EPA Seeks Comment on Their Environmental Justice Action Development Process Guide - Close of Public Comment Period April 8, 2011

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Thu, 03/03/2011 - 20:07.

Environmental Justice - It ain't a RACE thing - it's an INJUSTICE thing

As thoroughly documented on realNEO, over a course of many years - and now being thoroughly addressed by the EPA through their courses of action - Cleveland has environmental justice problems to solve.

Right now - through April 8, 2011 - the EPA is asking for your help determining how they carry out that responsibility, as they want public comment on THEIR Guide to Providing Environmental Justice for YOU.

As quoted from the EPA's Interim Guidance on Considering Environmental Justice During the Development of an Action, introduced and linked below: "Environmental justice (EJ) is central to the Agency’s mission and is the responsibility of everyone at EPA".

I can confirm the strong EPA commitment to EJ, as I attended the First White House Environmental Justice Forum as media, and as an environmental injustice victim of Cleveland, Ohio, which is a lead poisoning and air pollution toxic hot-spot of America.

In my coverage of that, I reported:

As such, I can say first-hand this was an historic development for environmentalism in America, and thus worldwide, as a Federal shift of focus toward insuring minimum levels of environmental justice in America, including addressing climate gaps, shall help those most harmed by pollution, as we improve national and global environmental understanding, response and conditions for all... as we prepare for environmental catastrophes to come.

To succeed with that, Clevelanders, Americans and the world need to learn more about the EPA's expanding concerns about environmental justice and the Climate Gap...!

Pollution From Arcalor Mittal Cleveland Works Steel Mill Killing People of North East Ohio in 2010

For the next month, Americans have an opportunity to do that, as the EPA has just notified their EJ listserve they are seeking final comment on their guide on incorporating environmental justice into the Agency's process for developing rules and regulations - they want feedback from citizens on how they develop and carry out their EJ policies - Their Guide to Environmental Justice for YOU.

In July 2010, EPA released an interim guide on incorporating environmental justice into the Agency's process for developing rules and regulations. The Interim Guidance on Considering Environmental Justice During the Development of an Action is a step-by-step guide that helps EPA staff ask questions and evaluate environmental justice considerations at key points in the rulemaking process. It helps EPA staff determine whether actions raise possible environmental justice concerns and encourages public participation in the rulemaking process.

Since releasing the guide, EPA is looking for feedback and input on how to best implement and improve the guide and on ways EPA can further advance efforts toward environmental justice. The public comment period for this guide will close on April 8, 2011. Submit your comment by going to this link: http://www.epa.gov/environmentaljustice/resources/policy/e j-rulemaking.html.

Citizens should demand our leadership of Cleveland read this guide - citizens should read it as well - this should be required reading for "Teaching Cleveland", until we no longer have environmental injustice here.

I think most citizens and community leaders would be shocked to read this guide and realize how significant are our local environmental injustices here in Cleveland, by Federal EPA standards, and to recognize how little our local government has been doing to protect citizens from injustice - how they have failed to act upon the intent and guidance of the EPA... from state and local EPA leadership and environmental protection organizations to academics - down through regional governmental authority at NOACA... down through the county governments... down through the Mayors and their staff... down through the city councils... down through the Community Development Corporations... down through the Foundations... universities... churches... block clubs... environmental organizations... Hells Angels... 4H!

Where has been the preaching for environmental justice in Northeast Ohio, as the EPA expects that from us here!

And not just in Cleveland, but in every community where people's rights to environmental justice are a concern.

First White House Environmental Justice Forum - South Court Auditorium of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building
  First White House Environmental Justice Forum - South Court Auditorium of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building

The guide explains enforcement of some of the most fundamental and important rights of American citizens... to me, as important as the United States Constitution:

EPA defines “environmental justice” as the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies.

Fair Treatment means that no group of people should bear a disproportionate burden of environmental harms and risks, including those resulting from the negative environmental consequences of industrial, governmental, and commercial operations or programs and policies.

