Public Involvement And Environmental Justice Planning

Environmental Justice is the public policy goal of ensuring that government activities do not have disproportionately high or negative impacts on low-income or minority populations. Minority populations are defined as African Americans, Hispanics, Asian Americans, American Indians, and Alaskan Natives. Low-income populations are defined as households with median incomes below the Department of Health and Human Services poverty guidelines. Environmental Justice is embodied in two federal documents: Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1994 Executive Order (EO) 12898 “Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority and Low-Income Populations.” Title VI requires federal agencies funding any program or activity with federal aid to ensure that “no person, on the ground of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of, or subjected to discrimination.” The EO builds on Title VI requiring federal agencies to identify and address “disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects of its programs, policies, and activities on minority and low-income populations.” The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) developed state guidelines to aid Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPO’s) in project-level analysis of environmental justice and the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) is currently developing guidance. The Duluth-Superior Metropolitan Interstate Committee (MIC), the designated MPO, has updated its Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP), Public Involvement Plan and Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) process to incorporate new technologies and techniques to increase public involvement and address environmental justice. An “Environmental Justice Representative” has been appointed to the Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC, which advises the MIC on technical issues) from Community Action Duluth, the local Community Action Program office. In addition, the MIC has enhanced the use of the Internet in disseminating information, increased outreach to organizations and expanded Geographic Information Systems (GIS) techniques to examine environmental justice. Specific GIS techniques include overlaying LRTP and TIP projects on areas of low-income and minority populations and correlating them with multimodal crash data and transit connectivity. GIS was also used to conduct a non-motorized mobility analysis (six positive and negative criteria) and was overlaid on minority and low-income data.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: CD-ROM
  • Pagination: 12p
  • Monograph Title: Eighth National Conference on Transportation Planning for Small and Medium-Sized Communities, September 18-20, 2002, Cincinnati, Ohio

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01045197
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Mar 13 2007 10:18AM