Environmental Protection
1 Policy t%nn!rig,
June 1992
v>EPA    Environmental Equity

             Reducing Risk for
             All Communities
            Volume 2:
            Supporting Document
        Recycled/Recyclable • Printed with Vegetable Based Inks on Recycled Paper (20% Postconsumer)


1.0 Introduction	 .	...........	........	.. 1
2.0 Findings c.n Health and Exposures			.	 4
    2.1 Background Health and Socioeconomic Data	 4
       2.1.1   Health Data		...	4
       2.1.2   Socioeconomic Data	6
    2.2 Exposures		...... —	.. 7
       2.2.1   Residence Near Waste Sites	'...	7
       2.2.2   Lead Exposure ..			9
       2.2.3   Pesticide Exposure	10
       2.2.4   Air Pollution Exposure  .......	.i. . .	10
       2.2.5   Dietary Exposure Through Fish Consumption	12
    2.3 Environmental Health Effects	14
    2.4 Conclusions	 — 15

3.0 Evaluation of EPA Programs	16
    3.1 Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response	 17
       3.1.1   General Conclusions of Awareness Workshop Participants  ..'... 17
       3.1.2   Specific Problem Areas	18
    3.2 Office of Air and Radiation	20
       3.2.1   Composition of Populations  Sensitive to Air Pollution	21
       3.2.2   1990 Clean Air Act Amendments	 22
       3.Z3   Conclusions .,	 26

4.0 Native Americans: Distinct Issues .		27
    4.1 Regional Indian Coordinator Concerns	 27
    4.2 Wisconsin Tribes Comparative Risk Study		........ 28

5.0 Risk Assessment and Risk Management  — .-	30
    5.1 Principle Findings   ,	31
    5.2 Evidence of Increased Risk	• •  • •	 32
    5.3 Findings on Components of the Risk Assessment Process	 33
       5.3.1   Hazard Identification	 33 .
       5.3.2   Exposure Assessment	.34
       5.3.3   Risk Characterization	36
    5.4 Findings on Components of the Risk Management Process ...•"."	 36
    5.5 Conclusions	36

6.0 Risk Communication	'.......	 37
    6.1 The Risk Communication Program	37
    6.2 Guidance from Seminal Risk Communication Documents	38
       6.2.1   Goals						;	 39
       6.2.2   Process					39
       6.2.3   Content  ...,			40
       6.2.4   Summary . „	41
    6.3 Risk Communication in Regulatory Programs	41
       63.1   Radon		.... 41
       6.3.2   Community-Right-To-Know  .....		 44
       6.3.3   Air Toxics  .			 45

       6.3.4   Pesticides	46
       6.3.5   Lead	.48
    6.4 Conclusions	.50

7.0 Outreach Efforts	51
    7.1 National Environmental Equity Network	51
    73. Cooperation With Other Federal Agencies ..	52

8.0 Regional Level Equity Perspectives and Efforts	 53
    8.1 Regional Staff Perspective	53
    8.2. Regional Equity Projects	54

9.0 Institutional Model for Addressing Environmental Equity Issues  	68
    9.1 Background and Rationale	68
    9.2 Mission of an Institutional Response	68
       9.2.1   Goals	68
       9.2.2   Functions		68
    93 Implementation Plan	69
       93.1   Phase One:  Short Term	69
       93.2   Phase Two: Long Term	.71

10.0   Comments from External Reviewers	72
    10.1 Summary of Comments	72
       10.1.1 Major Points	,	72
       10.1.2 Michigan Coalition	73
       10.1.3 Southwest Network for Environmental and Economic Justice  .... 75
       10.1.4 Dr. Robert Bullard		77
       10.1.5 Human Environment Center	. . .	,. . 79
    10.2 Comments from External Reviewers	80

11.0   Bibliography	:	122


Table One     Relative Cancer Mortality Rates (1970s) for Females	....... 5

Table Two     Relative Cancer Mortality Rates (1970s) for Males ...		5

Table Three    Comparison, of Selected Socioeconomic Characteristics by Ethnic
              Group	 6

Table Four     Comparison of Urban Versus Rural Distribution of Population
              By Ethnic Group 		 ..		.....7

Table Five     1980 Data for Census Areas Where EPA Region IV
              Hazardous Waste Landfills Are Located	 . 8

Table Six      Estimated Percentage of Children (Living in Cities with
              Population Over a Million) 0.5-5 Years Old with Blood Levels
              Greater Than 15 ng/dl By  Race and Income	9

Table Seven    Percentages of Total U.S. Whites, Blacks, and Hispanics
              in EPA-Designated Air Quality Non-Attainment Areas
   :           By Air Pollutant			11

Table Eight    Prevalence of Chronic Respiratory Conditions  (per 1,000) for 1985-
              1987 By Income and Ethnicity	:	.,. 15

Figure One    Minority Percentage of the Population in U.S. Communities
             with Operating Commercial Hazardous Waste Facilities . . .
Figure Two    Equity: Institutional Model (Internal)
. 9


Over the past twenty years, the Environmental Protection Agency has made
considerable progress in protecting and cleaning up the environment.  Many forms
of air pollution are significantly reduced, many surface water systems have shown
dramatic recovery, and hazardous waste is better managed and contained.
Although the successes are considerable, so are the remaining problems.
    Traditionally, many environmental programs at all levels of government have
set universal standards for individual pollutants emitted by specific types of
sources with the goal of protecting the environment and aU people.  Recognizing
that not everyone is affected in the same ways by pollution, these standards have
often been set to protect the most vulnerable, such as asthmatics or pregnant
    Out of this initial strategy a new approach to environmental protection has
emerged. The EPA Science Advisory Board, in its report Reducing Risk:  Setting
Priorities and Strategies for Environmental Protection, urged EPA to target its
environmental protection efforts based on the opportunities for reducing the most
serious remaining risks. Thus, the next refinement to environmental protection is
to examine which environmental problems pose the greatest risks nationwide to
human health and the environment,  and to begin targeting new efforts on these
    In targeting its protection efforts to reduce the most serious risks; the Agency
has begun to examine how the patterns of environmental problems converge on
different places, how the people who live in those places are affected, and how
environmental programs should be refined to address identified differences. A
community surrounded by multiple  sources of air pollution, ringed by waste
treatment facilities and landfills, and whose residences contain lead-based paint
clearly faces higher than average potential environmental risks. It is in this context
that concerns have been raised about the relative risk burden borne by low-income
and racial, minority communities.  Examination of these differences in risk burden
and how government agencies  respond is known as environmental equity.
Although there are many types of equity, this report focuses on racial and
socioeconomic equity.
    With these concerns and objectives in mind, in July 1990, EPA Administrator
William K. Reilly formed the Environmental Equity Workgroup with staff from
offices and regions across the Agency., Administrator Reilly charged the
Workgroup with four tasks:         .

Task One:   Review and evaluate the evidence that racial minority and low-income
           people bear a disproportionate risk burden.           •
            '                       ''
Task Two:   Review current EPA programs to identify factors that might give rise to
           differential risk reduction, and develop approaches to correct such

Task Three:  Review EPA risk assessment and risk communication guidelines with
           respect to race and income related risks.

 Task Four:  Review institutional relationships, including outreach to and
           consultation with racial minority, and low-income organizations, to
           assure that EPA is fulfilling its mission with respect to these

    To perform these tasks, the Workgroup formed seven subgroups: Health
 Effects Subgroup, EPA Programs Subgroup, Risk Assessment Subgroup, Risk
 Communication Subgroup, Outreach Subgroup, Regional Perspectives Subgroup,
 and the Equity Analysis Subgroup. Two other subgroups were formed later in the
 process:  The Implementation Subgroup (focusing on the implementation of the
 report's recommendations), and the Native American Tribal Issues Subgroup.
    The report consists of two parts. The first part — the main body — gives the
 background and context of the Workgroup, defines the issues, and summarizes the
 Workgroup's findings and recommendations. The second part — this document —
 is the supporting document to the summary report, contains the complete findings
 of the subgroups.  The supporting document is designed to be read along with the
 main body of the report, not as a separate document. Some repetition of findings
 and recommendations between the main-body, this document, and subgroup
 reports occurs. This supporting document also includes expanded examples of
 regional equity efforts, including projects not discussed in the summary report.

The terms; used to describe racial population groups are continually changing. The
United Church of Christ's Toxic Waste and Race Report defines "minority
populations" to include: Blacks, Hispanics, Asian/Pacific Islanders, American
Indians [and Alaskan Natives] and other "non-White" persons (UCC, 1987).
However, other terms are also in use today.  In this report, Black and African
American are used interchangeably, as are Hispanic and Latino, and Indian and
Native American. TO avoid misreporting research, where studies are discussed in
this report, the original classifications are retained. In charts where information is
not provided for all racial groups, it was absent from the original studies.
Furthermore, this report follows the common practice used in demographics: "race"
differentiates among population groups based on physical characteristics of a
genetic origin (i.e., skin color), and "ethnicity" refers to differences associated with
cultural or geographic differences (i.e., Hispanic, Irish).
    The term used in this report to describe the equitable distribution of
environmental protection benefits is also the subject of considerable debate.
Environmental equity, as described above, refers to the distribution and effects of
environmental problems and the policies and processes to reduce differences in
who bears environmental risks. An alternate term is environmental justice.  Some
use the term environmental racism to refer to disproportionate environmental risks
in racial minority communities (Rees, 1992).
    EPA chose the term environmental equity because it most readily lends itself to
scientific risk analysis.  The distribution of environmental risks is often measurable
and quantifiable.  The Agency can act on inequities based on scientific data.
Evaluating the existence of injustices and racism is more difficult because they take
into account socioeconomic factors in addition to the distribution of environmental
benefits that are beyond the scope of this report. Furthermore, environmental

equity, in contrast to environmental racism, includes the disproportionate risk
burden placed on any population group, as defined by gender, age, income, as well
as race.                  „
    The Workgroup recognizes the importance and sensitivity of these terms. The
Workgroup also recognizes that combining racial groups into one category, racial
minorities,  can lead to overgeneralizations regarding the risk burdens borne by
different communities. Any perceived misuse of these terms is unintentional.

 Administrator Reilly's first charge to the Workgroup was to review and evaluate
 the evidence that racial minority and low-income people bear a disproportionate
 risk burden. This section surveys existing scientific information on the distribution
 of health effects and environmental exposures across demographic lines.  The
 central issue is how an individual's identification with a particular ethnic minority
 or socioeconomic group might affect his or her exposure and/or susceptibility to
 environmental pollutants. Exposure-related attributes (proximity to sources,
 occupation, diet) and susceptibility-related attributes (genetic predisposition,'age,
 gender) vary according to population factors such as class and ethnicity.
    There are two general groups that are considered to be at high relative
 environmental/public health risk:

 •   Populations/individuals who experience the highest exposures.

 •   Populations/individuals' who are more biologically susceptible to the health
    effects of environmental pollution.  These people are more likely than the
    general population to develop environmentally induced disease or injury, even
    at equivalent exposures.

 The subgroup at highest risk is composed of individuals who are more biologically
 susceptible and who experience high exposures.
    A critical point to keep in mind in reading this section is the difficulty in
 distinguishing between the possible effects of poverty, ethnicity and race, and
 environmental pollution.

Clear evidence exists documenting dramatic differences in death rates, life
expectancy, and disease rates between African Americans and Whites. Black and
Hispanic Americans are generally poorer, less educated, have higher rates of
unemployment, are less likely to be covered by health insurance, and are less likely
to own their own homes than White Americans. How the combination of
economic, social, cultural, biological, environmental and possibly other unidentified
variables contributes to the health disparities remains less clear.

2.1.1  Background Health Data

According to statistics maintained by the Department of Health and Human
Services (HHS), age-specific death rates are higher for Black males and females
than their White counterparts in all age groups from 0 to 84 years of age (Census
Bureau, 1990).  Based on data from 1987, African Americans are dying at a rate 1.5
times that of White Americans (Census Bureau, 1990). The magnitude of this gap
is comparable to the dissimilarity in crude death rate between Haiti and  the United
States.  Insufficient research has been conducted to fully understand these different

death rates.  Little evidence exists linking the differences in disease and death rates
to environmental factors; and, for the diseases identified as environmentally
induced, little evidence exists identifying the contributions of class, race or
    Cancer provides a prime example of a disease scientists have studied
intensively, yet about which the combined contributions of race, ethnicity, and
environment remain unclear.  Cancer will strike one out of every four Americans.
Documented differences between races for cancer incidence (new cases), prevalence
(existing cases), and mortality exist. Understanding why these differences exist
awaits further .research. Tables 1 and 2 provide the relative cancer mortality rates
for all sites combined and for ten specific forms of cancer.

Table 1: Relative Cancer Mortality Rates (1970s) for Females (* Population With Highest Cancer Rate)
All Sites
Cervix uteri
Corpus uteri
1.00 .
' 0.36
0.50 .
' 0.83
Source: Fickle et a], (1990)
Table 2: Relative Cancer Mortality Rates (1970s) for Males (* Population With Highest Rates)
All Sites
Brain & CNS
 Source Fickle eL iL (1990)

     Black male and females die from cancer at all sites at rates (33% and 16%,
  respectfully) greater than Whites.  The overall mortality rate for all other ethnic
  minorities is lower than for Whites.  However, at specific sites, the picture is more
  varied. For example, white females have the highest cancer mortality rate for
  cancer of the breast, the leading cancer site for females; yet, Chinese American
  women have the highest cancer mortality rate for lung cancer. Variations also exist
  for men.  A comparison of new cancer case (cancer incidence) rates reveals a
  similarly varied picture: African American males have the highest incidence for all
  sites combined (23% higher than Whites) and for the two most frequently occurring
  cancers (lung and prostate). With the exception of cancer of the stomach, Native
  American males have significantly lower cancer rates than the general population.

  2.1.2 Socioeconomic Data

  Social/cultural factors can increase an individual's or population's susceptibility
  due to increased potential or actual exposure (live near pollutant source, activity
  patterns) or increased susceptibility to develop health effects.  Data on selected
 socioeconomic parameters are presented in Table 3.  The comparison indicates that
 Black and Hispanic Americans are on average poorer, less educated, have higher
 rates of unemployment, are less likely to be covered by health insurance, and are
 less likely to own their own homes than White Americans. Overall, about 32% of
 African Americans and 27% of Hispanic Americans have incomes below the
 poverty line, compared with approximately 10% of White Americans.

 Tfcble 3: Comparison of Selected Socioeconomic Characteristics by Ethnic Group (1988)
Median Household Income
Households below poverty level
Median years of school complete
Completed 4 +• years of college
Completed < 12 years of school
Percent of workers unemployed
Covered by health insurance (1987)
Live in own home (1987)
' 49.0%
 Source DOC, (1990)
    Several recent studies have suggested that much, if not all, of the differences in
cancer rate between African Americans and Whites can be explained by the effects
of poverty (Navarro, 1990; Basquet et. al, 1991).  Indeed, some have interpreted the
results to suggest that if differences in socioeconomic characteristics could be
eliminated, then Blacks would actually have a lower overall cancer rate than Whites
(Okie, 1991; Gibbons, 1991).  Others suggest that while poverty and lifestyle can
explain a significant portion of the observed difference, there is still a substantial
amount of variation that seems to be explained only by race or ethnicity (Gladwell
1990; Gibbons, 1991).

    The percentage of Whites and ethnic minorities living in urban versus rural
areas provides an interesting comparison.  As presented in Table 4, a much higher
proportion of Blacks,
Hispanics, and other minorities live in urban settings and, conversely, a much
smaller percentage live in rural areas. The higher proportion of White Americans
living in rural areas is striking. To the extent that certain environmental problems
can be connected to the rural population, White Americans may be at higher risk
because of their disproportionate residence in the areas;

Table 4: Comparison of Urban Versus Rural Distribution of Population by Ethnic Group
2.3% . .
27.0% "
Source DOC,(1990)
    A key question with regard to environmental equity is not just whether
socioeconomic characteristics and ethnicity are associated with an increased
potential for exposure, but whether they systematically result in higher actual


Although environmental measurements in air, water, soil, or food represent
"potential"  exposure rather than "actual" exposure. For example, the level of
outdoor air pollution in a particular community is a measure of the potential
exposure for the residents.  Individuals residing in the community are likely to
have significantly different exposures to air pollution depending on a number of
factors such as occupation, proximity to sources, indoor pollution sources,  and
activity patterns (e.g., time spent indoors versus out).  Therefore, although the
potential for exposure may be the same, not all potentially exposed persons will
experience the same actual exposure.
    To improve exposure estimates, the environment through which people move
during their daily activities is divided into small "microenvironments." In  any. or
all of these microenvironments, a person might encounter polluted air, water, or
food that is the critical predictor of his or her exposure. It is becoming increasingly
apparent that a person's activity pattern is the single most important determinant
of environmental exposures  for most pollutants.

2.2.1  Residences Near Waste  Sites

Evidence indicates that ethnic minorities are more likely to live near a commercial
or uncontrolled hazardous waste site. In 1982-83, the U.S. General Accounting
Office conducted a study of offsite hazardous waste landfills in the eight
southeastern states that comprise EPA's Region IV. The study found that in three
of the four communities where offsite hazardous waste landfills were located,

 Blacks were the majority of the population. In all four communities, at least 26
 percent of the population had incomes below the poverty level, and most of the
 population below the poverty level (ranging from 90 to 100 percent) was black
 (GAO,1983). Table 5 lists the GACXs findings.
 Table 5:1980 Data for Census Areas Where EPA Region IV Hazardous Waste Landfills Are Located
Chemical Waste
SCA Services (SC)
Industrial Chemical
Co. (SC)
Warren County
PCB Landfill (NC)
% Black
3NCOME ($)
All Races
% Black
    In its study, Toxic Waste and Race in the United States, the United Church of
 Christ found that the proportion of minorities in communities with the largest
 commercial landfills or the highest number of commercial waste facilities was three
 times greater than in communities without such facilities (UCC, 1987).  The study
 concluded that race was more strongly associated with residence near a waste site
 than socioeconomic status. Figure 1 presents the UCC's findings.
    Another report by the United Church of Christ concluded that the presence of
 "uncontrolled hazardous waste sites" (old industrial landfills and waste sites that
 arose before EPA or its laws were created) is highly pervasive. More than half of
 the total population in the U.S. resides in communities with uncontrolled toxic
 waste sites.  The report also found that three out of every five African and Hispanic
 Americans live in a community with an uncontrolled hazardous waste site.
    A study in 1990 by a non-profit organization found that the EPA remediates
 National Priority List (NPL) sites among the rural poor at least as quickly as it does
 in the country as a whole (Clean Sites, 1990). EPA also evaluates potential NPL
 sites among the rural poor as quickly as it evaluates potential sites nationally;
 however, potential sites in rural poor counties are listed on the NPL at half the rate
 of potential sites nationally.  The report conjectures that this difference may be
 attributable to the counties' small population size and/or lack of industrial facilities
 that generate hazardous waste. (A site is added to the NPL based on severity of
risk and number of people affected).  This study suggested that the Hazard
Ranking System, the system for determining whether the risks at a potential site
warrant placing that site on the NPL, be revised to take into account the
dependence of many rural communities on ground-water as a drinking water

Figure 1: Minority Percentage of the Population in U.S. Communities with Operating Commercial
Hazardous Waste Facilities







     Group I  Group II Group HI Group IV

Source: UCC, (1987)

 I. Residential 5-digit Zip code areas without
 operating commercial hazardous waste
• treatment, storage and disposal facilities.

 II. Residential 5-digit ZIP code areas with one
 operating commercial hazardous waste
 treatment, storage and disposal facility that is not
 a landfill.

 in. Residential 5-digit ZIP code areas with one
 operating commercial hazardous waste landfill
 that is not one of the five largest in the U.S.

 IV. Residential 5-digit ZIP code areas with one of
 America's five largest commercial hazardous
 waste landfills or more than one treatment,
 storage and disposal facility.

Lead exposures can and often do occur through multiple pathways and routes (e.g.,
air, paint chips, water, soil, food and house dust). Lead has known physiological
and neurobehavioral effects at low levels and children have shown a far greater
sensitivity than adults.  Overall, it is estimated that three to four million children in
the United States (approximately 17%) are at increased risk of lead poisoning
(ATSDR, 1988).
    The evidence on lead shows that all socioeconomic and ethnic groups have
children with lead in their blood (blood lead) high enough to cause adverse health
effects.  As shown in Table 6, however, a higher percentage of African American

 Table 6: Estimated Percentage of Children (Living in Cities with Population Over Million) 0.5-5 Years
 Old with Blood Levels Greater Than 15 ug/dl By Race and Income

                                  Income Levels
< $6,000
$6,000 - $15,000
> $15,000
  Source ASTDR, (1988)

 children compared to White children have unacceptable blood lead levels (ATSDR,
 1988). For both Blacks and Whites, increasing family income is associated with
 lower blood lead concentrations. The difference is smallest for the highest income
 level, yet there is still a large unexplained difference.

 2.2.3  Pesticide Exposures

 Exposures to pesticides occur in a variety of ways, including occupational settings;
 contact with garden, home, and lawn care products; contaminated food or soil; and
 even mother's milk. It is believed by many that racial minorities, especially
 Latinos, are at increased risk because of their high representation in the agricultural
 workforce (EPA, 1990b).
     It has been estimated that farm work not done by farm families is done
 primarily by ethnic minorities.  80 to 90% of the approximately two million hired
 farmworkers are Latino, followed in order by African Americans, Black Caribbeans,
 Puerto Ricans, Filipinos, Vietnamese, Laotians, Koreans, and Jamaicans (Martin et
     For a number of reasons, it is difficult to document the link between pesticides
 and health (Perfecto, 1990).  However, it is estimated that as many as 313,000 farm
 workers experience pesticide related illnesses each year (Wasserstrom and Wiles,
 1985; Perfecto, 1990).  Another study failed to find significant differences between
 Black and White field workers in Florida (Griffith and Duncan, 1983), while data.  •
 from the National Adipose Tissue Survey for 1982 found that Whites had
 significantly higher concentrations of pesticides in adipose tissue than minorities for
 five pesticides (Unger and Mack, 1989).  No compounds measured in the study
 were higher in Non-Whites.
    Results from a nationwide study of selected organochlorine pesticides in the
 milk of 1,436 mothers found that Hispanic women in the study had higher levels of
 dieldrin and oxychlordane, while heptachlor epoxide levels were similar for Whites
 and Hispanics (Savage, 1976): However, these data were not adjusted for the fact
 that most Hispanic mothers were from the Southwest, where pesticide use tends to
 be higher.
    EPA's Science Advisory Board (SAB) identified worker exposures to chemicals
 in agriculture as a high human health risk due to the large numbers of workers
 directly exposed to a range of highly toxic chemicals.  "[A]gricultural workers are
 exposed to many toxic substances in the workplace. Such exposures can cause
 cancer and a wide range of non-cancer health effects" (SAB, 1990).  While there  is
 very little published information on pesticide exposures in general and almost none
 at all on differences by call, race or ethnicity, it is clear that since racial and ethnic
 minorities comprise the majority of the documented and undocumented farm
 workforce, they may experience higher than average risk from agricultural

2.2.4  Air Pollution Exposures

Air pollution is primarily an urban phenomenon. Concentrations of some
pollutants are elevated in large urban areas where emission densities are highest.
As noted earlier, a large proportion of ethnic minorities reside in metropolitan areas
(Table 4, above) and therefore may be systematically exposed to higher levels of
certain air pollutants.

    A range of studies argue that air pollution disproportionately impact the poor
and racial and ethnic minorities. One study (Zupan, 1973) found that three of the
major indicators of unhealthful outdoor air quality (i.e., carbon monoxide, sulfur
dioxide, particulate matter) were positively correlated with low-income areas. In a
national study of carbon monoxide in the blood, African Americans were shown to
have higher levels than Whites (DOE, 1982). An examination of nitrogen dioxide
concentrations inside houses of poor minorities in Harlem and Washington Heights
(New York City) found 48-hour average values that exceeded the national standard.
The high nitrogen dioxide levels in these homes of Black and Hispanic families
resulted from almost continuous use of gas-fired cooking stoves, often to heat the
structure during cold weather (Goldstein et. al, 1986).
    A study of the distribution of total suspended particulates from 1970 to 1984
found that Blacks experienced higher average exposures and higher average risk
reduction benefits (from air pollution controls). The poor experienced a much
lower relative decrease in exposure than the rich (Gelobter, 1990).
    Researchers at the Argonne National Laboratory have found that higher
percentages of Blacks and Hispanics live in EPA-designated non-attainment areas,
relative to Whites, for particulate matter, carbon monoxide, ozone, sulfur dioxide
and lead (Wernette and Nieves, 1991). Table 7 summarizes their findings.  Some of
the differences in potential exposure to air pollutants can be explained by regional
variations in demographics and non-attainment statistics.  However, the differences
between Blacks and Whites are very surprising given the over-concentration of
Blacks, relative to Whites, in the South (where air pollution is lowest).  Also, it is
important to note that Hispanics experience the highest exposure rate nationally for
all pollutants except sulfur dioxide.  Because county-level data are used in the
analysis, the authors of the study suggest that they may be either overestimating or
underestimating the population subgroup differences in exposure to air pollutants,
but that underestimation is more likely.
    Nieves and  Wemette found several patterns in conducting the regional level
analysis.  First, the differences in exposure levels between percentages of racial
groups residing in non-attainment areas are generally greatest in the Northeast  and
North Central Regions, with the West and the South following.  Second, differences
in potential exposure between Blacks and Whites are generally greatest for carbon
monoxide and ozone, and least for lead and sulfur dioxide. Third, in no case are
Blacks and  Hispanics to any great degree underexposed to air pollution, relative to
the majority.                                                        <
    Wernette and Nieves  conclude that millions of racial minorities are at increased
relative risk of air pollution exposure, compared to the majority population, using
residence in non-attainment areas as a surrogate for risk
fable 7: Percentages of Ibtal U.S. Whites, Blacks and Hispanics in EPA-Designated Air Quality
Non-Attainment Areas, By Air Pollutant*
Particulate Matter
Carbon Monoxide
Sulfur Dioxide
5.7 . ,

 *• Hispanics may be of either race, since Hispanic is an ethnic, not a racUl, category.
 Source: Wemette and Nieves, (1991)

  2.2.5  Dietary Exposure Through Fish Consumption

  Consumption of fish can be an important route of exposure for certain pollutants,
  such as PCBs, dioxins, and furans (classes of toxins), which can bioaccumulate in
  fish tissues to high concentrations, even when the concentrations of these chemicals
  in water are below detection limits.  Many variables affect exposure rates to
  different pollutants and hence health risks.  These variables include: amount of
  fish ingested, origin and type of fish, pollutant concentrations in the water body in
  which the fish lived, the age of the fish, parts of the fish eaten, the percentage of fat
  of the fish, and the way the fish was prepared. Some populations, such as
  subsistence fishers (individuals who depend on fish for much of their dietary
  protein) and some cultural groups, consume much more fish than the average
  population. In addition, evidence suggests that certain populations of recreational
  anglers may consume fish at a greater than average rate.
     Nearly 20 local and national surveys and reports have examined aspects of
  fishing and fish consumption, and several have noted differences based on race and
  ethnicity. A recent survey of licensed anglers in Michigan, for example, found that
  Native Americans consumed 36% more fish and African Americans 13% more fish
  than the Caucasian population (West et al, 1990). Another survey, a California
  study of sport fishers, indicates that Asians/Samoans eat the most fish followed in
  order by Caucasians, Hispanics, and African Americans (Puffer, 1981).  National
  surveys also support these findings.  The National Purchase Diary (NPD) Survey, a
 national survey of 25,000 individuals, found Asians to have the highest fish
 consumption rate (SRI, 1980).
     Other socioeconomic  factors may also play a role in rates of fish consumption.
 Several studies found that fish consumption generally increases with increasing age
 (West et al 1990; SRI, 1980; NYDEC, 1988).  In addition, both the Michigan and
 NPD surveys found a correlation between lower education level and higher fish
; consumption.  However, studies have generally not found a correlation between
 income and fish consumption (SRI, 1980; West et. al, 1990). The one study that did
 find a correlation found that fish consumption actually increased with increasing
 income (NYDEC, 1988). These studies, however, most often focused on licensed
 fishers and may not be accounting for lower-income anglers who do not purchase
 licenses but continue to catch and consume fish.
    In addition to the quantity of fish eaten, fish preparation and species of fish
 eaten can also affect exposure to contaminants and may vary by socioeconomic
 factors.  Lipophilic (fat-loving) compounds that bioaccumulate, such as PCBs,
 dioxins and furans, tend to accumulate in the fatty portions of the fish and
 accumulate to a higher degree in  bottom feeding species.  Eating fish with the skin
and the fatty portion underneath  the skin is more likely to lead to higher exposures
of these contaminants than eating skinless, trimmed fillets, as is eating more of the
bottom feeding species. Most risk assessments assume that the population
consumes skinless, trimmed fillets, yet some studies have pointed to differences in
fish preparation by ethnicity.  The evidence suggests that ethnic minorities are
more likely to eat fish with the skin, may be less likely to trim the fat, and are
more likely to eat the whole fish (NOAA, 1985; West et. al, 1990). In addition,
preferred fish species differ for different populations.  The Michigan study found,
for example, that Great Lakes bottom dwellers were consumed exclusively by non-

