Regional Perspectives: Seeking Justice in Transportation Plans

ejpngVia the Maryland Daily Record:


Special to The Daily Record

June 9, 2009

What would West Baltimore’s infamous “highway to nowhere” have in common with an MTA bus depot located in East Baltimore? The Route 40/Franklin-Mulberry corridor highway tore through established neighborhoods in the 1970s. The planned connection to Interstate 70 was never finished and the incomplete stub remains a blight today in the eyes of neighboring residents.

The site selection of the Kirk Avenue bus garage right up against a low-income residential area was seen as another case of not fully considering the impacts on a disadvantaged community. Both cases provided serious material for an innovative local study that has been going for a number of years. Continue reading

EPA Administrator Renews Commitment to Environmental Justice

Lisa P. Jackson, President Barack Obama’s choice to head the Environmental Protection Agency addressed the third anual State of the Environmental Justice in America 2009 coference this past friday via video.  Administrator Jackson called on grassroots movements in the US to “help build a 21st century sustainable infracstructure.”

A video of Jacksons address is available on the Environmental Justice Blog.

View Administrator Jacksons Bio on the EPA’s website.

The EPAs Environmental Justice Small Grants Program – Bringing Environmental Justice to Your Community

Via the EPA:

Check out the EPAs website for information on the Environmental Justice Small Grants Program (EJSG) and to see examples of successful EJ Grants from past EJSG recipients.

“The EJSG, supports and empowers communities working on solutions to local environmental and public health issues. The Program assists recipients in building collaborative partnerships to help them understand and address environmental and public health issues in their communities. Successful collaborative partnerships involve not only well-designed strategic plans to build, maintain and sustain the partnerships, but also to work towards addressing the local environmental and public health issues.”

Environmental Justice Scorecard – See Statistics on Your Area

Find environmental justice statistics on your area from

The subject of environmental justice is important, sensitive, and hard to measure. Advocates make a strong case that poor communities and communities of color can bear more than their share of environmental burdens – but in which places, and to what extent?Scorecard profiles environmental burdens in every community in the U.S., identifying which groups experience disproportionate toxic chemical releases, cancer risks from hazardous air pollutants, or proximity to Superfund sites and polluting facilities emitting smog and particulates. Environmental justice analyses are also available in spanish.

EPA Awards $800,000 in EJ Grants in 28 States

via the Environmental Justice Blog

EPA is awarding approximately$800,000 in grants to organizations working with communities facing environmental justice challenges throughout the country. Forty grants, up to $20,000 each, are going to community-based organizations and local and tribal governments in 28 states for community projects aimed at addressing environmental and public health issues.

The projects will address a variety of issues including:

· educating youth about the harmful effects of toxicsubstances such as asbestos and lead paint in Chicago;

· educating Albuquerque, N.M. residents and businesses onways to properly dispose of hazardous waste;

· conducting residential energy efficiency workshops andtraining in Kansas City, Mo. for Spanish- speaking communities;

· identifying air pollutants from truck emissions and othersources at Port Newark in New Brunswick, N.J.;

· ensuring that citizens of Barrow, Alaska have a voice inthe decision making on local oil and gas development projects;

Financial assistance under the environmental justice small grants program is available to all non-profit organizations designated by the IRS or recognized by the state, territory, commonwealth or tribe in which it is located; city, township, county government and their entities; or federally recognized Native American tribal governments. In the 15 years since initiating the environmental justice small grants program, EPA has awarded more than $20 million in funding to assist 1,130 community-based organizations and local and tribal governments. For more information on the grants program

Environmental Justice Included in 2009 Spending Bill

via Environmental Justice Blog and The Associated Press

Title II, Environmental Protection Agency, page 491 of the $410 billion Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2009 (H.R. 1105) states:

“None of the funds made available by this Act may be used in contravention of, or to delay the implementation of, Executive Order No. 12898 of February 11, 1994 (59 Fed. Reg. 7629; relating to Federal actions to address environmental justice in minority populations and low-income

H.R. 1105 making omnibus appropriations for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2009. Continue reading

2009 Environmental Justice Achievement Awards


Via the EPA

The 2009 Environmental Justice Achievement Awards will recognize mutli-stakeholder partnerships for their success in addressing environmental justice issues or by adopting the goals of environmental justice to positively impact their community.

The goals of the Environmental Justice Awards Program include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. promoting positive behavior on environmental justice issues by all stakeholder groups
  2. documenting models of success for others to emulate
  3. encouraging achievement of environmental results in communities having environmental justice issues
  4. fostering collaborative problem solving by all stakeholder organizations to address significant environmental justice concerns

To be considered for the award, mutli-stakeholder partnerships will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  1. partnerships and collaboration
  2. innovation
  3. community, equity, and public involvement
  4. environmental justice integration
  5. leveraged resources/capacity building/sustainability
  6. demonstrated results/effectiveness

Requests for Applications

On February 12, 2009, a new announcement was released for the Environmental Justice Achievement Awards Program was released.  The 2009 National Achievements in Environmental Justice Awards (PDF) (1,800KB, 3 pages) will recognize multi-stakeholder partnerships for their success in addressing environmental justice issues. Applications must be post-marked or emailed by no later than May 13, 2009.

Multi-stakeholder partnerships refer to the arrangement in which stakeholders work together to achieve goals.  Multi-Stakeholder Partnerships bring together diverse organizations with multiple perspectives and interests to address these issues.  Multi-Stakeholder Partnerships, for the purpose of addressing environmental justice issues, consist of various partners representing viewpoints from the following types of organizations:

  • Academic Institutions
  • Business and Industry organizations
  • Community based organizations
  • Non-governmental and Environmental organizations
  • State and local government organizations
  • Tribal government and indigenous organizations

Environmental Justice Toolkit Volume 2 Released

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ejtk-vol-2Volume 2 of the Environmental Justice Toolkit (EJTK) has just been released. This document expands upon the work done in Volume 1 in reviewing transportation related environmental justice issues in Baltimore. It takes the form of a guide whose function is to provide clarity to public health, transportation and community organizer practitioners on how to identify, understand and approach environmental justice issues at all levels. Like the Community Guide, Toolkit and Technical Documentation this final report will endeavor to quickly educate the user in the nature of the issues, orienting them to the key regulatory requirements guiding EJ, a synopsis of how the requirements have been responded to, characterization of good vs. deficient responses, and general instructions on how to use and benefit from the Tool Kit.

You can view volume 2 or download it as a pdf.

BREJTP Envirnomental Justice Booklet Released

The BREJTP Envirnomental Justice Booklet has been released. This booklet provides a highly readable summary of four of the BREJTP case studies as well as an overview of Environmental Justice and the BREJTP toolkit.

You can download this booklet as a pdf or view it live on