Meaningful Involvement means that: 1) potentially affected community members have an appropriate opportunity to participate in decisions about a proposed activity that will affect their environment and/or health; 2) the public’s contribution can influence the regulatory agency’s decision; 3) the concerns of all participants involved will be considered in the decision-making process; and 4) the decision-makers seek out and facilitate the involvement of those potentially affected.

In EPA’s implementation of its EJ program, the Agency has expanded the concept of fair treatment to include not only the consideration of how burdens are distributed across all populations, but also how benefits are distributed. Thus, in the ADP, you should not only evaluate the distribution of burdens by paying special attention to populations that have historically borne a disproportionate share of environmental harms and risk, but you are also encouraged to look at the distribution of the positive environmental and health consequences from our activities.

That is from Part 1: Key Concepts for Understanding Whether Your Action Involves An Environmental Justice Concern - A. What is Environmental Justice? - from the EPA's Interim Guidance on Considering Environmental Justice During the Development of an Action,linked below.

Be on notice the EPA is concerned about these rights of citizens and provides this important information in a timely manner for your feedback - it is up to citizens to become informed on these matters, demand their leadership become informed as well, and engage with the EPA at the EJ level to bring environmental justice to this community - they can lead a horse to fresh, clean water....

03/03/2011 - 4:05 PM Environmental Justice Mailing List

EPA's EJ Action Development Process Guide Close of Public Comment Period April 8, 2011

In July 2010, EPA released an interim guide on incorporating environmental justice into the Agency's process for developing rules and regulations. The Interim Guidance on Considering Environmental Justice During the Development of an Action is a step-by-step guide that helps EPA staff ask questions and evaluate environmental justice considerations at key points in the rulemaking process. It helps EPA staff determine whether actions raise possible environmental justice concerns and encourages public participation in the rulemaking process.

Since releasing the guide, EPA is looking for feedback and input on how to best implement and improve the guide and on ways EPA can further advance efforts toward environmental justice. The public comment period for this guide will close on April 8, 2011. Submit your comment by going to this link: http://www.epa.gov/environmentaljustice/resources/policy/e j-rulemaking.html.

If you are not already a member, the Office of Environmental Justice would like to invite you to join the EJ ListServ. The purpose of this information tool is to notify individuals about activities at EPA in the field of environmental justice. By subscribing to this list you will receive information on EPA's activities, programs, projects grants and about environmental justice activities at other agencies. Noteworthy news items, National meeting announcements, meeting summaries of NEJAC meetings, and new publication notices will also be distributed. Postings can only be made by the Office of Environmental Justice. To request an item to be posted, send your information to environmental-justice [at] epa [dot] gov?subject=Post+to+EPA-EJ+ListServ and indicate in the subject “Post to EPA-EJ ListServ”

To join the listserv go to: https://lists.epa.gov/read/all_forums/subscribe?name=epa-ej

Part 1: Key Concepts for Understanding Whether Your Action Involves An Environmental Justice Concern

A.  What is Environmental Justice?

Environmental justice (EJ) is central to the Agency’s mission and is the responsibility of everyone at EPA. In particular, those who are involved in the development of an action need to understand the principles of EJ and how they relate to the development of an Agency action.

EPA defines “environmental justice” as the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies.

Fair Treatment means that no group of people should bear a disproportionate burden of environmental harms and risks, including those resulting from the negative environmental consequences of industrial, governmental, and commercial operations or programs and policies.

Meaningful Involvement means that: 1) potentially affected community members have an appropriate opportunity to participate in decisions about a proposed activity that will affect their environment and/or health; 2) the public’s contribution can influence the regulatory agency’s decision; 3) the concerns of all participants involved will be considered in the decision-making process; and 4) the decision-makers seek out and facilitate the involvement of those potentially affected.

In EPA’s implementation of its EJ program, the Agency has expanded the concept of fair treatment to include not only the consideration of how burdens are distributed across all populations, but also how benefits are distributed. Thus, in the ADP, you should not only evaluate the distribution of burdens by paying special attention to populations that have historically borne a disproportionate share of environmental harms and risk, but you are also encouraged to look at the distribution of the positive environmental and health consequences from our activities.

EPA’s definition of EJ can be found at http://www.epa.gov/environmentaljustice/basics/index.html.

EPA’s definition of EJ was informed by E.O. 12898, which is discussed in full detail in Part 1, Section B of this Guide. Background information on EPA’s EJ program can also be found on this website.

To help achieve EPA’s goal for EJ (i.e., the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people), EPA places particular emphasis on the public health of and environmental conditions affecting minority, low-income, and indigenous populations. In recognizing that these populations frequently bear a disproportionate burden of environmental harms and risks, EPA works to protect them from adverse public health and environmental effects of its programs. EPA should pay particular attention to the vulnerabilities of these populations because they have historically been exposed to a combination of physical, chemical, biological, social, and cultural factors that have imposed greater environmental burdens on them than those imposed on the general population. Thus, our focus in this Guide is on minority, low-income, and indigenous populations who are or may be disproportionately impacted by environmental pollution.
 

 

AttachmentSize
ShakerNatureCenterPanHeader.jpg43.33 KB

The Environmental Justice Small Grants Program (EJSG)

The Environmental Justice Small Grants Program (EJSG) has a $1.2 million funding application cycle CLOSING March 31, 2011 - see details at EPA Seeks Applicants for $1.2 Million in Environmental Justice Grants - Must Acknowledge Environmental Injustice to Apply:

From the EPA:

Environmental Justice Mailing List

EPA Seeks Applicants for $1.2 Million in Environmental Justice Grants to Address Local Health and Environmental Issues

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is accepting grant applications for $1.2 million in funding to support projects designed to research, educate, empower and enable communities to understand and address local health and environmental issues. Eligible applicants from non-profit, faith-based and tribal organizations working in the community of the proposed project are encouraged to apply.

Environmental Justice Small Grants funding is available for two categories of projects:

  • 40 grants of up to $25,000 each to support projects that address a community’s local environmental issues through collaborative partnerships, and;
  • 4 grants of up to $50,000 each to gather better science on the environmental and health impacts of exposure to multiple sources of pollution in communities.

Environmental justice means the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people, regardless of race or income, in the environmental decision-making process. Environmental justice issues often involve multiple sources of contamination, like pollution from several industrial facilities within one neighborhood, environmental hazards at the workplace or home, or contamination resulting from the consumption of fish or other subsistence food.

Environmental contamination can lead to costly health risks and can discourage investments and development in low-income, minority, and indigenous communities disproportionately impacted by pollution. Understanding the impacts of multiple environmental risks can help communities develop more effective solutions to their environmental and health concerns.

More information on eligibility and how to apply: http://www.epa.gov/environmentaljustice/resources/publications/grants/ej-smgrants-rfp-2011.pdf

More information on the Environmental Justice Small Grant program: http://www.epa.gov/environmentaljustice/grants/ej-smgrants.html

 

Disrupt IT

Start in Kindergartens and at Open Houses with the Schools....

Make it a required training program to pass grades.... add 30 minutes to the CMSD school day and transform our City and Community at large by educating parents...but $25k is not even enough to print the paper for the citizens of Cleveland regarding that pamphlet; let alone paying instructors to teach our families about this stuff...

Make a 30 Minute video and require all recipients of public resources to watch it and be tested on it or not receive their benefits.

Make all public servants watch it and be tested on it before they can get their paychecks.

It's not really that hard to do....countless Not For Profit agencies need something for their lines of folks to do while they wait for help....

It just takes the courage of the administrators to add these items to their checklists of REQUIREMENTS...

Whatever happened to the exercise sessions at City Hall after Campbell left office? 

Sorry....I am know that I am dreaming to think things like this could be so simple...
Heck, we trained soldiers on countless subject matters through brief trainings in short periods of time covering spans of info to prepare them for enumerable scenarios... If those soldiers can sacrifice weekends listening and learning info; why can't normal citizens be expected to partake in promoting a healthier America?

Always Appreciative, "ANGELnWard14"