Wednesday, January 30, 2013

EPA Policy Documents on Title VI

Two Draft EPA Policy Documents on Title VI Out for Public Comment

EPA has made improving its civil rights program a priority and recognizes that its enforcement of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VI) is an important tool in its efforts to protect against discrimination and ensure that recipients of EPA financial assistance do not discriminate in implementing programs and activities.

As part of this effort, EPA has posted two draft policy papers for review and comment. The first draft policy paper proposes to change the way EPA assesses "adversity" by having the Agency refrain from applying a "rebuttable presumption" in certain Title VI investigations. The second draft paper discusses EPA's thinking on how to expand the roles of complainants and recipients in the Title VI complaints process.

EPA also adopted a Title VI Term and Condition that will be included in domestic grant awards made on or after January 23, 2013.

The two draft policy papers and the new grants language are on OCR's website at EPA will take comments on the two draft policy papers until March 8, 2013.

For further information or questions please contact:
Helena Wooden-Aguilar
External Civil Rights - Assistant Director
US EPA - Office of Civil Rights

NEJAC Seeks Nominations For New Members

Seeking Nominations for Members to EPA's National Environmental Justice Advisory Council (NEJAC)

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) invites nominations from a diverse range of qualified candidates to be considered for appointment to its National Environmental Justice Advisory Council (NEJAC). The NEJAC is a multi-stakeholder federal advisory committee that provides independent advice and recommendations to the EPA Administrator about cross-cutting issues related to environmental justice.

This notice solicits nominations to fill at least six (6) new vacancies. To maintain the representation outlined by the charter, nominees will be selected to represent the following stakeholder work force sectors:

  • Academia (2 vacancies)
  • Grassroots Community-based organizations (1 vacancy)
  • Non-governmental/environmental organizations (1 vacancy)
  • State and local government agencies (1 vacancy)
  • Tribal governments and indigenous groups (1 vacancy)
Within these sectors, EPA is seeking nominees with knowledge and experience in community-driven initiatives, climate change adaptation, land use and equitable development, environmental sociology and statistical/data analysis, and environmental financing. In an effort to obtain nominations of diverse candidates, the agency encourages nominations of women and men of all racial and ethnic groups. All nominations will be fully considered.

Any interested person or organization may nominate qualified persons to be considered for appointment to this advisory committee. Individuals may self-nominate. Nominees should possess the following qualifications:
  • Strong understand of the issues facing communities with environmental justice concerns
  • Demonstrated experience with environmental justice and community sustainability issues at the national, state, or local level;
  • Excellent interpersonal and consensus-building skills
  • Willingness to commit time to the committee and demonstrated ability to work constructively and effectively on committees
  • Excellent interpersonal, oral and written communication, and consensus-building skills
  • Ability to serve a 3-year appointment and to volunteer approximately 5 to 8 hours per month to support the Council's activities
How to Submit Nominations: Nominations can be submitted in electronic format (preferred) following the template available at . In order to fill anticipated vacancies by June 2013, nominations should be received by February 20, 2012.

Additional details regarding the nomination process and to learn more about NEJAC.

To be considered, all nomination packages should include:
  • Current contact information for the nominee, including the nominee's name, organization (and position within that organization), current business address, e-mail address, and daytime telephone number.
  • Brief Statement describing the nominee's interest in serving on the NEJAC
  • Resume and a short biography (no more than 2 paragraphs) describing the professional and educational qualifications of the nominee, including a list of relevant activities, and any current or previous service on advisory committees
  • Letter[s] of recommendation from a third party supporting the nomination. The letter(s) should describe how the nominee's experience and knowledge would bring value to the work of the NEJAC.
For further questions regarding this notice, please contact the EPA Office of Environmental Justice at (202) 564-2515.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

EPA Solicits Comments: National Enforcement Initiatives

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is soliciting public comment and recommendations on National Enforcement Initiatives to be undertaken in fiscal years (FY) 2014-2016. EPA is inviting interested Environmental Justice (EJ) stakeholders to comment on extending the current six national enforcement initiatives (See Background) for the FY 2014-2016 cycle. EJ stakeholders are also invited to propose new sectors or other important strategic areas for consideration.

A conference call is scheduled for January 28, 2013, 2:30 - 3:30 pm (EST). If you would like to participate, the dial-in number is: 1-866-299-3188; Conf. ID: 0872138#. If you have questions about the call, please contact: Michele McKeever in EPA's Office of Compliance, at 202-564-3688.
In preparing comments, please keep in mind that EPA will select a limited number of National Enforcement Initiatives (NEIs) for the FY 2014-2016 time period. Please note that EPA selects National Enforcement Initiatives taking into account Agency resource constraints and funding levels as well as criteria such as environmental impact, significant noncompliance, and appropriate federal role.


EPA protects people's health and safeguards communities by assuring compliance with the nation's environmental laws and by taking enforcement action when laws are violated. Every three years, EPA reviews the national enforcement initiatives to ensure that the Agency's civil and criminal enforcement resources and expertise are focused on the most serious pollution problems affecting communities. For the FY 2011-2013 time period, EPA's Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance (OECA) has six National Enforcement Initiatives. These initiatives are:
  • Municipal Infrastructure - addressing sewage discharges from combined sewer systems, sanitary sewer systems, and municipal separate storm sewer systems;
  • Mineral Processing - addressing hazardous waste at phosphoric acid facilities and high risk mineral processing sites;
  • New Source Review - controlling emissions from coal fired utility sector, cement plants, glass plants, and acid production plants;
  • Air Toxics - addressing toxic emissions from high risk facilities by examining leak detection and repair (LDAR), flares, and excess emission sources;
  • Energy Extraction - addressing land-based natural gas extraction facilities, including corporate-wide evaluations; and
  • Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations - addressing animal waste discharges from large animal feeding facilities.
For more information on the current initiatives, full descriptions can be found on the EPA website.
For the FY 2014-2016 time period, EPA is considering retaining the current National Enforcement Initiatives. However, if a compelling non-compliance problem were identified that was of similar significance to the existing NEIs, then EPA could focus a national initiative on another sector or strategic area. As EPA begins to identify FY 2014-2016 National Enforcement Initiatives, the Agency is inviting input and information on three issues:
  • whether to extend the current six National Enforcement Initiatives for the 2014-2016 cycle;
  • whether new sectors or strategic areas are appropriate for consideration; and
  • whether current or new significant environmental problems in Indian country or affecting Indian country exist that are appropriate for consideration.
EPA will incorporate the selected National Enforcement Initiatives into the Final FY 2014 National Program Manager (NPM) Guidance. The Guidance is scheduled to be finalized in late April 2013. (EPA)

Information on the NPM Guidance.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Gulf of Mexico Environmental Justice Conference

To expand the conversation on environmentalism and working for environmental justice, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Gulf of Mexico Program will be hosting a Gulf of Mexico Environmental Justice Conference.

The conference will be held in Biloxi, MS, March 1-2, 2013, at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum and Convention Center.

The theme of the conference is: Environmental Justice: Systems, Symptoms, and Solutions.

Its purpose is to provide a forum for representatives from varying sectors to engage in dialogue and action regarding injustices plaguing vulnerable and underserved communities. To obtain additional information regarding the conference, please visit the EPA website and click on Register for the Gulf of Mexico Environmental Justice Conference.

Gulf of Mexico Environmental Justice Poster Presentation Submission

Anyone involved in the field of Environmental Justice, including community leaders, students, researchers, business/industry professionals, government agency employees, healthcare professionals, K-12 educators, and other interested parties are strongly encouraged to submit posters for presentation. Organized, well-delivered presentations covering a variety of EJ Gulf topics of practical value to attendees' are desired. Reviewers look for clear descriptions of how these projects are helping people of the Gulf, especially EJ communities. Projects can range from restoration projects in at-risk communities to student led projects that are raising awareness about coastal issues affecting EJ communities. The poster submission entry form.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Connecticut College EJ Conference In April

April 19 - 20, 2013
The Quest for Global Environmental Justice in an Increasingly Inequitable World
Join the Goodwin-Niering Center for the Environment at Connecticut College for our 2013
Elizabeth Babbott Conant & Christian A. Johnson Endeavor Foundation Conference.
For more information, please email them