white, low-income populations.  A study of anglers in Puget Sound found that
Asians disproportionately consumed clams and the hepatopancreas of crabs
(McCallum, 1985), both practices that might lead to higher relative exposures to
    This evidence suggests a greater potential for contaminant exposure to certain
populations through the fish ingestion route.  However, these studies were not
designed specifically to address these concerns. Additional studies are needed
before these differences can be consistently and conclusively validated.  In this
regard, EPA, in conjunction with the Indian Health Service, is sponsoring a fish
consumption study of four Pacific Northwest Indian tribes which is being
conducted by the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission.
    EPA's authority to address fish consumption is limited to the section of the
dean Water Act that gives EPA responsibility for setting water quality criteria for
protecting human health. EPA develops its water quality criteria and encourages
the states to set water quality standards assuming consumption over a 70-year
period of two liters  per day of ambient, untreated water and 6.5 grams per day of
fish caught in the same body of water. States use their water quality standards as a
basis for determining allowable stream/river loadings for contaminants discharged
from industrial facilities and from other sources.
    In order to determine the average amount of fish consumed, EPA examined
available studies and decided to use the 1977-78 survey conducted by the United
States Department of Agriculture (USDA). All the studies examined had
shortcomings. EPA decided to use the USDA survey because, at the time, it was
the most recently completed study and because it was a large, broad-based national
survey. That survey indicated that the average individual consumed 6.5 grams of
estuarine fish per day and 14.3 grams of all types of fish per day.
    In 1988, the Office of Waiter (OW) became concerned that the fish consumption
rates it was using might not be adequate to protect  human health when they noted
that the number of fish advisories was increasing. With the exception of Fish and
Wildlife Service's responsibility for issuing fishing advisories in Federal Wildlife
Refuges, states are responsible for issuing fishing advisories when fishjn a
waterbody are unsafe to eat.  OW gave the American Fishing Society a grant to
collect information regarding state practices and criteria for issuing fishing
advisories and their recommendations for technical assistance they needed from
    EPA has implemented the three activities the states identified as being most
useful to them.  First, OW developed uniform procedures for sampling and
analyzing fish species to determine pollutant concentration levels occurring in fish,
including information on which species to analyze, the age/size of fish to consider,
the fish parts to include in the measurement, and the contaminants to be analyzed.
OW worked with the states to develop guidance to address these issues arid
expects to release it in November 1992. OW plans to hold workshops in Fiscal Year
1994 to train the states on use of these guidelines.
    EPA is also developing guidance for states to use in implementing fish
consumption surveys to determine site specific consumption rates f pr use in
 developing state water quality standards. OW started work on these guidelines in
 1988 and held a workshop for national experts on this subject in December 1991.
 EPA announced the availability of a document to help states  develop consumption
 rates in April 1992  to ensure adequate protection of local populations consuming
 more fish than the national consumption rates. The office distributed copies of the

 guidance to the states and others who had participated in its development and has
 been filling about 30 requests a day for it ever since.
    OW also established an electronic bulletin board to help states share
 information on fishing advisories. The bulletin board was initiated about 11/2
 years ago and includes all currently effective fishing advisories and an annotated
 bibliography of all documents related to the consumption rates and advisories. The
 bulletin board allows users to query other users for useful information they may


 The difficulty in establishing a causal relationship between health effects and
 environmental exposures stems from a multitude of factors. First, the etiology of
 many diseases has not been fully elaborated. Second, most diseases to which
 environmental exposures may contribute have a plethora of possible causes. People
 are also routinely exposed to a vast array of environmental agents—few of which
 are quantified.  Fourth, the latency period for health effects from long-term, low-
 level  exposures may be 20 years or more. Fifth, environmental pollutants may
 cause multiple health effects.  Finally, a single health effect may result from
 multiple exposures.
    Relatively little information exits on the influence of class, race or ethnicity on
 environmentally induced disease. Most of the work has emphasized differences in
 disease rates between various groups where a strong likelihood exists that
 environmental exposure plays a causative role. Lung cancer and Chronic
 Obstructive Pulmonary Disease  (COPD) are two health outcomes for which
 environmental exposures may have a causal effect.
    Lung cancer accounts for about 14%  of all cancer incidence and 23% of all
 cancer deaths (NCI, 1989). The  incidence of lung cancer in Black men is
 significantly higher than any other ethnic group, 0.5 times higher than Whites,
 more than 2.5 times higher than Hispanics, 1.5 to 3.5 times higher than Asians, and
 more than 8.0 times higher than Native Americans (NCI, 1984). It is estimated that
 cigarette smoking is responsible for about 85% of lung cancer eases (NCI, 1984).
 Other risk factors that can contribute to the disease are exposure  to asbestos,
 ionizing radiation, and  a number of chemicals, including benzene and inorganic
    The higher smoking rates among Black men (34% who smoke compared to 28%
for Whites) is undoubtedly responsible for much of the difference (NO, 1984).
Nevertheless, it is not clear that smoking can explain all of the variability,
especially the eight-fold difference between Blacks and Native Americans.  Air
pollution, along with other pollutant exposures, may play a role in this disparity.   -
    COPD, which includes emphysema, chronic bronchitis, asthma, and  allied
conditions, accounted for about  3.5% of all deaths in the United States in 1987, up
from 1.6% in 1970. An estimated 10% of all Americans are afflicted with COPD,
with asthma alone affecting as many as 20 million people  (NCHS, 1990).
    When viewed as a single entity, COPD is more prevalent in Whites than Blacks
and more prevalent among Blacks than other ethnic minorities. Both African
Americans and Whites  exhibit a significantly higher incidence among poor people.
A comparison of COPD by ethnicity and income is given in Table 8.
    The implications of COPD'for environmental equity are not
entirely clear. It is not yet possible to separate the effects  of smoking and
occupational exposures from environmental exposures or to assess the role of

varying susceptibility. However, the effect of exposures to environmental
pollutants on the prevalence;, morbidity, and mortality of COPD is believed to be

Table 8: Prevelance of Chronic Respiratory Conditions (per 1,000) for 1985-1987 by Income and Ethnicity.

Chronic Bronchitis
Source NCHS, (1990)

greater than on cancer rates (Becklake, 1990; Poll and Peto, 1981). One hypothesis
is that air pollution exposures vary by race, ethnicity, and class, explaining part of
the variability in COPD.


There are clear and dramatic disparities among ethnic groups for death rates, life
expectancy, and disease rates. There is also a surprising lack of data on human
exposures to environmental pollutants for Whites as well as for ethnic and racial
minorities.  One exception is lead exposures in children, and there the data are
unequivocal: Black children have disproportionately higher blood lead levels than
White children even when socioeconomic variables are factored in. For other
pollutants, available information suggests that racial minorities may have a greater
potential for exposure to some pollutants because they tend to live in urban areas,
are more likely to live near a waste site, or exhibit a greater tendency to rely on
subsistence fishing for dietary protein.        ,


 EPA programs are devoted to the control of pollution in specific environmental
 media (e.g., air, surface water, drinking water); the manufacture, distribution and
 use of hazardous substances in commerce and agriculture; and the management
 and clean-up of solid and hazardous wastes. The legislation authorizing these
 programs gives EPA, the States, and municipal governments different regulatory,
 implementation, and enforcement powers and responsibilities in each of these
 program areas. Administrator Reilly charged the workgroup with reviewing
 current EPA programs to identify factors that might give rise to differential risk
 reduction, and to develop approaches to correct such problems.
    A general review of EPA programs reveals variations, within and among the
 program offices, in addressing the distribution of risks across population groups.
 Some offices explicitly consider the distribution of risk and high risk populations in
 their decision-making processes. For example, the Office of Pesticide Programs
 (OPP) identifies and addresses risks to population groups, particularly agricultural
 workers, through the special review, reregistration and registration programs. For
 dietary exposure, OPP has a system in place that can examine consumption of
 various commodities based on gender-, ethnic- and age-specific patterns.  OPP uses
 the system to examine exposure of 22 population groups. In addition, OPP
 routinely uses "safety factors" and specialized risk assessments to address equity
 issues.  Another example is the Office of Water's drinking water program which
 considers exposure from all sources and to the most exposed and sensitive
 individuals. However, there has never been a consistent EPA policy to address
 equity issues.
    Some of the variation between EPA program treatment of environmental equity
 may be because equity issues may be more prevalent with respect to some
 environmental problems, which may be reflected in the EPA programs. Also,
 statutory authority and state responsibilities affect the degree to which EPA
 programs (as opposed to state and local programs) address equity concerns.
    The Task Two Subgroup had two different projects that focused on
 environmental equity in EPA program offices. The first project was in the Office of
 Solid Waste and Emergency Response (OSWER). OSWER held workshops for staff
 members and  management that were designed to identify possible environmental
 equity problems and develop solutions.  The second project focused on
 environmental equity issues within the Office of Air and Radiation (OAR). For this
 project, the Office of Policy Analysis and Review within OAR conducted an
 analysis of their programs with respect to environmental  equity issues. A report of
 their analysis was then written and circulated to OAR staff.
    These two projects provide program staff with examples of how environmental
equity issues can be approached within their programs. These are only two of the
many approaches which can be used in evaluating and dealing with environmental
equity issues within EPA programs.  As awareness of environmental equity issues
increases and as the Workgroup's recommendations are carried out, the program
offices will undoubtedly refine methods for identifying possible equity problems,
developing solutions and adopting measures of success.


The subgroup decided that its review of EPA programs needed the involvement of
program managers: Identifying factors that might give rise to a differential
distribution of program benefits and developing solutions to any identified
problems requires knowledge of the governing laws and regulations, and the
processes that are used to keep these programs functioning.  In an early effort to
involve program managers, the subgroup found that most program managers were
not aware of the Environmental Equity Workgroups efforts to examine these issues
in EPA programs. Unless program managers were familiar with the data,
information, and concerns regarding environmental equity, they could not be
expected to examine their programs thoughtfully and carefully. To introduce
program managers to equity issues, the Subgroup held four Environmental Equity
Awareness Workshops.  These workshops were held for OSWER program

3.1.1  General Conclusions of Awareness Workshop Participants

OSWER managers were  chosen as the participants in the pilot workshops for
several reasons:
 /             -••,•'               '   •
  ' . •', Much of the equity literature involves the siting of hazardous and solid
       waste management feicilities in minority and low-income communities.

    •  Environmental equity may become an issue in die impending
       reaufliorization of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).

    In each of the workshops, participants expressed the following general views
with respect to the ability of program managers to identify and address the
potential equity concerns in their programs:

    •  Environmental equity awareness workshops or similar forums are necessary
 J-     to help program managers identify equity issues.

    •  The scope of the environmental equity problem is still unknown, and
       further research is needed to understand the magnitude and elements of
       equity problems.

    •  It is difficult to assess how the formal and informal decision-making
       processes within a program influence program results in general and with
       respect to equity.               '

    •  The Agency should adopt an environmental equity policy or include equity
       objectives in program mission statements.        _ , • •

 3.1.2   Specific Problem Areas
 Specific problem areas discussed by OSWER managers involved the siting and
 permitting of solid and hazardous waste facilities, risk analysis, and risk
 communication.  These problem areas and the preliminary recommendations of
 OSWER program managers are discussed below. OSWER managers also
 recommended that equity training be part of the training received by Agency
 personnel and suggested that low-income and racial minority individuals would be
 the primary beneficiaries of positive results arising from EPA's pollution prevention
   .  Siting and Permitting of Waste Facilities. OSWER managers recognize that the
 siting and permitting of hazardous and solid waste management facilities raise
 socioeconomic factors that are distinct from technical concerns (geohydrology,
 depth to groundwater, etc.).  They also believe that one result of the "not in my
 backyard" (NIMBY) syndrome is that such facilities will tend to be located in
 communities with the least ability to mount a protest.  They pointed out that this
 problem is compounded when wastes from Superfund sites are brought to
 commercial hazardous waste management facilities as a result of community
 opposition to incineration of the hazardous waste at the Superfund site.
     In this context, the division of authorities between Federal and state
 governments be explained: the siting of waste facilities is controlled primarily by
 state and local governments. Land uses historically have been governed by the
 states, and attempts by the Federal government to control local land uses have
 often been met extreme  opposition. EPA's role in permitting comes after the site
 has  been chosen, and  principally involves technical considerations. However, EPA
 should assess the feasibility of providing enhanced leadership to states to correct
 problems in the siting of waste facilities.
    To assist in overcoming the problem of actual and perceived disproportionate
 siting in minority and low-income communities, EPA, according to workshop
 participants, should exercise increased oversight in the siting and permitting of
 hazardous and solid waste management facilities. One possibility would be to
 increase EPA's role by conducting case-by-case analyses to determine the risks
 these facilities pose to the health of communities in which they are to be located.
 To consider these risks, workshop participants suggested that regulators could:

    •  Add the risks  posed  by a new facility to the risks posed by polluting
       facilities already located in the community to ensure that risk remains
       below an acceptable threshold; or

    •  Characterize the health of community members at the time of siting to
       ensure that new  threats are not added to the health of populations already
       subject to pollution burdens.

   Workshop participants stressed that RCRA facilities receiving Superfund
hazardous wastes, like RCRA facilities receiving other types of hazardous waste,
should always be in compliance with applicable Subtitle C (hazardous waste)
regulations. They also suggested that equity awareness be part of the training of
permit writers, and that it would be desirable for communities to take a more
active role in the solid and hazardous waste facility permitting process.  They
suggested that making technical assistance grants (TAG) (currently available under

EPA's Superfund program) available to hire outside experts to explain a proposed
facility's risk would help facilitate this process.
    Risk Analysis. Workshop participants pointed out that the aggregate human
health risks posed by all types of industrial facilities in a particular community are
not addressed in EPA programs. They believed that this failure can be attributed
partially to the inherent difficulty of performing such analyses and to the Agency's
structure and mission which is fragmented under many different pieces of
legislation into problem-specific program areas.
    Workshop participants believed that area environmental studies are necessary
to understand the importance of cross-media environmental impacts in poor and
racial minority communities. They suggested that the Agency perform cross-media
pollution studies for heavily Industrialized areas similar to the study that the
Agency has already performed for the City of Baltimore.1 The findings of such
studies would help to characterize the scope of environmental equity problems and
to develop methods for addressing these problems.
    Workshop participants also suggested additional funding to the Agency for
Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) to gather epidemiological data and
to study aggregate risk in heavily industrialized areas of the country,  In a specific
example, a workshop participant suggested that the Agency reexamine its
methodology for setting priorities for corrective action at RCRA facilities to
consider a facility's location and surroundings as well as the risk-producing
conditions at the facility itself.
    Risk Communication/Outreach. The Agency devotes considerable resources to
risk communication and outreach efforts, especially in the Superfund program.
These efforts include community outreach projects, the use of -TAGs to help
communities hire outside experts to describe the risks posed by Superfund sites in
their communities, and the translation of EPA bulletins and notices  into non-
English languages.
    Workshop participants believed that these risk communication and outreach
efforts should be evaluated to determine their effectiveness and to ascertain
whether or not these programs reach into poor and racial minority communities.
They noted that the  poor and racial minority communities are rarely involved in
Agency rulemakings and seem to be unaware of their ability  to use Agency
resources as well as of their ability to petition ATSDR to perform health surveys in
their communities.  This underscores the Agency's need to improve its outreach
programs to these communities. Barriers to effective risk communication and
outreach that were identified included the inherent difficulty of making complex
technical material understandable to lay people and the complexity of the TAG
application process.  - ,    '
     Workshop participants had the following risk communication

     •  Risk communication and environmental education projects should be
        specifically targeted to poor and racial minorities.  Such projects should be
        sensitive to the specific needs and cultures of these communities.

 1 The Baltimore Integrated Environmental Management Project examined leakage from underground
 storage tanks, pollution in Baltimore Harbor, hazards from the abatement of lead paint, indoor air, and
 air toxics (EPA 1987a,b,c,d,e,f,g).                                             .   '

     •  Superfund's strong emphasis on risk communication should be used as a
        model for other EPA programs.

     •  Communities should be informed about the materials and information
        available that explain the risks posed by facilities in their communities.

     Equity Training for EPA Personnel Workshop participants strongly
 recommended that additional equity awareness workshops be held and that equity
 training be made a part of existing EPA training programs.  They believed that
 some kind of training was necessary to be able to identify issues and policies with
 equity impacts.
     Pollution Prevention.  Workshop participants pointed out that EPA's pollution
 prevention initiative, to the extent that it is successful, should help to mitigate the
 adverse health impacts experienced by racial minority and low-income individuals
 as a result of exposure to pollution and polluting facilities. Reducing the quantity
 and toxicity of waste should result in smaller quantities of waste and less toxic
 waste being sent to the hazardous and solid waste management facilities s(often
 located in racial minority and low-income communities). Fewer and less toxic
 emissions to  the air should help to improve air quality in urban areas where racial
 minorities live in high numbers. Fewer and less toxic emissions to surface waters
 reduces the risk to racial minorities and the poor who  depend on fishing as an
 important source of food.  Protection of groundwater benefits the rural poor
 communities in the U.S. that depend on groundwater as their primary drinking
 water source.


 The Office of Air and Radiation (OAR) has responsibility for environmental  and
 pollution policy, standards development, and implementation programs pertaining
 to air and radiation. Currently the bulk of OAR's  resources are focused on
 implementation of the Clean Air Act of 1990.  This section examines  equity issues
 relevant to OAR by asking two questions:

    •  What evidence exists that communities susceptible to particular health
       problems may be disproportionately exposed to pollutants?2

    •  What types of impacts bearing on the issue of environmental equity
       could be produced by the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments?

Intertwined with these questions are suggestions for changes in Office of Air and
Radiation programs.
                   A'R alSO examined C5dstinS evidence of disproportionate exposures. See the

3.2.1 Composition Of Populations Sensitive To Air

Based on the limited data available, several population groups identified as being
sensitive to the health effects of air pollution seem to be disproportionately
comprised of low-income or racial minority individuals.  These groups include
asthmatics, people with certain cardiovascular diseases or anemia, and women at
risk of delivering low-birth-weight fetuses.
    EPA staff have identified asthmatics as particularly sensitive to the effects of
carbon monoxide (OAQPS, 1984), sulfur oxides (OAQPS, 1982a), particulate matter
(OAQPS, 1982b), ozone (OAQPS, 1988), and nitrogen oxides (OAQPS, 1982c).  The
available literature indicates that African Americans, especially in the lower income
brackets, suffer from asthma at a rate greater than the population as a whole (See
Table 8, in section 2.3).
    Schwartz et al. found that, in children between six months and 11 years of age,
asthma prevalence was 73. percent in Blacks  versus 3.0 percent in Whites.  Even
after adjusting for factors such as young maternal age at birth, low birth weight
and income, Blacks were 'still at higher risk for asthma and frequent wheeze attacks
than were Whites. The authors stated that whether racial genetic differences exist
in susceptibility to asthma is uncertain (Schwartz, 1990).  Mak et al. also found a
significantly higher prevalence of asthma among Blacks (Mak, 1982). Goldstein and
Weinstein state that "clinical impressions suggesfasthma prevalence among low-
income nonwhites to exceed by a factor of up to 3-4 the prevalence of asthma in the
population as a whole." (Goldstein and Weinstein, 1986).
    Schwartz et al. found that  low income was associated with asthma as well.
They refer to other research showing poverty to be a "source of stress, which may
play a role in the etiology and expression of  bronchial responsiveness and asthma."
(Schwartz, 1990).
    According to OAR staff papers, individuals suffering from cardiovascular
disease are among those most sensitive to the effects of sulfur oxides (OAQPS,
1982a) and particulate matter (OAQPS, 1982b).  A 1987 study argued that the
mortality rate for cardiovascular disease among Blacks was about 37.5 percent
higher than it was among Whites (UCC, 1987).
    OAR staff also report that individuals suffering from anemia are particularly
sensitive to the effects of carbon monoxide (OAQPS, 1984).  In 1987, Black mortality
rates for anemia (per 100,000)  were 2.6 (male) and 2.0 (female).  For Whites, the
corresponding figures were 0.8 and 0.6 (HHS, 1991). Morbidity statistics show that
Blacks reported an average of 21.6 incidences (per 1,000) while Whites reported 12.8
(NCHS, 1990).
    The underlying causal factors for the difference in disease rates could be: (1)
exposures to air pollution; (2)  exposures to other aggravating factors; and/or (3)
innate susceptibilities. Further work is needed confirm these patterns, and, if
confirmed, to untangle which  of these factors best explains the differences in health
    If different exposures to air pollution are a factor, then EPA must decide
whether and how to redress those differences.  The Agency could consider any
number of steps, from enhanced education for the affected populations (e.g.,

 alerting black or low-income populations to their increased risk for asthma and
 what to do in case of an attack) to regulatory action.  If differences in innate
 susceptibility to conditions aggravated by air pollution are established, then OAR
 should assess whether it has adequately protected those sensitive populations in
 setting air pollution standards.

 3.2.2  1990 Clean  Air Act Amendments

 The 1990 Clean Air Act  Amendments potentially can affect the differences in
 pollution exposure between ethnic and economic groups.  The following analysis
 examines the 1990 Clean Air Act and describes the potential equity impacts.
 Urban Exposures.  The 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments provide powerful new
 tools—and strengthen old tools—to ensure that the national ambient air quality
 standards (NAAQS) are attained nationwide. Most (although not all)  of the
 nation's serious non-attainment problems occur in urban areas.  To the extent urban
 air quality is improved via the Act, a higher percentage of racial minority
 populations will experience greater improvements in air quality than Whites
 because of their greater representation In urban areas and  because of the high levels
 of pollutants in these areas (see Table 4, Section 2.1.2).
    The central planning mechanism for attaining the NAAQS will  be  the State
 Implementation Hans ("SIPs").  The SIPs could contain simple tracking mechanisms
 for evaluating their effect on racial minority and low-income populations relative to
 white and higher-income populations.  For example, as carbon monoxide ambient
 air quality data are collected and submitted, EPA could compare the trends in areas
 predominantly occupied by racial minorities or the poor with the trends in other
    Title HI of the Amendments (section 112 of the Act) adds a comprehensive
 program to regulate toxic air pollutants, supplementing the more limited toxics
 program which had been in place since 1970.  Section 112(d) requires EPA to set
 national standards requiring Maximum Achievable Control Technology for sources
 of 189 listed toxic air pollutants.  Section 112(k), entitled "area source program",
 directly addresses the problem of long term exposure to toxic air pollutants in
 urban areas, which tend  to have high minority populations. The express purpose
 of section 112(k) is to achieve a reduction of "not less than 75 percentum in the
 incidence of cancer attributable to emissions" from urban air toxics sources. To
 translate this goal into specific controls, section 112(k)(3) requires the development
 of a national strategy for regulating area sources of toxic air pollutants. An EPA
 risk approach to this strategy can help address air problems in high-risk
 populations, such as those found in many minority communities.
    The 1990 amendments also added section 112(r), which is designed to reduce
 the risks of accidental releases of toxic air pollutants such as the incident in Bhopal,
 India, which resulted in extensive adverse health effects to lower income
 communities located near the Union Carbid^ chemical plant. Among other things,
 section 112(r) will require businesses using certain toxic pollutants in above-
 threshold amounts to develop risk management plans. It also gives EPA new
 authority to issue administrative orders to abate substantial and imminent threats
 to health or welfare due to accidental releases. This authority will provide  EPA
with additional tools to address risks to communities located near hazardous
chemical facilities.
    Title V of the Clean Air Act (CAA) establishes the requirements for state permit
programs, describes permit requirements and  conditions, defines the sources to  be

covered by operating permits, and provides, for notification to EPA and
surrounding governmental entities of permit applications and actions. This portion
of the Act does not explicitly add new authority to EPA's ability to consider equity
when establishing or implementing regulations.  However, the permitting
provisions may provide EPA the opportunity to object to any permit on the basis of
other requirements of the Act which are related to increased environmental risks
associated with exposed communities (Section 505(b)):

    "If any permit contains provisions that are determined by the Administrator as
    not in compliance with the applicable requirements of this Act...the
    Administrator  shall...object to its .issuance."

    In addition, Section 173(a)(5) gives EPA explicit authority when evaluating
preconstruction permits to examine  "social costs imposed as a result of its  [a new
major source in nonattainment area] location, construction, or modification."  To
the extent that EPA is able to establish clear standards for evaluating the equity
impacts of permits, the Agency may be able to use these sections to raise equity
    Section 108 of the CAA requires the Administrator to publish air quality criteria
and control techniques  that include information on any known or anticipated
adverse effects on welfare.  EPA has limited its consideration of welfare to property
and agricultural impacts: More could be done to address socioeconomic aspects.
   . Section 110 of the Act gives states a great deal of flexibility  in deciding  what
control strategies to use to meet air quality standards. EPA could provide more
information on the socioeconomic impacts of different control options to allow
states to evaluate equity concerns.
    The flexibility afforded industry may alter emission patterns. It is essential that
OAR examine its programs and policies to a greater extent to determine whether
they place poof and/or racial minorities at greater risk.  The emissions trading
program may have important environmental equity consequences, such as the
innovative trading plan proposed for the Los Angeles air basin.  There may be a
real possibility of .increasing or decreasing the concentrations of emissions in one
part of a basin through trading pollution credits from another.  Outside  of the acid
rain provisions, the CAA does not require any emissions trading. These non-acid
rain trading plans  will  be state or local initiatives and are currently more theory
than real programs. However, EPA will have substantial impact on the  structuring
of these programs  through guidance issued for State Implementation Plans  or
operating permit programs.

Siting of New Major Sources.  As raised previously, the siting of hazardous waste
facilities which are stationary sources of air'pollution raises equity concerns (see
Section 2.2.1). The primary Title I provisions addressing siting of new major
sources are:  the Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) and visibility
provisions in Sections 165 to 169 for attainment areas, and section 173 for non-
attainment areas.
    The PSD and visibility sections, which focus on protecting "clean air" areas and
national resources such as parks, do not explicitly address equity considerations.
The main pressures applied to new sources by these parts of the Act are to apply
Best Available Control Technology (BACT) and to avoid violating certain ambient
air pollution levels. By requiring BACT in all areas where new major sources are
sited, the provisions increase pollution prevention in all communities. Admittedly,

 better organized communities are more equipped to participate in the control
 equipment decision process.  However,
 equipment standards set in these communities will apply in all subsequent BACT
     Section 173 specifies the requirements for preconstruction permits to be issued
 for new major sources locating in areas not attaining any one of the NAAQS—"non-
 attainment areas."  Discretion in the implementation of Section 173(a)(l) could
 impact low-income areas.  Section 173(a)(l) provides:

     The permit program provides that permits to construct and operate may be
     issued if (A) offsetting emissions reductions are obtained; or (B) if the
     source is located in a zone identified for targeted economic development
     for which a "growth allowance" to accommodate emissions increases from
     new sources is contained in the State Implementation Plan for the area.

 Thus new facilities could be sited more easily in economically depressed areas.
 OAR should pay close attention to the distribution of pollution increases and
 offsets to ensure that demographic groups are not consistently targeted for
 pollution increases.

 Health Effects Associated with Air Pollution.  The Act contains several provisions
 involving health or risk assessments and setting of health-based standards that
 could address potential risk inequities. The Act provides for health-related studies,
 clearinghouses, or health standards for which EPA could: (1)  analyze in detail the
 distribution of the health effects of air pollution; (2) sponsor new research; and, (3)
 use this information in setting health-based standards.  Several examples are listed
     Section 103(d) requires the Administrator to conduct a research program on the
 short-term and long-term effects of air pollutants, and specifies that an assessment
 be prepared for each of the newly-listed Section 112(b)  hazardous air pollutants.
     Section 108(a) instructs the Administrator to issue air quality "criteria"
 documents for those pollutants for which national ambient air quality standards are
 established. The Administrator must include in those documents a description of
 the "latest scientific knowledge useful in indicating the  kind and extent of all
 identifiable effects on public health or welfare which may be expected from the
 presence of such pollutants in the ambient air." Studies analyzing the effect of air
 pollutants on different population groups (such as African Americans with asthma
 or high blood lead levels) could be included in such criteria documents.
    Section 109(b) legislates  the setting of national primary ambient air quality
 standards, which are based on the criteria documents and provide an adequate
margin of safety to protect the public health.  If one segment of the population is
more susceptible to health effects associated with the NAAQS pollutants, such
information should be incorporated when the primary standards are set or revised.
    Section H2(f)  provides for a report which discusses methods of estimating
residual risk to the public health (risk remaining after the technology-based
standards have been set) from hazardous air pollutants. Research could  address
the question of whether racial minority or low-income populations have higher
hazardous air pollutant residual risk.

    Section 112(k) directs EPA tp conducta research program on the problem of
toxic air pollutants in urban areas.  This program is to include a study of the health
effects of smaller urban sources of toxic air pollutants, and of the chronic and acute
health effects of smog-forming compounds and acid aerosol formation.  The
implementation of the urban area focus of this provision has obvious implications
for many areas which have higher exposure or higher risk populations.
    Section 112(p) directs the establishment of the Mickey Leland Urban Air Toxics
Research Center.  Part of the Center's mission could be to research racial or income
differences in hazardous air pollutant exposure, risk, or health effects.
Furthermore, the Center could study the cumulative impacts of multiple sources
and chemicals, and different pathways of exposure.
    The Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board established by Section
112(r) could evaluate, as part of its investigative process, the income and racial
composition of communities in which serious accidental releases occur.
Alternatively, EPA could take on this task as part of its own broader assessment of
accidental releases.
    Section 202(1) mandates an EPA study examining the need for emission
'standards specifically aimed at several toxic air pollutants. In conducting this  f
study, EPA could also ask the question, are low-income or racial minority
populations differentially susceptible to the health effects associated with mobile
source toxic emissions?
    Section 108(e) requires EPA to publish guidance for the states on the
development.of transportation measures necessary to  demonstrate and maintain
attainment of the NAAQS.  Such guidelines could advise the'states to actively
involve members of minority and low-income constituencies in their planning and
public participation processes.
    Section 312 instructs EPA to complete "a comprehensive analysis of the impacts
of this Act on the public health, economy, and environment of the United States."
The first version of this analysis is to be completed in 1991, and updates are to be
submitted to Congress starting in 1992. Such impact assessments could discuss the
Act's effects on racial minorities and low-income populations.

Socioeconomic Effects. Several sections of the Act might allow EPA to examine
how the economic effects associated with the Air Act  will be distributed among
different communities and might provide avenues for community involvement in
the decision making process.  The limited theoretical and empirical studies
available tell a somewhat mixed story.  Only one of the studies examined cost-
benefit distribution of environmental benefits and costs relative to economic level; it
found that average air pollution costs as a percent of income were regressive
(Gianessi et. al, 1979). On the benefits side, low-income and/or minority
populations benefitted as much (and sometimes more) from pollution abatement
efforts as did middle- and high-income groups.  However, since low-income groups
often started out with poorer air quality, their greater benefits still resulted in
poorer air quality relative to more affluent groups.

3.2.3  Conclusions

The literature available illustrates that exposure, siting, sensitivity, and the
distribution of air pollutants raise issues of equity in the Office of Air and
Radiation's programs. Available studies do not demonstrate or raise the suggestion
OAR's policies have resulted in differential allocations of environmental benefits.
However, the literature examined suggests that minority and low-income
populations have experienced poorer air quality because they live in urban areas,
have in some cases lived in closer proximity to air polluting facilities, and been
represented more in groups sensitive to certain air pollutants than have non-
minority and higher-income people.  The Clean Air Act of 1990 aims to improve air
quality for all Americans. Provisions in the Act provide opportunities to address
the sensitivities and risks of low-income and racial minority populations. Overall,
the Acf s strict non-attainment provisions should result in improved air quality for
the low-income and racial minority communities.



Administrator Reilly charged, the Workgroup with evaluating the evidence that
racial minority and low-income people bear a disproportionate risk burden. As the
Workgroup began to frame its analysis, it recognized that the trust relationship
between the federal government and sovereign Native American tribal
governments results in distinctive environmental issues.  The trust relationship,
based on treaties and legislation, differs greatly from that between federal and state
governments. To address the environmental equity issues facing Native Americans,
the Workgroup formed a Native American Tribal Issues Subgroup.


Currently, Indian reservations are not often considered in risk policy.  Only
recently have risk initiatives begun in Indian country. Environmental Equity
Workgroup staff met with Regional Indian Coordinators  in May, 1991. The
Regional Indian Coordinators raised several concerns:

•   Indian Tribes may be at a higher risk than the average population due to high
    wild food consumption, contaminated drinking water sources, high levels of
    radioactivity found on reservations and high fish consumption rates.  In
    addition there is a lack of an environmental protection infrastructure or
    organization to carry out the responsibilities associated with environmental
    protection on many reservations.

•   While individual risks may be high on reservations, Indian Tribes could be
    overlooked in EPA's risk-based approach, especially if population risk is the
    primary method of risk analysis. Due to the "large land mass — small
    population" situations of reservations, population risk will often be small
    relative to other, especially urban, population groups.

•   EPA's existing risk analysis methodology may not include factors that
    accurately assess risk in Indian country.

•   There is a perceived inequity by Native Americans in how the Agency funds
    Tribal and state governments for the same programs under the same statutory
   - authority.

•   Indian tribes are substantially behind states in environmental protection
    infrastructure development. This may contribute to higher environmental risks
    on Indian reservations.


 In response to these and other concerns, a comparative risk project was initiated to
 examine the 11 tribes in Wisconsin. The project is a cooperative effort between:
 Office of Policy Planning and Evaluation's (OPPE) Regional and State Planning
 Branch, Region V Indian and Planning Staff, and the Office of Water (OW).  The
 project was initiated to provide preliminary information on the following areas3:

 •  Determine the highest environmental risk facing the Wisconsin Tribes;

 •  Learn how the comparative risk framework and methods could  be adjusted for
    the different cultural and environmental factors that affect Tribes; and

 •  Determine how the risks facing Tribes compare with those facing America
    generally, Region V, and the state of Wisconsin.

    For this project, comparative risk methods were adapted to fit tribal conditions.
 Wisconsin Tribes are Great Lakes, woodland Indians that rely heavily on a
 subsistence lifestyle.  The project also took into account the Tribes' fixed land base
 and cultural and religious values. Studies were obtained that calculated the
 average consumption of local fish, game and other wild foods gathered by Native
 Americans.  The exposure assessment took into account actual levels of
 contamination in fish and game when calculating the intake of contaminants from
 these foods.                                                   (
    The methodology used in the analysis for  this study was adapted to include
 damages to cultural and religious values and subsistence lifestyles.  This is a
 deviation from existing EPA comparative risk methodology. Interestingly, it
 showed some significant damages and changed the ranking of traditional
 environmental problem areas.
    Food contamination was added to the list  of problem areas analyzed.  In
 previous comparative risk projects .not focused on Native Americans, food
 contamination was not determined to be a high risk. Although pesticide residues
 on commercially prepared foods have been found to be a high risk in other
 projects, food contamination would have ranked as a high risk in this project even
 if pesticides were excluded:  Nearly all of the risk was found to result from PCB
 and mercury contamination.  Food contamination, in fact, was among the highest
health risk.
   In the analysis, industrial activity ranked lower than in other projects.  Tribes in
 the region have avoided industrial development in order to preserve the local
environmental quality.  This is in direct contrast to the problems characterized for
Region V.
   The project also revealed that criteria air pollutants ranked much lower than in
other projects.  However,, acid deposition  (SOx and NOx) was the exception,

 It must be noted that this comparative risk project analysis was accomplished within a very short time
frame and with limited funding.

ranking in the top three problems in the Ecological Risk category, along with point
sources and physical degradation of aquatic habitat.
    Along with food contamination, the highest ranked problems in the Health Risk
category were non-point sources (non point source excludes runoff of pesticides,
but includes air deposition of pollutants), indoor air, and radon.
    The rankings for the Economic and Social risk were:  Non point sources,
physical degradation of aquatic habitat, food contamination, physical degradation
of terrestrial habitat, urimanaged waste, and acid deposition.
    One of the projects most significant findings was the need for environmental
protection infrastructure for tribes. The lack of an environmental protection
infrastructure—laws, standards, laboratories and other facilities, enforcement
authorities and the professional, staff to implement programs—can significantly
increase the environmental risks that tribes face.  Many tribes do not have staff
who are knowledgeable enough on environmental matters to: (a) implement an
environmental protection program; (b) represent the Tribe's environmental interests
during decision-making, either on or off the reservation, and             -
(c) interpret or communicate,environmental risks to the Tribe. This lack of
infrastructure leaves the Tribes without an effective way to manage environmental
risks, leaving Tribe members extremely vulnerable to these risks.
    Several key findings emerged from the project:                      '

•   Pollutants travelling long distances, especially those that bioaccumulate, can
    cause high risks.

