BREAKING NEW GROUND
Director. Environmental Equiry'/ustice
Committee for the National Institute
for the Environment
October 26, 194
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THIRD EDITION COMMENTS
he Committee for the National Institute for the Environment (CNIE) is pleased to offer
this third printing of its report Environmental Justice: Breaking New Ground The re-issuance
of this report responds to the overwhelming interest of a diverse readership of academicians,
environmental and social justice advocates, businesses, federal, state, and local government officials,
and various sectors of the American political, economic, social, and religious landscape.
Environmental justice has riveted the attention of those who seek to discover an understanding of
why certain communities-particularly those whose residents are people of color-are at greater risk
from environmental pollution and toxic substances than others. Breaking New Groundhas served as an
important educational and informational resource for those interested in learning about the
movement's issues, goals, and objectives. It illustrates the dynamics behind strategies to address what
has been described as an institutionalized environmental decision making process that often excludes
people of color and places them at greater risk of experiencing adverse environmental conditions.
A major milestone in the political landscape of the environmental justice movement occurred on
February 11, 1994, when President Clinton issued Executive Order 12898 (E.O.) entitled "Federal
Actions To Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low Income Populations."
The long awaited E.O. calls for federal agencies to address "disproportionately high and adverse
human health or environmental effects of their programs, policies and activities on minority popula-
tions and low income populations." Monitoring agency compliance with the E. O.'s mandates will fall
within the purview of an interagency Federal Working Group on Environmental Justice. Advocates
and others interested in the movement's development and concerned with incorporating a justice
framework into their organizational goals and objectives will no doubt monitor federal agency confor-
mity as a guide for structuring their own participation.
CNIE has continued to forge ahead in the environmental justice arena by joining with organizations
of color to explore new and viable strategies for how a National Institute for the Environment (NIE)
can contribute to remedying environmental injustice. In support of environmental justice efforts,
NIE page i
* Distributed nearly 2,000 copies of Breaking New Ground
* Conducted a workshop on "Environmental Justice and the Life Sciences" at the
American Institute for Biological Sciences' annual convention, August 10, 1994 in
* Joined the National Association of Minority Contractors in convening a panel on
"Environmental Justice and Environmental Equity" at its June 16, 1994 25th
* Attended the National Council of Churches Prophetic Justice Unit's "Black Church
Environmental & Economic Justice Summit," December 1-2, 1993.
* Attended the "Symposium on Health Research Needs to Ensure Environmental
Justice, February 10-12, 1994, Crystal City, Virginia.
* Convened a panel of environmental justice leaders, Advisory Council members, and
business and industry representatives to discuss a syposium concept on the topic of
"Environmental Science and Environmental Justice: Finding Common Ground,"
Washington, D.C., September 14, 1994.
Conducted outreach to the historically black colleges and universities (HBCU), par-
ticularly those that are members of the HBCU/Minority Insititutions
Environmental Technology and Waste Management Consortium and the United
Negro College Fund.
Paticipated in the National Council of Negro Women's conference "African
American Women's Regional Consultations On Population and Sustainable
Development," Jacksonville, Florida, July 23, 1994, and Dallas, Texas, July 29,
1994, in preparation for the International Conference on Population and
Development, Cairo, Egypt, September, 1994.
Received an endorsement of the NIE concept from Howard University
Expanded the participation of people of color within the NIE Advisory Council to include:
Lakshmi K. Bharadwaj, University of Wisconsin
Samuel A. Carradine, National Association of Minority Contractors
John C. Chambers, McKenna & Cuneo
Diane Dillion-Ridgely, YWCA
Mohamed T. El-Ashry, Global Environment Facility
Deehon Ferris, Alliance for Environmental Justice
Arturo Gomez-Pompa, University of California
La Donna Harris, Americans for Indian Opportunity
David Harrison, Native Tribal Environmental Council
Glenda Hodges, Howard University
James Johnson, Howard University
Charlotte L. Keys, Jesus People Against Pollution
Richard Majors, National Council of African-American Men
Sarah E. Moten, National Council of Negro Women
Wallace E. Stokes, Spectrum II
The CNIE has boldly stepped forward and provided opportunities for input into the planning for
an NIE. The actions and activities cited above have nearly shortened the distance between justice and
science. It is noteworthy to observe that the CNIE has worked to implement three of the four points
contained in Section IV Recommendations of Breaking New Ground (1) the initiation of an environ-
mental justice project, (2) conducting dialogue with justice advocates, and (3) reviewing implementa-
tion options. The focus of the fourth recommendation: conducting a symposium on "Science and
Justice: Finding the Common Ground" is viewed by CNIE as a proactive "next step."
EnvironmentalJustice: Breaking New Ground provides the reader with a snapshot view of the envi-
ronmental justice movement. It is an introduction to a highly complex issue where numerous disci-
plines intersect and where policy, politics, and philosophy are challenged to move beyond rhetoric to
reason. The challenge facing each of us is to blend these varied perspectives into a meaningful and suc-
cessful synergy to eliminate environmental injustices as we move into the 21st century.
The Committee for the NIE is a national non-profit group ofover 8,000 scientists, environmentalists,
business leaders, environmental justice advocates, and concerned citizens calling for the establishment ofa
NZi E page ii National Institute for the Environment to improve the scientific basis for environmental decision making.
"The Universe itself has imparted to humanity the mission of pro-
tecting the complex ecological system and of contributing to the cre-
ation of value within the Earth's biosphere. Consequently, if a sense of
this lofty mission orients all of our scientific technology, social systems,
politics, and economics, we will discover the truly human-in the best
sense of the word-approach to solving our environmental problems."
-Daisaku Ikeda, President
Soka Gakkai International
"Healing The Environment: The Environmental Problem and
Buddhism," Seikyo Times, September 1990.
The words above are dedicated to each person who reads
Environmental Justice: Breaking New Ground, to those involved in the
cultivation of efforts to save Mother Earth, and to those struggling to
bring dignity into the lives of each of her children.
To Timothy Berry and Fay Washington who encouraged me, to Paz
Artaza and Dana Alston, who listened and inspired my efforts to join
in the environmental justice struggle; to Wil Wilson, who knows why
we must succeed; to Warren Banks and Clarice Gaylord, for staying in
the trenches, and to Neil Dobbs and David Blockstein, who said yes,
let us break new ground. My thanks and gratitude.
October 26, 1994
IE page iii
On April 18, 1979, more than 750 Americans gathered in Detroit, Michigan, as the
participants in a national conference. Requiring two years of planning, it involved
three nationally recognized organizations, each with different agendas, six federal
funding sources, a planning committee comprised of thirty organizational representatives,
and a Detroit-based planning group. For three days labor leaders; local, state, and federally
elected officials; grassroots activists; academics; government employees; environmentalists;
corporate executives; and representatives of nearly every racial, economic, and geographic
interest group in America engaged in active dialogue. The ideal motivating each delegate is
expressed in the conference's title: "City Care: Toward a Coalition for the Urban
Environment." Clearly, a new movement was launched.
Vernon E. Jordan, Jr., President, National Urban League, Inc.; J. William Futrell, Chair,
Urban Environment Task Force, Sierra Club; and Franklin Wallick, Urban Environment
Conference and Foundation, were the Honorary Co-Chairs who convened this diverse
group to forge a new paradigm for achieving social change in urban America: a coalition
between the civil rights and environmental movements. In the Conference Proceedings'
report, they stated that:
The environmental movement is beginning to understand the interests of blacks and other
minorities in cities, and the civil rights movement is continuing its advocacy for the right to a
Jordan, Futrell, and Wallick recognized that the time had come for bringing together national
leaders and community activists committed to social, economic, and environmental reform.
They were joined by such federal agency participants as Donna Shalala, Department of
Housing and Urban Development (HUD); James Joseph and Christopher Delaporte, U.S.
Department of the Interior (DOI); Joan Martin Nicholson, U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA); and Dr. Joan S. Wallace, U.S. Department of Agriculture (DOA). Elected offi-
cials included Mayor Coleman Young and Representative John Conyers, Jr. Local and commu-
nity activists were exemplified by such individuals as Amefika Geuka, Center for
Environmental Information, Rochester, New York; Winston Lang, Detroit NAACP; Sara
Owens, Greenville, Urban League; and E. James Lopez, Colorado Coalition for Full
Employment. "City Care: Toward a Coalition for the Urban Environment," organized partici-
pants around nineteen workshops such as: "Citizen Action to Control Environmental Health
Hazards," "The Waste Crisis: Health, Jobs and Energy," "Creative Approaches to
Environmental Education." Similarly focused sessions challenged conference participants to
build mutual trust, clarify differences, and generate recommendations for action. Resolutions
adopted by the coalition varied from a call for full employment to preventing environmentally
induced diseases, to strict and uniform enforcement of all federal environmental laws to estab-
lishing information sharing mechanisms for urban activists and environmentalists. Fifteen years
later, these same questions need answers.
pNIE page iv
TABLE OF CONTENTS
A. Purpose 1
B. Method 1
III. KEY ISSUES
A. Statement 1
B. Environmental Justice Defined 2
C. Disproportionate Risk 3
D. Environmental Protection through
Pollution Prevention 6
E. Executive and Legislative Initiatives 7
IV KEY PLAYERS
An Overview 10
V CNIE'S ROLE
Breaking New Ground 11
IV RECOMMENDATIONS 13
VII. BIBLIOGRAPHY 14
APPENDIXA: Environmental Justice
APPENDIX B: Directory of Environmental
Justice Activists B-1
APPENDIX C: Endorsements C-1
APPENDIXD: Executive Order 12898 D-1
NE page v
E environmental justice is the most significant issue motivating
the participation of persons of color in the environmental
movement. Environmental Justice: Breaking New Ground high-
lights the convergence of social justice, civil rights, and environmental
awareness into a new movement: environmental justice.
Environmental justice is needed only because historical patterns of
environmental decision-making, i.e. siting of facilities, have created a
disproportionate burden and exposure to pollutants. Thus, the spirit
of the recommendations direct consideration to the environmental
welfare and well-being of the American public.
The issues associated with environmental justice have been explored
over the last decade within the exclusive province of the elite of social
and environmental consciousness. The time has come to recast the
issues, such as risk, risk assessment, pollution prevention, to name a few,
and any additional research in terms that the greater public can under-
stand: today, "their" backyard; tomorrow, no backyard can escape.
The time has also arrived for broadening the base of citizen aware-
ness and participation. The scientific constituency of CNIE represents
one extension of that base. The conscious decisions of millions of
individual Americans have created pollution. Likewise, the conscious
decisions of large numbers of citizens are necessary to effect solutions.
Pesticides, radioactive substances, workplace toxic chemicals, and
lead paint do not discriminate, are not gender, age, or income biased,
and will not evidence patterns of injustice or racism in either their
synergistic effects or systemic effects. Discrimination, biases, injustices,
and racism, as expressed within the context of environmental impacts,
occurs only as a result of decisions made by human beings. That those
decisions carry adverse consequences either through indirect exposure
or point-of-contact exposures, all too frequently to people of color, is
seen as environmental racism by justice advocates.
The concepts, requirements, plans, timetables, and their impact
must be distilled and presented to all Americans. This is the current
challenge of the environmental justice movement.
NIE page vi
Primarily, Environmental Justice: Breaking New
Groundprovides a general description of the
environmental justice movement's key players,
issues, and literature. The report has enabled
CNIE to begin formulating paradigms for
defining its role in the debate on environmen-
tal justice. In commencing this project CNIE
recognized that a final definition of its role
would require time, numerous meetings,
thorough study and review, and wide and
diverse consultations. This report and the
understanding it gives CNIE about the goals
and objectives of the environmental justice
movement is a necessary first step in breaking
This study has been conducted to generate
background research on the subject of envi-
ronmental justice in the United States. Given
the significance of the subject, the complexi-
ties it presents over a range of disciplines, and
the critical mass of public, private, and gov-
ernmental attention it now receives, the
boundaries for this first effort have been
restricted to generating a profile of the envi-
ronmental justice movement and its agenda.
A more ambitious, holistic undertaking will
occur at a later date.
The information upon which this study is
based was collected by means of attendance at
Congressional Hearings on environmental
justice and hearings on the elevation ofEPA
to cabinet status. A concurrent pattern of
meetings was held with legislative and admin-
istrative staff of black and Hispanic congres-
Likewise, meetings were conducted with
EPA administrators responsible for defining
and implementing the agency's environmental
justice policy. A parallel effort toward estab-
lishing dialogue with environmental justice
advocates was also pursued. The author's ses-
sions with justice leaders, either in person or
via telephone, proved fruitful. These sessions
produced a composite of central themes,
turning points, and viewpoints for studying a
wide range of environmental issues that are
often cloaked in specialized languages or exot-
ic methodologies. These dialogues provided
names of other contact persons and led to
additional source materials.
Documentary research, as reflected in the
ensuing bibliography and appendixes, cen-
tered on identifying planned or completed
research and publications on environmental
justice and attendant issues. A preliminary lit-
erature search was initiated to identify, and to
some degree retrieve hard copies of, congres-
sional documents, federal agency regulations
and publications, scholarly articles, conference
proceedings and public domain data.
Research efforts included visits to the Library
of Congress and EPA's Library.
The scope of this report precludes a detailed
discussion of the specific component issues of
the environmental justice framework. Though
some readers may view this as a serious limita-
tion, our task and goal is to facilitate an
understanding of the environmental justice
movement. The introduction is the first step
in promoting awareness and structuring the
framework for future communication. In
defining the report, it was critical to discuss
the project with justice advocates, congres-
sional representatives, and others interested in
the subject. The discussion here focuses on a
summation of prominent points made by
interviewees. This summation is presented
as general, over-arching views of the group
rather than the individuals.
First, a definition of environmental justice
is offered to ensure that the philosophy and
language that drives environmental justice is
NIE page 1
communicated. Second, a discussion of dis-
proportionate risks is presented. The docu-
mentation that disproportionate risk existed
and threatened people and communities of
color, helped spark the justice movement.
Environmental Protection through Pollution
Prevention is the next model presented to
provide entry into understanding the frame-
work of equal justice and equal protection.
Finally, attention is given to the justice
movement's political activism as reflected in
its federal initiatives.
B. ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE DEFINED
Environmental justice is the most significant
principle driving the participation of per-
sons of color in the environmental move-
ment. It is the point where the interest lines
of social justice, civil rights, and environ-
mental decisionmaking intersect. The text
of the principles of environmental justice
are presented in Appendix B. These princi-
ples were adopted at the First National
People of Color Environmental Leadership
Summit held in Washington, D.C. on
October 24-27, 1991.
The Environmental Justice Transition
Group, a coalition of representatives of
environmental and civil rights organizations
and scholar-activists, in their
"Recommendations to the Presidential
Transition Team" for President Clinton,
defined the principle of environmental jus-
...the confluence of three of America's great-
est challenges: the struggle against racism
and poverty; the effort to preserve and
improve the environment; and the com-
pelling need to shift social institutions from
class division and environmental depletion
to social unity and global sustainability.
Thus, environmental justice as an organiz-
ing principle represents a synthesis of civil
rights protest methodologies and legal doc-
trines, and environmental protection theo-
ries designed to redress the disproportionate
burden of risk and exposure to cross-media
pollution borne by people of color-world-
Conversely, environmental injustice is the
exclusion of people of color from decision
making processes which affect their very
existence and the unequal enforcement of
laws to protect communities of color and
the poor from environmental stressors.
Environmental injustice is also the sustained
presence of unjust and inequitable environ-
mental health effects caused by unfair envi-
Deeohn Ferris' April 28, 1993, testimony
before a U.S. House of Representatives
hearing on environmental justice issues is
instructive. In stating her role as Program
Director of the Lawyers' Committee for
Civil Rights Under Law's Environmental
Justice Project, Ferris stated the project's
...is to promote equal environmental protec-
tion and develop remedies for the adverse
consequences of prior discrimination.
A related objective is to assist communities
of color and the poor, through legal and
technical means, with
...their efforts to combat environmental dis-
crimination and eliminate all barriers to
equal environmental protection.
Native Americans also see the environmen-
tal justice movement as a means that end.
Tom Goldtooth, Environmental Director of
the Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians,
who testified at the same Congressional
Hearing as did Ferris, said:
Tribes today must overcome more than the
average number of barriers in our attempts
to exercise our inherent rights as First
Nation People, the most significant barrier,
being environmental racism and injustice.
IE page 2
Goldtooth clearly indicated to the House
panel that Native Americans seek to develop
a "tribal environmental framework."
Dana Alston, former Director of The
Panos Institute's Environment, Community
Development and Race Project, echoes
Ferris' and Goldtooth's observations.
Writing as the editor of the report We Speak
For Ourselves: Social Justice, Race and
Environment (1990), she addresses the new
environmentalism that is environmental jus-
Communities of color have often taken a
more holistic approach than the mainstream
environmental movement, integrating 'envi-
ronmental' concerns into a broader agenda
that emphasizes social, racial, and economic
We Speak For Ourselves, both in title and in
content, chronicles the efforts made by peo-
ple of color to forge independent pathways
to attain environmental justice.
But while people of color see themselves
as forging pathways for themselves by them-
selves, they seem critically aware of the
absence of mainstream environmentalists,
accustomed to defending the forest and its
inhabitants, walking arms linked with them
as the multicultural supporters of civil rights
walked with the leaders of that movement
in the Sixties. It seems perceived that
though the mainstream environmental
movement is beginning to discuss the issues
of environmental justice, there is no
groundswell from the general public because
it has not yet gotten the word on how it too
will be affected by environmental hazards
which now are considered to be in some-
body else's backyard. The enormous price
tag--in health, life, and dollars-has yet to
be disseminated for general consumption.
Though news accounts and reports of the
tainted public water supply in Minneapolis
or E. Coli outbreaks in the west, or mercury
contamination in a well-to-do Long Island,
New York, community gets the public's
attention for a microsecond, those cases are
still circulated by media as isolated cases in
communities "somewhere else." But nobody
is safe. Even as the scientific community
considers investigating the affects of gases in
charcoal-filled air from leisurely Sunday bar-
becues on the human body, how does that
enormously pleasurable, seemingly innocu-
ous mainstay of backyard enjoyment inter-
act synergistically with the long term effects
of using chlorine to whiten our wash or per-
chloroethylene emissions from dry-cleaning
establishments cleaning our winter woolens.
C. DISPROPORTIONATE RISK
Mention the year 1987 to environmental jus-
tice advocates, say the word toxins, and many
will respond: "Rev. Ben Chavis, Charles Lee,
Commission for Racial Justice of the United
Church of Christ and the release of Toxic
Waste and Race in the United States: A
National Report on the Racial and Socio-
Economic Characteristics of Communities with
Hazardous Waste Sites."
Conducted by Lee, an Asian American,
Toxic Waste and Race in the United States was
the first national study of its kind to establish
a clear link between race and the siting of
toxic waste facilities. Lee's scholarship delin-
eated that people and communities of color
face a disproportionate risk of exposure to
toxic materials and hazardous sites. The find-
ings are historically significant as landmark
research that served to define the presence
and meaning of disproportionate risk. Lee's
most important findings were:
(1) race proved to be the most significant
factor among variables tested in asso-
ciation with the location of commer-
cial hazardous waste facilities;
(2) communities with the greatest
'NIE page 3
number of commercial hazardous
waste facilities had the highest com-
position of residents of racial and
ethnic minorities; and
(3) three of the five largest commercial
hazardous landfills in the United
States are located in predominately
Black or Hispanic communities.
In releasing the study, Chavis, then
Executive Director of the Commission for
Racial Justice and now Executive Director
of the NAACP, explained that as a result of
Lee's investigation, disproportionate risk
...has become not only an environmental
issue, but a racial justice issue as
well....Arguably, [it is] one of the most criti-
cal issues now facing African Americans and
other racial and ethnic people.
Chavis also observed that not only was dis-
proportionate risk a result of institutionalized
racism, but for people of color it also meant
that "Our very lives are at stake." (Alston,
Taking Back Our Lives).
To gain an understanding of the implica-
tions associated with disproportionate risk
when studying pollution in general, whether
of air, water, or land (Gelobter, 1988;
Bullard, 1990; Bryant and Mohai, 1992) or
from specific sources such as pesticides
(Perfecto and Velasquez, 1992), toxic fish
consumption (West, et al., 1990), or lead
paint (ATSDR, 1988), it must be recognized
that income and racial variables are the deter-
mining factors, with race being the most
important in identifying who suffers (Mohai
and Bryant, 1992).
Following the publication of Toxic Waste
and Race in the United States, other investiga-
tions of disproportionate risk and environ-
mental racism surfaced in scholarly journals,
from the presses of government agencies, and
as papers presented at conferences around the
country. A few of the more significant studies
are considered next.
In 1990, scholar/activist Robert Bullard, an
urban sociologist, published Dumping in
Dixie: Race, Class, and Environmental
Quality, which documented environmental
racism in the African-American communities
of Houston and Dallas, Texas, Alsen,
Louisiana; Institute, West Virginia; and
Emmelle, Alabama. Disproportionate risk
was alive and well in the Old South.
Up North, in January 1990, in Ann Arbor,
Michigan, a wake-up call was being dialed.
Bunyon Bryant and Paul Mohai, faculty
members of the School of Natural Resources
at the University of Michigan, convened a
working conference on race and the inci-
dence of environmental hazards. Papers pre-
sented at the conference included: The
Dumping of Toxic Waste in African Countries:
A Case ofPoverty and Racism, Mutumbo
Mpanya; Pesticide Exposure ofFarm Workers
and the International Connection, Ivette
Perfecto; The Environmental Voting Record of
the Congressional Black Caucus, Henry V.
Davis; and Invitation to Poison? Detroit
Minorities and Toxic Fish Consumption from
the Detroit River, Patrick C. West.
Each of the sixteen Michigan Conference
papers have been edited by Bryant and
Mohai and published under the title Race
and the Incidence ofEnvironmental Hazards:
A Timefor Discourse. The Michigan
Conference, like Dumping in Dixie and Toxic
Waste and Race in the United States, brought
further national attention to the principle of
disproportionate risk. The EPA received a
call asking why it had failed to look at socio-
economic and health threats associated with
disproportionate risk. The EPA answered
with a report of its own.
In July 1990, EPA Administrator William
K. Reilly established the Environmental
Equity Workgroup. The Workgroup was
charged with reviewing the evidence that
NIE page 4
people of color, "bear a disproportionate
environmental risk burden." By May of
1992, the Workgroup submitted its findings
to Reilly in the form of a two volume report,
Environmental Equity: Reducing Risks for All
Communities, that presented the following
(1) There are clear and distinct differ-
ences among racial groups in rates
of disease and death. There are also
limited data to explain the environ-
mental contribution to these differ-
(2) Racial minority and low-income
populations experience higher than
average exposures to selected air
pollutants, hazardous waste facili-
ties, contaminated fish, and agricul-
tural pesticides in the workplace.
(3) Environmental and health data are
not routinely collected and analyzed
by income and race. Nor are data
routinely collected on health risks
posed by multiple industrial facili-
ties, cumulative and synergistic
effects, or multiple and different
pathways of exposure.
(4) Great opportunities exist for EPA
and other government agencies to
improve communications about
environmental problems with
members of low-income and racial
(5) Since they have broad contact with
affected communities, EPA's pro-
gram and regional offices are well
suited to address equity concerns.
The potential exists for effective
action by such offices to address dis-
(6) Native Americans are a unique
racial group that has a special rela-
tionship with the federal govern-
ment and distinct environmental
problems. Tribes often lack the
physical infrastructure, institutions,
trained personnel, and resources
necessary to protect their members.
It should be noted that EPA chose the term
equity rather than justice to describe dispro-
portionate risks "...because it most readily
lends itself to scientific risk analysis," the
report said. The Workgroup acknowledged
that its selection of terms generated consid-
erable debate among its members, but
viewed the socioeconomic factors associated
with documenting injustices and racism as
being beyond the scope of the report's
purview. Some justice advocates would
counter that equity spreads risks among
population groups, while justice eliminates
risks (Ferris, McDonald interview with
Several important recommendations were
advanced by the Workgroup which, it
believed, also had ramifications for other
public and private groups engaged in justice
issues. Among the most noteworthy are:
(1) increasing the priority given to
determining disproportionate risk,
(2) revising its risk assessment procedures,
(3) improving communication and out-
reach to affected communities and
(4) incorporating equity concerns in its
long-term planning and operations.
Perhaps the most encouraging result of the
Michigan Conference and the internal EPA
Workgroup was the establishment of an
CNI page 5
Environmental Equity Office, (EEO) direct-
ed by Dr. Clarice Gaylord. Under Dr.
Gaylord's leadership, the EEO commenced
the daunting task of handling requests for
technical assistance, outreach, and commu-
nication, and the myriad challenges facing a
new office charged with implementing the
EPA's equity policies. By October 1992, less
than five months after the Workgroup com-
pleted its report to Administrator Reilly, the
first of several planned Environmental
Equity Update Memos was being circulated
to EPA staff.
D. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION
THROUGH POLLUTION PREVENTION
From both a general reading of the literature
and informal conversations with justice
advocates and others troubled by environ-
mental injustices, a consistent theme is not
just the development of strategies to address
risk, although that is a major consideration
for the justice community and mainstream
environmentalists to tackle, but the preven-
tion of pollution. Deeohn Ferris said it best
when, in an interview with the author, she
observed that "environmental justice is good
Central to the demand for pollution pre-
vention is the idea that communities affect-
ed by toxics in the air, on the land, and in
the water should-must-be included in
the decision-making process. The inclusion
of the views and perspectives of people of
color in the rule-making mechanisms of
EPA, for example, is a critical element of
the justice framework. Their exclusion is
seen as an indication of environmental and
The justice movement's approach to pol-
lution prevention strongly challenges the
existing environmental protection paradigm.
The existing paradigm contributes to the
continuation of disproportionate risk largely
through its reliance upon risk assessment
and risk management techniques which are
flawed inherently because they do not take
into account multiple points of exposure,
synergistic effects and sensitive populations
(i.e. asthmatics, the elderly, children, and
the poor). To correct this imbalance, envi-
ronmental justice advocates have called for a
change in EPA's institutional focus. Three
initiatives define how justice advocates
would move EPA toward addressing the
needs of under-protected populations.
First, it has called upon the new Clinton
administration to issue an Executive Order
stating that civil rights laws apply to EPA
programs. Currently EPA is exempt from
civil rights laws because of the technical
nature of its mandates from Congress.
However, advocates see incorporation of the
Constitutional principle of equal protection
and related criteria into EPA's implementa-
tion of its environmental protection goals as
crucial for achieving a redress of discrimina-
Second, advocates are united in their
demand that EPA take a different, improved
track in dealing with indigenous peoples. To
achieve this goal EPA is strongly urged to
tailor its programmatic approaches in ways
that meet the distinct needs of Asian/Pacific
Islanders, indigenous Hawaiians and Native
American Tribes. Moreover, advocates have
pressed EPA to execute its 1984 Indian
Third, although advocates support elevat-
ing EPA to cabinet status, the quid pro quo
is the addition, confirmed and stated in the
legislation authorizing the new Department,
of the applicability of civil rights laws and
environmental justice as a principal area of
focus. In reorienting EPA's institutional
focus, advocates have presented a listing of
eleven specific areas for prioritizing its work
to protect human health: (1) indigenous
peoples; (2) farm workers; (3) radiation
exposure; (4) waste facility siting and
NIE page 6
cleanup; (5) clean air; (6) clean water; (7)
drinking water; (8) urban areas; (9) free
trade and border issues; (10) EPA strategic
planning and budget; and (11) state pro-
Re-examination of its prior, current, and
planned approaches to correct the inequities
that people of color face in each of this areas
is seen by advocates as requiring serious
attention and thoughtfulness from EPA..
Enforcement of existing laws and regula-
tions in communities of color, public partici-
pation, moratoriums on siting treatment,
storage and disposal facilities, reviewing
adverse impact of the Clean Air Act permit
trading, asbestos and lead abatement, ending
industrial dumping along the United States-
Mexico border are among the inventory of
demands justice advocates encourage EPA to
immediately act on to achieve environmental
protection through pollution prevention.
E. EXECUTIVE AND LEGISLATIVE
Like the Civil Rights movement from which
it draws inspiration and models for action,
the environmental justice movement has
launched a series of executive and legislative
initiatives to achieve environmental justice for
people of color. Due to its interest in discern-
ing its role in the justice movement and to
raising its own awareness of the movement's
goals and objectives, CNIE attended
Congressional Hearings on environmental
justice and EPA Elevation that were held dur-
ing March and April of 1993.
Emerging from the grass roots activism of
the environmental justice movement, the
Environmental Justice Transition Group sub-
mitted its "Recommendation to the
Presidential Transition Team for the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency On
Environmental Justice Issues (Transition
Document)" to President-elect Bill Clinton's
transition team. On December 21, 1992,
Earth Island Institute; Gulf Coast Tenants
Organization; Indigenous Environmental
Network; Lawyers' Committee for Civil
Rights Under Law; Native Action; Southern
Organizing Committee for Economic and
Social Justice; Southwest Network for
Environmental and Economic Justice;
Southwest Organizing Project and the United
Church of Christ joined together to inform
the newly elected President of the United
States about their concern for needed federal
action on environmental justice issues.
The transition document set in bold relief
the compelling urgency with which its sig-
natories believed the new Clinton
Administration should act to address envi-
ronmental injustices and structure environ-
mental justice into the federal environmen-
tal framework. The signatories called for the
President to issue an Executive Order
"...providing for the equitable implementa-
tion of environmental programs." To
achieve this goal, they recommended that
the proposed Executive Order establish a
Federal Coordinating Council on environ-
mental justice. Council members would
include the Departments of Agriculture,
Defense, Energy, Health & Human
Services, Housing & Urban Development,
Interior, Labor, Transportation the Agency
for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry,
and the National Institutes for
Environmental Health Sciences. The
Council, among other duties, would review
federal research and research systems, con-
duct technology assessments and "...examine
related issues in the context of social, cultur-
al and political impact."
The Transition Document provided an
unusually public opportunity for the signa-
tories to state their case that
environmental justice is cross-cutting affect-
ing every media area (i.e., air, land, water),
as well as regulatory programs, compliance
programs and enforcement. What is ulti-
NIE page 7
mately at stake in the environmental justice
debate is everyone's quality of life. The goal
is equal justice and equal protection from
pollution. To combat environmental racism,
the new Administration and EPA should
immediately adopt the [group's] recommen-
Those recommendations included sweeping
changes in EPA's institutional focus so it
might better alleviate disproportionate risk,
remedy inequities in worker protection reg-
ulations, and prioritize African, Asian, and
South American programs.
Congressional support for the environ-
mental justice movement's agenda is reflect-
ed in the attention given this issue by the
103d Congress. During its first and second
sessions, three bills were introduced for
Congressional consideration. Representative
John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI) reintroduced the
"Department of Environmental Protection
Act" (EPA Elevation); Representative John
Lewis, (D-GA) reintroduced H.R. 2105
cited as the "Environmental Justice Act of
1992"; and Representative Cardiss Collins
(D-IL) introduced H.R. 1924 cited as the
"Environmental Equal Rights Act of 1993."
Each of these proposed bills provide insight
on the federal legislative agenda of the jus-
tice movement and are opportunities for
gauging the course of federal environmental
justice directives should they become law.
These bills reveal some measure of the polit-
ical determination and strength of the jus-
Representative Conyer's EPA Elevation
bill under Title IV-Environmental Justice,
stipulates concrete actions the new
Department of Environmental Protection
would be mandated to conduct. Several of
Title IV's Findings mirror the justice move-
ment's views that:
(1) EPA has failed to collect and ana-
lyze data to estimate aggregate and
cumulative exposure and related
public health risks.
(2) EPA has not routinely collected and
analyzed data on environmental
quality and related public health
measures by race, ethnicity, or
(3) Diverse racial and ethnic groups are
known to differ in their vulnerabili-
ty and sensitivity to certain diseases,
some of which may result from
exposure to environmental pollu-
tants. There also are clear differ-
ences among racial and ethnic
groups in disease rates.
Nevertheless, data have not been
collected and analyzed to evaluate
the environmental contribution to
(4) It is in the national interest to
ensure equal environmental protec-
tion for all people regardless of race,
ethnicity, or socio-economic status.
(5) The Department needs to address
the historical lack of attention to
the distribution across racial, eth-
nic, and socioeconomic groups of
available environmental protection
resources relative to the needs for
Title IV provides several strategies to redress
Tide IV's Section 403 establishes an
Office of Environmental Justice (OEJ)
headed by a Director, appointed by the
President and confirmed by the Senate.
Among the delegated functions of the new
OEJ are the identification and protection of
high environmental exposure populations
and developing, coordinating and promot-
IE page 8
ing all of the Department's environmental
justice activities. Public involvement, giving
guidance to other federal agencies, States,
tribal organizations, and Regions are also
cited as OEJ activities.
An Environmental Justice Advisory Board
(The Board) is also established as part of
Title IV's provisions. The Board would have
advisory, evaluative, and liaison duties and
responsibilities. Its 11-15 members are to be
appointed by the Secretary in consultation
with the Director of the OEJ.
Supplementing the Board's focus on justice
issues, a National Environmental Justice
Research Strategy is proposed. The
Secretary, the Board and divisions of HHS
such as NIEHS, ATSDR, CDC, and NTP
are called upon to publish in the Federal
Register a comprehensive environmental
justice research strategy. Mandated as well is
an Environmental Justice Research Program,
Research Grants, and Research Centers.
Representative Lewis' "Environmental
Justice Act of 1992" parallels Representative
Conyer's EPA Elevation Bill in that it brings
the full weight of federal recognition and
involvement to bear strategies to redress
environmental injustices. However, where
Conyer's Bill directs its concentration on
establishing an overall institutional frame-
work, Lewis' bill looks primarily at assuring
equal protection of the public health.
An amended view of Lewis' Bill, H.R.
2105 requires EPA:
(1) to require the collection of data on
environmental health effects so that
impacts on different individuals or
groups can be understood;
(2) to identify those areas which are
subject to the highest loadings of
toxic chemicals, through all media;
(3) to assess the health effects that may
be caused by emissions in those
areas of highest impact;
(4) to ensure that groups or individuals
residing within those areas of high-
est impact have the opportunity
and the resources to participate in
the technical process which will
determine the possible existence of
adverse health impacts;
(5) to require that actions be taken by
authorized Federal agencies to cur-
tail those activities found to be hav-
ing significant adverse impacts on
human health in those areas of
highest impact; and
(6) to ensure that significant adverse
health impacts that may be associated
with environmental pollution in the
United States are not distributed
It is instructive to observe that Title I of
Lewis' bill requires EPA, ATSDR, NIEHS
and the Bureau of the Census to develop a
basis for identifying Environmental High
Impact Areas (EHIAs) as either counties or
another appropriate geographic unit. A rank
order listing of the 100 geographic units with
the highest total weight of toxic chemicals are
to be designated EHIAs. Enforcement
Initiatives, Community Participation with
applied technical assistance grants, and
Identification and Prevention of Health
Impacts round out the Title's of Lewis' Bill.
Representative Collins' legislation,
"Environmental Equal Rights Act of 1993"
amends Subtitle G of the Solid Waste
Disposal Act (42 U.S.C. 6971 et seq.) and
allows citizens to challenge, through petition,
the siting of a new facility anywhere in their
state. The petitioner must show that:
CNIE page 9
(1) the new facility is within two miles of an
existing facility, Superfund site, or facil-
ity that releases toxic contaminants,
(2) would be sited in an "environmen-
tally disadvantaged community,"
(3) the facility would adversely affect
human health or the community's
An amended view of Collins' Bill, H.R.
1924 shows that:
(1) A 1987 study by the United Church
of Christ found that the proportion
of minorities in communities with
large commercial landfills or a high
number of commercial waste facili-
ties was 3 times greater than in com-
munities without such facilities.
(2) The same...study found that
approximately 60 percent of
African- and Hispanic-Americans
live in a community that has an
uncontrolled hazardous waste site.
(3) An Environmental Protection
Agency report released in 1992
found that racial minority and low-
income populations experience
higher than average exposures to
selected air pollutants and haz-
ardous waste facilities.
(4) A 1983 analysis by the General
Accounting Office found that, in the
southeastern United States, 3 of the 4
commercial hazardous waste landfills
[identified in the region] were located
in communities with more blacks
than whites, and the percentage of
residents near the sites with incomes
below the poverty line ranged from
26 percent to 42 percent.
(5) A University of Michigan study
released in 1990 found that minori-
ties were 4 times more likely than
whites to live within 1 mile of a
commercial hazardous waste facility
in the 3-county Detroit metropoli-
(6) A National Law Journal study
found that penalties imposed for
pollution law violations in areas
predominately populated by
minorities were dramatically lower
than those imposed for violations in
largely white areas.
Collins' bill uses socioeconomic, ethnic, and
racial population data together with histori-
cal siting patterns and existing regulatory
requirements to define EDCs.
Conyer's, Lewis', and Collins' respective
Bills seek to redress, in very specific, thor-
ough, federally mandated ways, the exis-
tence of environmental injustices experi-
enced by people of color in the United
States. While the bills have yet to come up
for a vote on the House floor, some version
or combination thereof of these legislative
initiatives may soon become a reality either
through direct adoption by affected agencies
or political compromise reached in the halls
Key players in the environmental justice
movement were identified as such using any
one or combinations of three indicators: (1)
persons who testified at congressional hear-
ings, (see bibliography), (2) persons invited
by the EPA to a May, 25, 1993 Equity
Leaders' Meeting, and (3) persons identified
by leaders as their peers.
This approach to identifying key players
yielded a list of 57 people (see Appendix B).
NIE page 10
CNIE recognized that the effort required to
contact each individual was well beyond the
scope of this initial probe. Therefore, this
present study relies primarily upon contacts
who were readily accessible, expressed an
interest in meeting, or with whom there
already existed a prior professional associa-
tion. This resulted in a predominately
African American, and to a smaller degree,
Face-to-face interviews were held with
Deeohn Ferris, Program Director, Environ-
mental Justice Project, of the Lawyers'
Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, and
Norris Mc Donald, President, Center for
Environment, Commerce and Energy (the
first national African American environmental
organization). A lengthy telephone discussion
with Bunyan Bryant, Professor, University of
Michigan, School of Natural Resources, and a
briefer one with Michel Gelobter, Director,
Environmental Policy Studies, Columbia
University was conducted. Several telephone
attempts to contact other Washington-based
justice advocates proved unfruitful.
Robert Bullard, Professor of Sociology,
University of California, Riverside; Pat Bryant,
Executive Director, Gulf Coast Tenants
Organization; and Dr. Benjamin E Chavis, Jr.,
then Executive Director, NAACP, each
received copies of the initial proposal submit-
ted to CNIE, which was the catalyst for this
report. Follow-up with these and other leaders,
notably in Asian/Pacific Islander, Hispanic,
and Native American communities is needed.
The 14 congressional representatives con-
tacted through their respective staff members
included: Rep. Corrine Brown, (Andrea
Martin); Rep. Cardiss Collins, (Brad Kane);
Rep. John Conyers Jr., (Sara Doll); Rep. Ron
Dellums, (Charles Stevenson); Rep. Luis V.
Gutierrez, (Maggie Muir); Rep. William
Jefferson, (Steven Jupiter); Rep. John Lewis,
(Debbie Spielberg); Rep. Cynthia McKinney,
(Gloria Butler); Rep. Kweisi Mfume (Mark
Clack and Barbara Esser; Rep. Lucille Roybol-
Aleard, (Kathleen Sengstock); Rep. Carl
Stokes, (Neal O'Hara); and Rep. Nydia
Velazquez, (Ivan Orlandi). Rep. Maxine
Waters, (Valeria Sinclair); Representative John
Lewis was met personally.
Officials at EPA included: Dr. Warren
Banks, Deputy Administrator; Dr. Clarice
Gaylord, Director, EEO; Bob Knox, Deputy
Director, EEO; and Dr. Wil Wilson, Lead
Scientist, Office of Air and Radiation.
Briefing sessions were also conducted with
two individuals who served as resource people.
Alexandra Allen, Program Associate, American
Association for the Advancement of Science
(AAAS), is responsible for drafting justice ini-
tiatives for the AAAS. Paz Artaza-Regan,
Program Associate for Environmental Justice,
United Methodist Board of Church and
Society, is recognized as a justice leader by her
V CNIE'S ROLE
BREAKING NEW GROUND
In opening the discussion with each of the
people identified, a general statement was
made presenting CNIE's decision to undertake
an assessment of how it could best contribute
solutions to environmental problems identi-
fied by the justice movement. Overall, each
was pleased to learn about the CNIE's goal of
bringing credible science into the decision
making process by improving the scientific
basis for making decisions on environmental
issues. Notwithstanding the varying levels of
awareness, certain specific cross-cutting
Structuring scientific analyses and grass-
roots responses to what is now known about
disproportionate risk was one theme consis-
tently expressed by the group. Clear indica-
tions were given that while additional
research on synergistic effects is necessary,
what to do about existing, verified cases and
CNIE page 11
causes of adverse health effects is pervasive
in the comments elicited.
Furthermore, the need for credible science
came across loud and clear. Would NIE's
"science" be any more reliable than that
already under way at EPA and ATSDR?
Would CNIE's scientific methodologies incor-
porate variables of race, income, gender, age,
and special needs and sensitive populations in
its calculations and dissemination of data?
How would one access the data on studies
already completed and get into the loop of
newly emerging findings? Would CNIE's
information be user friendly? How did CNIE
propose to include and not exclude people of
color either as staff, as board members, or as
grant recipients? What type of policy state-
ment would CNIE make on environmental
justice? In summation, persons contacted
appeared to welcome CNIE into the orbit of
organizations and individuals searching for
solutions, but reserved their enthusiasm until
more specific policy and programmatic details
Michael Guerrero and Louis Head, writing
in We Speak for Ourselves, noted that in
attempting to forge new understanding
between justice advocates and environmental
"Key questions in this process involve
defining how environmental issues fit within
a social, racial, and economic justice frame-
work, and what the role of environmental
organizations will be in relation to the social
and racial justice movement in the United
States (Alston, 1990).
CNIE's role should be one of assisting and
supporting the justice movement through the
application of its goals to the many environ-
mental justice issues identified in the report.
CNIE's goals are to:
*increase scientific understanding of
environmental issues by supporting
credible, support problem-focused
Assist decision-making by provid-
ing comprehensive assessments of
current environmental knowledge
and its implications;
Facilitate and expand access to envi-
Strengthen capacity to address envi-
ronmental issues by sponsoring
higher education and training.
Disproportionate risks, environmental pro-
tection, inclusion not exclusion, pollution pre-
vention, and technology/society interactions
require an infusion of CNIE's science perspec-
tives to modify, if not eliminate them from the
daily lives of people of color. To begin this
process, justice advocates and CNIE members
may need to come to a realization that they
are not standing in "their backyard" but are
actually sharing common ground.
Like the environmental justice movement,
CNIE was "born outside of the beltway" and
challenges the existing practices used to define
"who gets what, why, when, where, and how
much" of the environmental technical, fiscal,
and research assistance available through federal
sources. There exists an unspoken agreement
that current models and methodologies for
environmental decision-making all too often
reflects the imperfections found in the larger
However, the lack of a verbal expression of
agreement may, to some degree, be due to "lan-
guage" differences and dissimilarities in "institu-
tional culture." The seemingly strident rhetoric
of the environmental justice movement and its
use of terms like "racism," "injustice," and "cul-
tural integrity," to identify and question imper-
fections of "the system" contrasts vividly with
the scientist's staid jargon of hypotheticalls"
"internal obstacles," and "reasonable basis".
Yet hidden behind these language differ-
ences is a shared visionary activism.
NI6E page 12
1. Develop within CNIE an Environmental
Justice Studies project:
to continue and enlarge the current
effort by building upon contacts estab-
lished as a result of this investigation,
to conduct focus groups composed
of environmental justice advocates,
CNIE scientists, and CNIE
Advisory Council members to
develop strategies for including
environmental justice perspectives
within the various functions of
to signal CNIE's recognition of the
relevance of environmental justice
principles to its overall organiza-
tional mission and the need to
2. Initiate dialogue with environmental jus-
to expand upon contacts already
made primarily with advocates of
the African-American community
to include other advocates of
Asian/Pacific Islander, Hispanic,
and Native Americans heritage,
to conduct interviews, particularly
with scholar-activists to determine
research needs and priorities and
how CNIE might contribute,
to identify how CNIE's Advisory
Council members can network with
environmental justice advocates and
to explore conducting demonstration
projects and case study analyses with
Minority Academic Institutions.
3. Conduct a symposium on the theme
"Science and Justice: Finding the Common
to explore common interests
through direct, hands-on workshops,
to generate frameworks for recipro-
cal support on shared interests,
to delineate opportunities for inter-
disciplinary approaches to environ-
mental justice issues, and
to build mutual trust, clarify differ-
ences and generate recommenda-
tions for joint actionss.
4. Review environmental justice implemen-
tation options considered and/or adopted by
other environmental organizations and fed-
to identify and examine diverse
approaches for lessons they
Intensive, open dialogue between justice
advocates and CNIE may prove that the scale
of accord between the agendas of each is
greater than the dimensions of any dispari-
ties. Certainly where dissimilarities do exist,
they can be employed as points of departure
for constructing frameworks for joint cooper-
ation. The goals of each, although somewhat
different in their genesis, constituencies, and
methods of expression will, once successful,
lead to the same common ground-the cre-
ation of new paradigms for opening up the
processes of environmental decision-making.
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CNIE page 18
PRINCIPLES OF ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE
ADOPTED OCTOBER 27, 1991 AT THE FIRST PEOPLE OF COLOR
ENVIRONMENTAL LEADERSHIP SUMMIT, WASHINGTON, D.C.
WE THE PEOPLE OF COLOR, gathered together at this multinational People of Color
Environmental Leadership Summit, to begin to build a national and international move-
ment of all peoples of color to fight the destruction and taking of our lands and communi-
ties, do hereby re-establish our spiritual interdependence to the sacredness of our Mother
Earth; to respect and celebrate each of our cultures, languages and beliefs about the natural
world and our roles in healing ourselves; to insure environmental justice; to promote eco-
nomic alternatives which would contribute to the development of environmentally safe
livelihoods; and, to secure our political, economic and cultural liberation that has been
denied for over 500 years of colonization and oppression, resulting in the poisoning of our
communities and land and the genocide of our peoples, do affirm and adopt these
Principles of Environmental Justice:
1. Environmental justice affirms the
sacredness of Mother Earth, ecolog-
ical unity and the interdependence
of all species, and the right to be
free from ecological destruction.
2. Environmental justice demands
that public policy be based on
mutual respect and justice for all
peoples, free from any form of dis-
crimination or bias.
3. Environmental justice mandates the
right to ethical, balanced and
responsible uses of land and renew-
able resources in the interest of a
sustainable planet for humans and
other living things.
4. Environmental justice calls for uni-
versal protection from nuclear test-
ing, extraction, production and dis-
posal of toxic/hazardous wastes and
poisons and nuclear testing that
threaten the fundamental right to
clean air, land, water, and food.
5. Environmental justice affirms the
fundamental right to political, eco-
nomic, cultural and environmental
self-determination of all peoples.
6. Environmental justice demands the
cessation of the production of all
toxics, hazardous wastes, and
radioactive materials, and that all
past and current producers be held
strictly accountable to the people
for detoxification and the contain-
ment at the point of production.
7. Environmental justice demands the
right to participate as equal partners
at every level of decision-making
including needs assessment, plan-
ning, implementation, enforcement
4NIE page A-1
8. Environmental justice affirms the
right of all workers to a safe and
healthy work environment, without
being forced to choose between an
unsafe livelihood and unemploy-
ment. It also affirms the right of
those who work at home to be free
from environmental hazards.
9. Environmental justice protects the
right of victims of environmental
injustice to receive full compensa-
tion and reparations for damages as
well as quality health care.
10. Environmental justice considers
governmental acts of environmental
injustice a violation of international
law, the Universal Declaration On
Human Rights, and the United
Nations Convention on Genocide.
11. Environmental justice must recog-
nize a special legal and natural rela-
tionship of Native Peoples to the
U.S. government through treaties,
agreements, compacts, and
covenants affirming sovereignty and
12. Environmental justice affirms the
need for urban and rural ecological
policies to clean up and rebuild our
cities and rural areas in balance with
nature, honoring the cultural
integrity of all our communities,
and providing fair access for all to
the full range of resources.
13. Environmental justice calls for the
strict enforcement of principles of
informed consent, and a halt to the
testing of experimental reproductive
and medical procedures and vacci-
nations on people of color.
14. Environmental justice opposes the
destructive operations of multi-
15. Environmental justice opposes mil-
itary occupation, repression and
exploitation of lands, peoples and
cultures, and other life forms.
16. Environmental justice calls for the
education of present and future
generations which emphasizes social
and environmental issues, based on
our experience and an appreciation
of our diverse cultural perspectives.
17. Environmental justice requires that
we, as individuals, make personal
and consumer choices to consume
as little of Mother Earth's resources
and to produce as little waste as pos-
sible; and make the conscious deci-
sion to challenge and reprioritize
our lifestyles to insure the health of
the natural world for present and
N-E page A-2
DIRECTORY OF ENVIRONMENTAL JUS-
* National Environmental Justice Advisory
Rebecca Adamson, President
First Nations Development Institute
The Stores Building
11917 Main Street
Fredericksburg, VA 22408
(703) 371-5615 Fax: 371-3505
Carl Anthony, Director
Urban Habitat Project
300 Broadway, Suite 28
San Francisco, CA 94133
(415) 788-3666 Fax: 788-7324
National Committee for Radiation Victims
905 Malcolm Drive
Silver Spring, MD 20901
(301) 891-3990 Fax: 891-3992
Dana Alston, Program Officer
Public Welfare Foundation
2600 Virginia Ave., NW
Washington, D.C. 20037
(202) 965-1800 Fax: 625-1348
Rose Marie Augustine
Tucsonians for a Clean Environment
7051 West Bopp Road
Tucson, Az 85746
(602) 883-8424 (Fax: same)
Chuck Bremmer, Executive Director
National Black Caucus of State Legislators
444 N. Capitol St., NW
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 624-5457 Fax: 508-3826
Bunyan Bryant, Ph. D.*
University of Michigan
School of Natural Resources
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
(313) 763-2470 Fax: 936-2195
Pat Bryant, ExecutiveDirector
Gulf Coast Tenants Organization
1866 North Gayoso Street
New Orleans, LA 70119
(504) 949-4919 Fax: 949-0422
Robert Bullard, Ph.D., Director *
Center for Environmental Justice
Clark Atlanta University
223 James P. Brawley Drive, SW
Atlanta, GA 30314
(404) 880-6920 Fax: 880-6909
P.O. Box 1393
Orlando, FL 32802
(407) 836-7350 Fax: 836-5879
Francis Calpotura, Co-Director
Center for Third World Organizing
1218 E. 21st Street
Oakland, CA 94609
(510) 533-7583 Fax: 533-0923
Samuel A. Carradine, Jr., Executive Director
National Association of Minority Contractors
1333 F Street, NW, Suite 500
Washington, DC 20004
(202) 347-8259 Fax: 628-1876
John Chambers, Esq.
McKenna & Cuneo
1575 Eye Street, NW.
Washington, DC 20005
(202) 789-7500 Fax: 789-7756
4NIE page B-1
Rohm and Haas Company (CMA)
Engineering Division Location
P.O. Box 584
Bristol, PA 19007
(215) 785-7440 Fax: 785-7227
Alliance for Environmental Justice
403 14th St. NE
Washington, DC 20002
(202) 396-7456 Fax: none
Clarice Gaylord, Ph. D., Director*
Office of Environmental Justice
USEPA 401 M St., SW
Washington, DC 20460
(202) 260-6357 Fax: 260-0852
Tom Goldtooth, Environmental Coordinator
Department of Natural Resources
Highway 1, PO Box 279
Red Lake, MN 56671
(218) 679-3959 Fax: 679-2830
John Hall, Chairman*
Texas Natural Resources Conservation Commission
P.O. Box 13087
Austin, TX 78711-3087
(512) 463-7901 Fax: 475-2332
Dolores Herrera, Educator*
Albuquerque San Jose Community
Awareness Council, Inc.
P.O. Box 12297
Albuquerque, NM 87195-2297
(505) 243-4837 Fax: 243-3085
Hazel Johnson, Executive Director *
People for Community Recovery
13116 South Ellis Avenue
Chicago, IL 60627
(312) 468-3866 Fax: 468-8105
Charlotte Keys, President
Jesus People Against Pollution
P.O. Box 765
Columbia, MS 39429
(601) 736-0686 Fax: 736-7811
Washington University School of Law
One Brookings Drive
St. Louis, MO 63130
(314) 935-6495 Fax: 935-6493
Charles Lee, Director of Research*
United Church of Christ Commission
on Environmental Justice
475 Riverside Drive, Suite 1948
New York, NY 10015
(212) 870-2077 Fax: 870-2162
David Lester, Executive Director
Council for Energy Resource Tribes
1999 Broadway, Suite 2600
Denver, CO 80202-5726
(303) 297-2378 Fax: 296-5690
Mildred McClain, Executive Director
Citizens for Environmental Justice
1115 Habersham St.
Savannah, GA 31401
(912) 233-0907 Fax: 233-5105
Charles McDermott, Director of Government Affairs*
WMX Technologies, Inc.
1155 Connecticut Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 467-4480 Fax: 659-8752
Norris McDonald, President
Center for Environment, Commerce and Energy
122 C St., NW
Washington, DC 20004
(202) 393-3303 Fax: 393-3304
Northeast Regional Environmental Justice Network
c/o NRDC 40 W. 20th Street,
New York City, NY 10011
(212) 727-4480 Fax: 727-1773
HUD, Special Assistant
5339 North 5th Street
^NIE page B-2
Arlington, VA 22203
(202) 401-8979 Fax: (202) 401-2370
Gillian Mittelstaedt, Environmental Analyst
Tulalip Natural Resources
7615 Totem Beach Road
Marysville, WA 98271
(206) 653-0220 Fax: 653-0234
Prof. Paul Mohai
School of Natural Resources and Environment
University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1115
(313) 763-4598 Fax: 936-2195
Richard Moore, Co-Chair*
Southwest Network for Environmental
& Social Justice
PO. Box 7399
Albuquerque, NM 87194
(505) 242-0416 Fax: 242-5609
Washington Analytical Services Center
8809 Sudley Road
(703) 330-4321 Fax: 330-4050
Sarah Moten, Ph.D.
National Council of Negro Women
1001 G St., NW
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 628-0015 Fax: 628-0233
John O'Leary, Esq.*
Pierce, Atwood, & Scribber
One Monument Square
Portland, ME 04468
(207) 773-6411 Fax: 773-3419
Devon Pena, Ph.D.
Department of Sociology
Colorado Springs, CO 80903
(719) 389-6820 Fax: 389-6586
University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
(313) 764-1433 Fax: 936-2195
800 North Lindburgh St.
St. Louis, MO 63167
(314) 694-8882 Fax: 694-8957
Richard Regan, Legislative Assistant
Cong. Charlie Rose (D)-NC
2230 Rayburn House Office Bldg.
Washington, DC. 20515
(202) 225-2731 Fax: 225-2470
Puerto Rico Industrial Mission
PO. Box 363728
San Juan, PR 00936-3728
(809) 765-4303 Fax: 754-6462
John Rosenthal, Esq.
Director of Environmental Affairs
1025 Vermont Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20515
(202) 638-4840 Fax: 638-5936
Asian/Pacific Environmental Network
3126 California Street
Oakland, CA 94602
(510) 834-8920 Fax: 834-8926
National Council of Churches
476 Riverside Drive, Room 572
New York, NY 10115-0050
(212) 870-2385 Fax: 870-3112
Gail Small, Executive Director
Native Action, PO Box 316
Lame Deer, MT 59043
(406) 477-6390 Fax: 477-6421
Ivette Perfecto, Ph. D.
School of Natural Resources
NIE page B-3
1436 U Street, NW.
Washington, DC. 20009
(202) 462-1177 Fax: 462-4507
Pamela Taulee, Labor Coordinator
Labor Occupational Health Programs
University of California, Berkley
2515 Channing Way
Berkley, CA 94720
(510) 643-7594 Fax: 643-5698
Alaska Native Health Board
Tanana Chiefs Council
1345 Rudakof Circle, Suite 206
Anchorage, AK 99508
(907) 337-0028 Fax: 333-2001
14540 Haynes St. Suite 200
Van Nuys, CA 91411
400 Hualani St.
Suite 194 Hilo
Honolulu, HI 96720
(808) 961-2888 Fax: 935-8854
Southern Organizing Committee
for Economic and Social Justice
PO. Box 10518
Atlanta, Georgia 30310
(404) 755-2855 Fax: 255-0575
Baldemar Velasquez, Director*
Farm Labor Organizing Committee
507 South St. Clair Street
Toledo, OH 43602
(419) 243-3456 Fax: 243-5655
House of Representatives
Washington State Legislature
403 John L. O'Brien Bldg.
Olympus, WA 98504-0622
(206) 720-3049 Fax: 720-3053
Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund
400 Magazine Street, Suite 401
New Orleans, LA 70130
(504) 483-7340 Fax: 566-7242
Pollution Prevention Specialist
National Wildlife Federation
Great Lakes Natural Resource Center
506 E. Liberty
Ann Arbor, MI 40814-2210
(313) 769-3351 Fax: 769-1449
Terry Williams, Executive Director
Tulalip Natural Resources
7615 Totem Beach Road
Marysville, WA 98270
(206) 653-0220 Fax: 653-0234
Beverly Wright, Director*
Deep South Center for Environmental Justice
81311 Aberdeen Road
New Orleans, LA 70126
(504) 483-7340 Fax: 488-7977
Sam Wynder, Director
National Tribal Environmental Council
6001 Osuna NE
Albuquerque, NM 87109
(505) 242-2175 Fax: 242-2660
NIE page B-4
Alabama A&M University
Florida International University
Jackson State University
National Association of Minority Contractors
National Black Caucus of State Legislators
National Council of African American Men
National Council of Negro Women
Northern Arizona University
Kurt Schmoke, Mayor, City of Baltimore, Maryland
University of Texas at El Paso
MINORITY COSPONSORS OF LEGISLATION TO ESTABLISH THE NIE
Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-CA)
Rep. Sanford Bishop (D-GA)
Rep. Corrine Brown (D-FL)
Rep. William Clay (D-MO)
Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC)
Rep. Ron Dellums (D-CA)
Rep. Julian Dixon (D-CA)
Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL)
Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-FL)
Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (Del. DC)
Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX)
Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D-GA)
Rep. Carrie Meek (D-FL)
Rep. Major Owens (D-NY)
Rep. Donald Payne (D-NJ)
Rep. Mel Reynolds (D-IL)
Rep. Carlos Romero-Barcelo (Del. PR)
Rep. Bobby Rush (D-IL)
Rep. Robert Scott (D-VA)
Rep. Jose Serrano (D-NY)
Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS)
Rep. Walter Tucker (D-CA)
Rep. Nydia Velasquez (D-NY)
Rep. Craig Washington (D-TX)
Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA)
Rep. Albert Wynn (D-MD
Senator Carol Mosley-Braun (D-IL)
NIE page C-1
EXECUTIVE ORDER 12898 of February 11, 1994
FEDERAL ACTIONS TO ADDRESS ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE IN
MINORITY POPULATIONS AND LOW-INCOME POPULATIONS
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United
States of America, it is hereby ordered as follows:
Section 1-1. Implementation
1-101. Agency Responsibilities. To the greatest extent practicable and permitted
by law, and consistent with the principles set forth in the report on the National
Performance Review, each Federal agency shall make achieving environmental justice
part of its mission by identifying and addressing, as appropriate, disproportionately high
and adverse human health or environmental effects of its programs, policies, and activi-
ties on minority populations and low-income populations in the United States and its ter-
ritories and possessions, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and
the Commonwealth of the Mariana Islands.
1-202. Creation of an Interagency Working Group on Environmental Justice.
(a) Within 3 months of the date of this order, the Administrator of the
Environmental Protection Agency ("Administrator") or the Administrator's designee
shall convene an interagency Federal Working Group on Environmental Justice
("Working Group"). The Working Group shall comprise the heads of the following exec-
utive agencies and offices, or their designees: (a) Department of Defense; (b) Department
of Health and Human Services; (c) Department of Housing and Urban Development; (d)
Department of Labor; (e) Department of Agriculture; (f) Department of Transportation;
(g) Department of Justice; (h) Department of the Interior; (i) Department of Commerce;
(j) Department of Energy; (k) Environmental Protection Agency; (1) Office of
Management and Budget; (m) Office of Science and Technology Policy; (n) Office of the
Deputy Assistant to the President for Environmental Policy; (o) Office of the Assistant to
the President for Domestic Policy; (p) National Economic Council; (q) Council of
Economic Advisors; and (r) such other Government officials as the President may desig-
nate. The Working Group shall report to the President through the Deputy Assistant to
the President for Environmental Policy and the Assistant to the President for Domestic
(b) The Working Group shall: (1) provide guidance to Federal agencies on crite-
ria for identifying disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental
effects on minority populations and low-income populations;
(2) coordinate with, provide guidance to, and serve as a clearinghouse for, each
Federal agency as it develops an environmental justice strategy as required by section 1-
103 of this order, in order to ensure that the administration, interpretation and enforce-
ment of programs, activities and policies are undertaken in a consistent manner;
(3) assist in coordinating research by, and stimulating cooperation among, the
Spae Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Health and Human Services, the
CNIE page D-l
Department of Housing and Urban Development, and other agencies conducting research
or other activities in accordance with section 3-3 of this order;
(4) assist in coordinating data collection, required by this order;
(5) examine existing data and studies on environmental justice;
(6) hold public meetings as required in section 5-502(d) of this order; and
(7) develop interagency model projects on environmental justice that evidence
cooperation among Federal agencies.
1-103. Development of Agency Strategies: (a) Except as provided in section 6-
605 of this order, each Federal agency shall develop an agency-wide environmental jus-
tice strategy, as set forth in subsections (b)-(e) of this section that identifies and address-
es disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects of its pro-
grams, policies, and activities on minority populations and low-income populations. The
environmental justice strategy shall list programs, policies, planning and public partici-
pation processes, enforcement, and/or rulemaking's related to human health or the envi-
ronment that should be revised to, at a minimum: (1) promote enforcement of all health
and environmental statutes in areas with minority populations and low-income popula-
tions; (2) ensure greater public participation; (3) improve research and data collection
relating to the health of and environment of minority populations and low-income popu-
lations; and (4) identify differential patterns of consumption of natural resources among
minority populations and low-income populations. In addition, the environmental justice
strategy shall include, where appropriate, a timetable for undertaking identified revisions
and consideration of economic and social implications of the revisions.
(b) Within 4 months of the date of this order, each Federal agency shall identify
an internal administrative process for developing its environmental justice strategy, and
shall inform the Working Group of the process.
(c) Within 6 months of the date of this order, each Federal agency shall provide
the Working Group with an outline of its proposed environmental justice strategy.
(d) Within 10 months of the date of this order, each Federal agency shall provide
the Working Group with its proposed environmental justice strategy.
(e) Within 12 months of the date of this order, each Federal agency shall finalize
its environmental justice strategy and provide a copy and written description of its strat-
egy to the Working Group. During the 12 month period from the date of this order, each
Federal agency, as part of its environmental justice strategy, shall identify several specif-
ic projects that can be promptly undertaken to address particular concerns identified dur-
ing the development of the proposed environmental justice strategy, and a schedule for
implementing those projects.
(f) Within 24 months of the date of this order, each Federal agency shall report to
the Working Group on its progress in implementing its agency-wide environmental jus-
(g) Federal agencies shall provide additional periodic reports to the Working
Group as requested by the Working Group.
NIE page D-2
1-104. Reports to the President. Within 14 months of the date of this order, the
Working Group shall submit to the President, through the Office of the Deputy Assistant
to the President for Environmental Policy and the Office of the Assistant to the President
for Domestic Policy, a report that describes the implementation of this order, and includes
the final environmental justice strategies described in section 1-103 (e) of this order.
Sec. 2-2. Federal Agency Responsibilities for Federal Programs. Each
Federal agency shall conduct its programs, policies, and activities that substantially affect
human health or the environment, in a manner that ensures that such programs, policies,
and activities do not have the effect of excluding persons (including populations) from
participation in, denying persons (including populations) the benefits of, or subjecting
persons (including populations) to discrimination under, such programs, policies, and
activities, because of their race, color, or national origin.
Sec. 3-3. Research, Data Collection, and Analysis.
3-301. Human Health and Environmental Research and Analysis. (a)
Environmental human health research, whenever practicable and appropriate, shall
include diverse segments of the population in epidemiological and clinical studies,
including segments at high risk from environmental hazards, such as minority popula-
tions, low-income populations and workers who may be exposed to substantial environ-
(b) Environmental human health analyses, whenever practicable and appropriate,
shall identify multiple and cumulative exposures.
(c) Federal agencies shall provide minority populations and low-income popula-
tions the opportunity to comment on the development and design of research strategies
undertaken pursuant to this order.
3-302. Human Health and Environmental Data Collection and Analysis. To the
extent permitted by existing law, including the Privacy Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. section
552a): (a) each Federal agency, whenever practicable and appropriate, shall collect, main-
tain, and analyze information assessing and comparing environmental and human health
risks borne by populations identified by race, national origin, or income. To the extent
practical and appropriate, Federal agencies shall use this information to determine whether
their programs, policies, and activities have disproportionately high and adverse human
health or environmental effects on minority populations and low-income populations;
(b) In connection with the development and implementation of agency strategies
in section 1-103 of this order, each Federal agency, whenever practicable and appropri-
ate, shall collect, maintain and analyze information on the race, national origin, income
level, and other readily accessible and appropriate information for areas surrounding
facilities or sites expected to have a substantial environmental, human health, or eco-
nomic effect on the surrounding populations, when such facilities or sites become the sub-
ject of a substantial Federal environmental administrative or judicial action. Such infor- E
mation shall be made available to the public, unless prohibited by law; and NIE page D-3
(c) Each Federal agency, whenever practicable and appropriate, shall collect,
maintain, and analyze information on the race, national origin, income level, and other
readily accessible and appropriate information for areas surrounding Federal facilities
that are: (1) subject to the reporting requirements under the Emergency Planning and
Community Right-to-Know Act, 42 U.S.C. section 11001-11050 as mandated in
Executive Order No. 12856; and (2) expected to have a substantial environmental,
human-health, or economic effect on surrounding populations. Such information shall be
made available to the public, unless prohibited by law.
(d) In carrying out the responsibilities in this section, each Federal agency, when-
ever practicable and appropriate, shall share information and eliminate unnecessary
duplication of efforts through the use of existing data systems and cooperative agreements
among Federal agencies and with States, local, and tribal governments.
Sec. 4-4. Subsistence Consumption of Fish and Wildlife.
4-401. Consumption Patterns. In order to assist in identifying the need for ensur-
ing protection of populations with differential patterns of subsistence consumption of fish
and wildlife, Federal agencies, whenever practicable and appropriate, shall collect, main-
tain, and analyze information on the consumption patterns of populations who principal-
ly rely on fish and/or wildlife for subsistence. Federal agencies shall communicate to the
public the risks of those consumption patterns.
4-402. Guidance. Federal agencies, whenever practicable and appropriate, shall
work in a coordinated manner to publish guidance reflecting the latest scientific informa-
tion available concerning methods for evaluating the human health risks associated with
the consumption of pollutant-bearing fish or wildlife. Agencies shall consider such guid-
ance in developing their policies and rules.
Sec. 5-5. Public Participation and Access to Information. (a) The public may
submit recommendations to Federal agencies relating to the incorporation of environ-
mental justice principles into Federal agency programs or policies. Each Federal agency
shall convey such recommendations to the Working Group.
(b) Each Federal agency may, whenever practicable and appropriate, translate
crucial public documents, notices, and hearings relating to human health or the environ-
ment for limited English speaking populations.
(c) Each Federal agency shall work to ensure that public documents, notices, and
hearings relating to human health or the environment are concise, understandable, and
readily accessible to the public.
(d) The Working Group shall hold public meetings, as appropriate, for the pur-
pose of fact-finding, receiving public comments, and conducting inquiries concerning
environmental justice. The Working Group shall prepare for public review a summary of
the comments and recommendations discussed at the public meetings.
CNIE page D-4
Sec. 6-6. General Provisions.
6-601. Responsibility for Agency Implementation. The head of each Federal
agency shall be responsible for ensuring compliance with this order. Each Federal agency
shall conduct internal reviews and take such other steps as may be necessary to monitor
compliance with this order.
6-602. Executive Order No. 12250. This Executive order is intended to supple-
ment but not supersede Executive Order No. 12250, which requires consistent and effec-
tive implementation of various laws prohibiting discriminatory practices in programs
receiving Federal financial assistance. Nothing herein shall limit the effect or mandate of
this Executive Order No. 12250.
6-603. Executive Order No. 12875. This Executive order is not intended to limit
the effect or mandate of Executive Order No. 12875.
6-604. Scope. For purposes of this order, Federal agency means any agency on
the Working Group, and such other agencies as may be designated by the President, that
conducts any Federal program or activity that substantially affects human health or the
environment. Independent agencies are requested to comply with the provisions of this
6-605. Petitions for Exemptions. The head of a Federal agency may petition the
President for an exemption from the requirements of this order on the grounds that all or
some of the petitioning agency's programs or activities should not be subject to the
requirements of this order.
6-606. Native American Programs. Each Federal agency responsibility set forth
under this order shall apply equally to Native American Programs. In addition, the
Department of the Interior, in coordination with the Working Group, and, after consulta-
tion with tribal leaders, shall coordinate steps to be taken pursuant to this order that
address Federally-recognized Indian Tribes.
6-607. Costs. Unless otherwise provided by law, Federal agencies shall assume
the financial costs of complying with this order.
6-608. General. Federal agencies shall implement this order consistent with, and
to the extent permitted by, existing law.
6-609. Judicial Review. This order is intended only to improve the internal man-
agement of the executive branch and is not intended to, nor does it create any right, ben-
efit, or trust responsibility, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or equity by party
against the United States, its agencies, its officers, or any person. This order shall not be
construed to create any right to judicial review involving the compliance or noncompli-
ance of the United States, its agencies, its officers, or any other person with this order.
WILLIAM J. CLINTON THE WHITE HOUSE, February 11, 1994.
Federal Register Vol.59, No. 32 Wednesday, February 16, 1994
IE page D-5
COMMITTEE FOR THE
NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR THE ENVIRONMENT
730 I Ith St. NW Washington, DC 20001-4521
202/628-4303 Fax 202/628-4311