Environmental justice is the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, disability, or income, including tribal persons, with respect to both positive and negative environmental and health impacts of a project. 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/or 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.
Effective participatory communication and outreach are vital to adequately engaging low-income and minority persons and communities. Proper engagement with local community groups and grassroots institutions ensures a more equitable outreach process on a newly proposed project. Groundwork USA developed a guide, Best Practices for Meaningful Community Engagement, outlining optimal outreach techniques.
Promising Practices for EJ Methodologies in NEPA Reviews, a report produced by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Committee, compiles best practices for including robust environmental justice consideration into environmental reviews. The report underscores the importance of meaningful engagement efforts, finding these efforts are most effective when initiated early and conducted, as appropriate, throughout each step of the environmental review process. The Promising Practices Report goes on to describe guiding principles and specific steps which can be utilized to assess environmental justice.
The environmental review record should document the following:
Review land use plans, census information and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (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:
View Environmental Justice - Worksheet.
View Environmental Justice - Partner Worksheet.
To report an Environmental Justice civil rights concern, file a complaint with HUD online, or call 1-800-669-9777 or 1-800-877-8339.
Executive Order 12898 – Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations
Executive Order 13985 – Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities
Executive Order 14008 – Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad
Executive Order 13166 – Improving Access to Services for Persons of Limited English Proficiency
Section 109 (Community Development Block Grant recipients only)
Explosive and Flammable Facilities