, the disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects of their programs, policies, and activities on minority and low-income populations.

In August 2011, agencies listed in EO 12898 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (EJ MOU), which, among other things, commits agencies to develop a final environmental justice strategy. So please join the conversation.

EPA Events This Month in Albuquerque, NM

The Environmental Protection Agency is pleased to announce the following six officially EPA sponsored events for the week of October 24th-27th, 2011 in Albuquerque, NM

The Federal Interagency Working Group (IWG) on Environmental Justice Monday, October 24, 2011 3:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. Mountain Time The Albuquerque Marriott 2101 Louisiana Blvd. NE Salons F-J The Federal Interagency Working Group (IWG) on Environmental Justice will conduct a community dialogue on Monday, October 24, 2011. Information regarding meeting details will be provided at a later date. More information on the Interagency Working Group (IWG) on Environmental Justice.

National Environmental Justice Advisory Council (NEJAC) Meeting Tuesday, October 25 and Wednesday October 26, 2011 The meeting will convene at 9:00 a.m. and reconvene at 8:45 a.m. Mountain Time The Albuquerque Marriott 2101 Louisiana Blvd. NE Salon F-J The next face-to-face meeting of the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council (NEJAC) will be held at the Albuquerque Marriott Hotel, 2101 Louisiana Boulevard, NE, Albuquerque, New Mexico, 87109, on October 25 and 26, 2011.

NEJAC Public Comment Period - The NEJAC meeting will host a public comment period on Tuesday, October 25, 2011, starting at 4:00 p.m. Mountain Time. This session of the NEJAC will provide an opportunity for stakeholders to share their concerns and what they would like the NEJAC to advise EPA to do about the issue. More information on the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council.

EPA Stakeholder Meeting on Uranium Legacy Contamination Issues featuring EPA Assistant Administrator, Mathy StanislausTuesday, October 25, 2011 2:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Mountain Time The Albuquerque Marriott 2101 Louisiana Blvd. NE Carlsbad Room Mathy Stanislaus, Assistant Administrator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response, will hold a stakeholder meeting on legacy contamination issues related to uranium mining.

A White House & EPA Stakeholder Meeting on Small Business, Job Training and Green Jobs featuring EPA Assistant Administrator, Mathy StanislausWednesday, October 26, 2011 10:30 a.m. - Noon Mountain Time The Albuquerque Marriott 2101 Louisiana Blvd. NE Carlsbad Room Mathy Stanislaus, senior official with the Obama Administration, will hold a stakeholder meeting on the environment and jobs. Mr. Stanislaus is the Assistant Administrator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response. This visit is part of the Administration's plan to hear from local stakeholders across the country. Specific topics include, but are not limited to green jobs, small business capacity building, workforce development and job training.

EPA Tribal Consultation Meeting on EPA's Plan EJ 2014Thursday, October 27, 2011 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Mountain Time The Albuquerque Marriott 2101 Louisiana Blvd. NE Salon F-J The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is consulting and coordinating with federally recognized tribes on Plan EJ 2014 and has scheduled an in-person meeting with tribal leaders in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on Thursday, October 27, from 10:00 AM - 12:30 PM, to obtain input on Plan EJ 2014 and the nine Implementation Plans. The targeted audience is tribal government leaders and their designated representatives. More information on EPA's tribal consultation and coordination on Plan EJ 2014.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Environmental Justice at USDOT

The U.S. Department of Transportation is renewing its effort to achieve Environmental Justice (EJ). As DOT takes a fresh look at EJ policies in order to strengthen the EJ process, the will be looking for feedback and ideas from transportation and community stakeholders. From now until the end of the year, DOT invites you to provide your insights, experiences, and ideas for enhancing environmental justice in transportation related activities.

Here is a review of some upcoming opportunities to participate in the conversation:

Log on to the National On-Line Dialogue on Environmental Justice and Transportation. You can join colleagues from across the country in a public conversation about Environmental Justice and Transportation.
Review the revised USDOT Environmental Justice Strategy and submit comments.

Register for the National Webinar to learn more about Environmental justice and share your insights, scheduled for October 20th.

RSVP for the National Public Meeting on Environmental Justice and Transportation, to hear from Senior Leadership at DOT on the Department's EJ work on November 21st at the US Department of Transportation in Washington, DC.

Sign up to participate in targeted sessions conducted by the Federal Transit Administration.

At DOT, EJ concerns and goals should be considered throughout all public engagement efforts, from project planning through construction and operation. This includes public outreach conducted during transportation planning and during the environmental reviews required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The goals of EJ are:

To avoid, minimize, or mitigate disproportionately high and adverse human health and environmental effects, including social and economic effects, on minority populations and low-income populations.

To ensure the full and fair participation by all potentially affected communities in the transportation decisionmaking process.

To prevent the denial of, reduction in, or significant delay in the receipt of benefits by minority and low-income populations.

DOT values the insight and experience of grantees, transportation planners, affected community members, and other stakeholders. We hope you will take part in the upcoming discussions and engagement opportunities on EJ at DOT.

For more information about the aforementioned activities, please contact Rebecca Searl Higgins

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Dept of Commerce Releases Draft EJ Strategy

Department of Commerce Releases Draft Environmental Justice Strategy for Public Comment

The Department of Commerce announces the release of its draft Environmental Justice Strategy

On August 4, 2011, the Department of Commerce and other Federal agencies signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to develop or revise existing environmental justice (EJ) strategies to protect minority and low-income populations from experiencing disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects caused by an agency’s programs, policies, and activities.

In compliance with this commitment, the Department of Commerce is releasing for public comment a draft EJ Strategy, which will completely replace the Department’s original EJ Strategy produced in 1995 in response to Executive Order 12898 section 1-103. Through October 31, 2011, the Department welcomes any comments or feedback on this draft EJ Strategy.

In addition, the Department is soliciting feedback on the following specific topics:
Are there additional Departmental programs, policies, or activities that should be included in the EJ Strategy in addition to those already identified?

What should the Department’s environmental justice goals and objectives be in relation to providing and supporting climate science, services and adaptation?

Department of Commerce Draft Environmental Justice Strategy

NEJAC Sessions Available Via Teleconference

National Environmental Justice Advisory Council (NEJAC) Public Meeting:

Sessions Available via Teleconference Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Registration is Now Open (Advance registration closes October 17)

During the upcoming face-to-face meeting of the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council (NEJAC) on October 25-26, 2011, in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the following two sessions will be available via teleconference. The teleconferences will take place on Tuesday, October 25, for those unable to attend in person:

1) Panel Discussion on U.S.-Mexico Border 2020 (11:00 a.m. to noon Mountain Time)*

2) EPA’s Tribal Program (1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Mountain Time)

There will NOT be a public comment period during these sessions.

Please note that a limited number of lines will be available, and those who are pre-registered will be given priority. Participating individuals will be able to hear “real time” presentations and NEJAC member discussions on the topics specified above.

You can register as follows:

By E-mail with “Register for the NEJAC-October Teleconference” in the subject line. Provide your name, organization, city, state, e-mail address, and telephone number for future follow-up; and specify the session(s) that you will attend.

By Phone or Fax to 877-773-1489 with your name, organization, city, state, e-mail address, and telephone number. Please specify “NEJAC-October Teleconference” and the session(s) that you will attend in your fax or voice message.

Non-English speaking attendees wishing to arrange for a foreign language interpreter may also make appropriate arrangements by calling 877-773-1489.

Members of the public who wish to attend one or both sessions must pre-register by Noon Mountain Time on October 17, 2011.

Information about services for individuals with disabilities: For information about access or services for individuals with disabilities, please contact Ms. Estela Rosas, APEX Direct, Inc., at 877-773-1489 or via email.

Friday, October 7, 2011

CARE Grant Recipients Recognized at White House

The EPA will mark the award of 100 cooperative agreement grants by EPA’s Community Action for a Renewed Environment (CARE) program during a White House event scheduled for the morning of October 18, 2011.

The CARE program enables and assists communities across the country better understand, address, and deal with their environmental problems through local partnerships. Since its launch in 2005, the CARE program has leveraged EPA grant funding dollar-for-dollar with in-kind donations to 87 communities in 40 states and territories with over 1,700 partners engaged.

CARE communities are addressing EPA priorities and goals on climate change, improving air quality, assuring the safety of chemicals, cleaning up their communities, and protecting America’s waters. The CARE program has demonstrated its success in a number of ways from receiving a very positive third party evaluation by the National Academy of Public Administration to modeling the Administrator’s vision of “One EPA” to fulfilling the Agency priority of “Expanding the Conversation on Environmentalism.”

On the morning of October 18, 2011, participants and other invitees will celebrate the CARE Program with a briefing on community partnerships and green jobs followed by a tour of the White House.

HUD Releases Draft EJ Strategy

Department of Housing and Urban Development

Draft Environmental Justice Strategy Released

The Department of Housing and Urban Development is happy to announce the release of its draft Environmental Justice Strategy. This EJ strategy is a four-year plan to address environmental justice concerns and increase access to environmental benefits through HUD policies, programs, and activities. Our Department is committed to meeting the goals of Executive Order 12898, “Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations,” which states that each federal agency, with the law as its guide, should make environmental justice part of its mission.

This release is the latest step in a larger Administration-wide effort to ensure strong protection from environmental and health hazards for all Americans. In August, federal agencies signed the “Memorandum of Understanding on Environmental Justice and Executive Order 12898” (EJ MOU), which committed each agency to, among other things, finalizing an EJ strategy and releasing annual implementation reports.

The draft strategy will be open for public comment for 45 days, or until November 14, 2011. Comments can be submitted by emailing or by attending an Interagency Working Group on Environmental Justice Listening Session. The department will then review those comments and finalize the strategy by February 2012. After the strategy is final, the Department and its federal partners will continue to engage stakeholders through outreach, education and stakeholder events and respond to public comments through annual implementation reports.

Draft Environmental Justice Strategy

Comments may be emailed to:

Links to the other federal EJ Strategies are expected to be posted on the Interagency Working Group webpage at by Friday, October 7th.

For more information about the EJ MOU

EJ IWG Releases Community Resource Guide

Environmental Justice Interagency Working Group (EJ IWG) Releases Community Resource Guide and Interagency Directory

The community resource guide includes programs within agencies that may assist communities in reducing toxic exposures. The program may provide technical assistance, federal funding or a combination of both technical assistance and federal funding. Through this and other efforts, federal agencies are recommitting to improving the health and sustainability of communities across America.

Community-Based Federal Environmental Justice Guide (PDF)

The interagency directory provides basic information about the role of the federal agencies contained in this publication including their organization chart and key contact information for agency program areas.

Environmental Justice Federal Interagency Directory (PDF)

In addition to these resources, a compendium on federal strategies, policies, guidance documents and work plans for implementing the Executive Order 12898 is also available on the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) website at IWG Compendium.

For more information about the EJ IWG visit: