Environmental Justice Analysis
Executive Order 12898, commonly referred to as 'Environmental Justice' is a follow-up Order to Title VI, which was part of the Civil Rights Act, passed in 1964. Title VI stated that each federal agency or agency receiving federal dollars, is required to ensure that no person is excluded from participation in, denied the benefit of, or subject to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, sex, disability or religion. Environmental Justice, took this mandate a step further by including 'low-income' and 'minority' populations to avoid 'disproportionately high and adverse effects of the planning and outreach efforts by Federal agencies and agencies receiving federal monies.
To comply with this Executive Order, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) issued a memorandum, 'Implementing Title VI Requirements in Metropolitan and Statewide Planning' on October 7, 1999. The memorandum provides clarification for field offices on how to ensure that environmental justice is considered during current and future certification reviews of MPOs such as StanCOG. While Title VI and EJ issues have often been raised during the project development process, it is important to recognize that the law also applies equally to the process and products of planning.
Periodically, StanCOG prepares Environmental Justice Analyses, which first identify low-income and minority populations in the County and then try to measure the transportation-related benefits and burdens these populations experience, compared to the countywide average, based on the projects identified in our planning documents. The information derived from these analyses is then incorporated into the planning documents that StanCOG produces, for example, the Regional Transportation Plan.