The Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday released a draft action plan that it says will help the agency achieve "environmental justice."
"Environmental justice" seems to be the concept of ensuring environmental protections for poor people in underserved areas. The EPA defines environmental justice as "the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people, regardless of race or income with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations and policies."
The EPA calls its new plan "EJ 2020," which is an update of it's "EJ 2014" plan.
"EJ 2020 will build on the foundation established by EPA's Plan EJ 2014, where we were able to improve on EJ in permitting, support community-based programs and develop science tools to access and facilitate grants," said Mustafa Santiago Ali, a senior advisor to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy on the issue of environmental justice.
The EPA said the goals of its action plan is to "deepen environmental justice" in an effort to "improve the health and environment of overburdened communities," collaborate with partners to "expand our impact within communities," and "demonstrate progress on outcomes that matter to communities."
EPA said as it considers its plan, it will conduct "informational and dialogue sessions with partners and stakeholder groups." It also asked for public comment on the plan.
The agency stressed that EJ 2020 is a strategy for advancing environmental justice. "It is not a rule," it said.
However, the plan itself is a five-page document that talks about incorporating environmental justice in rulemaking, and incorporating environmental justice in EPA permitting, compliance and other EPA actions.
Read the EPA's plan here: