Environmental Justice


Environmental justice means ensuring that the environment and human health are protected fairly for all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income. Executive Order 12898, "Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-income Populations" (2/94) requires certain federal agencies, including HUD, to consider how federally assisted projects may have disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects on minority and low-income populations.

Environmental justice is an integral part of HUD's mission. The Department works with multiple stakeholders and other federal agencies in its efforts to assure environmental justice concerns are addressed.

HUD Guidance

Does the project create adverse environmental impacts?

If so, are these adverse environmental impacts disproportionately high for low-income and/or minority communities?

Can the adverse impacts be mitigated? Engage the affected community in meaningful participation about mitigating the impacts or move the project to another community. 

Compliance and Documentation

Review land use plans, census information and the U.S. EPA Environmental Justice webpage (EJ View). Consider local government sources such as the health department or school district that may be more current or focused on the neighborhood as their unit of analysis.

The environmental review record should contain one of the following:

  • Evidence that the site or surrounding neighborhood does not suffer from adverse environmental conditions and evidence that the proposed action will not create an adverse and disproportionate environmental impact or aggravate an existing impact. (Describe how the proposed action will not have a disproportionate adverse impact on minority or low-income populations.)
  • Evidence that the project is not in an environmental justice community of concern (demographics, income, etc.) or evidence that the project does not disproportionately affect a low-income or minority population
  • If there are adverse effects on low-income or minority populations, documentation that that the affected community residents have been meaningfully informed and involved in a participatory planning process to address (remove, minimize, or mitigate) the adverse effect from the project and the resulting changes

View Environmental Justice - Worksheet.

View Environmental Justice - Partner Worksheet.