•   Air deposition of pollutants can be a source of significant risks.

•   Many risks could be substantially lowered if Tribes had the capacity to manage
    environmental problems.

•   A serious need exists to prevent damage to Indian reservation environments in
    order to (a) protect cultural and religious values towards the environment, and
    (b) maintain subsistence resources for future generations. For Native
    Americans, there are no substitute lands for the reservations or their resources.

•   Tribes need knowledge and resources to manage and protect the reservation
    environment, and to influence policy decisions made off the reservation that
    influence their health and their environment.                           •"•".•

    The project demonstrated that risks  on Native American reservations are
different than in the Region or America generally. The project demonstrated the
use of a methodology that included factors that enhanced EPA's ability to depict
more accurately the risks in Indian country.                       ,
    The use of this improved methodology for exposure assessment has significant
implications.  Although the Wisconsin Tribes may differ from other Tribes in wild
food consumption, religious and cultural values, this project is valuable in
demonstrating how such adjustments can and should be made in the exposure
assessment process for the Native American lifestyle.  In addition, the lack of an
environmental protection infrastructure was found to be a significant risk for
Wisconsin tribes. Because many tribes lack adequate environmental protection
infrastructure, most Native Americans also face this risk. This has implications for
carrying out environmental regulations and policies that should be considered
when making risk management decisions.


The Risk Assessment Subgroup had the task of answering two questions: (A) Does
EPA's risk assessment process accurately depict the risks to low-income and racial
minority communities?; and (B) Are changes needed in EPA's risk assessment and
risk management processes in order to address equity considerations?
The Sub-group decided to focus on several aspects of equity—race, age, gender and
income.  The first three aspects have links with traditional health effects
information.  As income is a marker for some aspects of quality of life, it may also
be relatable to additional factors dealing with health status and thus susceptibility
to environmental exposures.
    To make risk-based decisions, EPA has a formal risk analysis process which
consists of two inter-related, but separate, process—risk assessment and risk
management. In making risk-based decisions (i.e., risk management), EPA uses
information developed  in the risk assessment process to guide the decision-maker
in determining the appropriate action to take given the situation. In making the
risk management decision, managers consider a number of factors along with
human health risk. This is the phase of the decision-making process where many.
of the hard-to-quantify  factors are considered by the decision makers.  The factors
considered in the risk management phase range from social concerns to economic
concerns, from acceptance by the communities affected to technical feasibility.
There is an opportunity to consider relevant environmental equity issues during the
risk management process.
    Bisk assessment characterizes the likelihood of a chemical agent or mixture to
cause an adverse health effect for humans and on a case-by-case  basis  provides a
numerical way to gauge the possible impact on a population(s) if exposure were to
occur. It provides an estimate of the probability that human exposure to a chemical
agent will result in an adverse health effect to the exposed individual,  or an
estimate of the incidence of the effect within an exposed population. The product
of risk assessment is usually a statement of probability of an effect given a certain
duration, frequency and magnitude of exposure to the environmental pollutant.
Risk assessment as conducted at EPA, conforms to the Agency's published
guidelines and is usually comprised of four distinct parts:  Hazard Identification,
Dose-Response Analysis, Exposure Assessment, and Risk Characterization.
    Risk management is the decision process whereby officials decide what actions
are appropriate given the risk and other important factors.  The basic framework
for this decision-making process is similar across agency programs; however, each
program must include certain factors as dictated by the statutes under which
authority they are regulating.
    In the risk management process, decisions are made regarding acceptable levels
of exposure and risk In the past more attention has been given to the scientific,
technical, and science policy features of risk assessment than the components of the
risk management process. In contrast to risk assessment, there are at present no
published, peer-reviewed Agency guidelines for risk management decision-making.


 Both the risk assessment and the risk management processes can affect how the
 Agency addresses equity concerns.  Hazard identification, dose-response
 assessment, exposure assessment, and risk characterization provide the analytic
 tools for identifying disproportionately impacted populations in terms of health. In
 the risk management process, criteria are identified to help guide the weighing of
 information. The Agency's choices in specific risk decision-making situations
 regarding disproportional impacts are made based on these criteria.
    The four components of EPA's risk assessment process as defined in risk and
 exposure assessment guidelines do not exclude the consideration of age, gender,
 racial/ethnic groups. Age arid gender and some racial/ethnic elements are
i traditional health topics and so are explicitly discussed in risk assessments
 conducted by the Agency as appropriate.  Age and gender are familiar tppics in
 exposure guidance; information concerning exposure traits of racial/ethnic groups
 are more limited. While the guidelines discuss some of these issues, the availability
 of data for use in risk assessment is problematic.  As such, a case can be made for
 improving the availability of data.  However, the guidelines state that when these
 data are available and adequate for analytical purposes, they should be used in the
 risk assessment process. .                                                     .
    The Agency's risk assessments can be enhanced by more frequent
 considerations of human activity patterns that may be influenced by custom, social
 class, ethnic and racial culture.  These sociological aspects may predispose
 populations to exposures to environmental toxicants.  It may also be helpful in
 certain cases to  present exposure analysis as a range of potential exposures and to
 take into consideration demographic characterizations of the exposed population,
 such as:  age, gender, ethnicity and race.  Likewise, quantitative estimates of risk
 probabilities should be displayed as distributions across the exposed  population;
 considering the sensitive population groups that may exist in the overall exposed
 population.  In consideration of environmental equity, it is important that the
 population group residing within the "high-end" of exposures be demographically
 characterized, where such information is relevant to the risk manager.
 Furthermore, to ensure that equity is considered and integrated in the regulatory
 decision, it is important that risk management guidelines be developed to promote
 equity considerations when selecting among regulatory alternatives.
     One way in which risk assessments can be improved in terms of environmental
 equity is to  determine the  proportionality and distribution of environmental
 exposures and risk.  Basic statistical analysis showing the cumulative frequency
 distribution of environmental exposures and risk would be useful for the purposes
 of identifying people residing at the lower 5%, the mean, the median and the upper
 95th percentile in the estimcited distribution of environmental exposures to the
 chemical agent  dispersed from a source spatially and temporally. Once this is
 done, the U.S. Census could be applied to that particular geographical area to
 identify the age, gender, levels of income, race and ethnicity of the potentially
 exposed  population according to the estimated cumulative frequency distribution of
 environmental exposures.  This could permit quantitative analysis of the
 proportionality of exposures and risk according to demographic classifications of
 race, ethnicity, gender, age and income.

    In addition, the exposure analysis can be improved through the further
research and incorporation of human activity patterns that may be influenced by
custom, social class, and ethnic and racial culture. Factors such as dietary food
preferences, percentage of time spent indoors versus outdoors, and proximity of
residence to sources of environmental pollution are examples of sociological
variables that may predispose populations to exposure to environmental toxicants.
In consideration of environmental equity, it is important to move away from
generic exposure analyses to more site specific analyses that take these sociological
aspects into account. Basic to the concept of environmental equity is thorough
analysis and demographic identification of people whose activity patterns place
them in the "high-end" of exposures.


There is health evidence suggesting that exposure and resulting health risk ,to
environmental contaminants can be specific with regard to age, gender, race and
ethnic groups. Economic factors, in so far as they serve as an  identifier for a life
style which can result in increased or decreased risk factors, may be relevant as
well. To augment the health and exposifre analysis in section  two, the Risk
Assessment Subgroup notes the following studies:

    •  The last complete NHANES survey showed  that lead poisoning in children
       is more  prevalent among inner-city poor, and blood lead is significantly
       higher in African-Americans and Hispanics when compared to U.S.
       children as a whole (ATSDR, 1988).

    •  Estimated lung cancer deaths in the U.S. attributable to indoor radon
       exposure is about 2-fold higher in males than in females, and remains
       higher even when adjusted for smoking (Nazaroff and Teichman, 1990).

    •  Epidemiologic studies of U.S. steel workers most heavily exposed to
       mixtures of organic pollutants in coke-oven emissions at by-product plants
       (e.g. at the topside of the  oven) indicates that 90% were nonwhite.  This
       group of workers had an 8-fold higher rate of respiratory cancer than in the
       general U.S. population (EPA, 1984).

    *  Fish consumption surveys indicate an association between average  daily
       rates of freshwater fish consumption and race/ethnicity. For example, if
       the fish caught in a certain area are contaminated with a bioaccumulative
       pollutant (e.g., PCBs, dioxins, methyl mercury, DDT), then consumption of
       these fish will lead to exposure to these pollutants. The more that these
       fish are included in the diet, the higher the exposure to these pollutants
       will be.  EPA has found that, on average, Asians are the highest consumers
       of fish, followed in order by Native Americans, African Americans, and
       Whites (EPA, 1991a).
           In addition, certain ethnic populations tend to consume fish with a
       higher fat content. Fish with a high fat content bioaccumulate lipophilic
       (fat-loving) pollutants to a higher degree, thus, causing a higher exposure
       to these  pollutants in the populations which prefer high-fat content fish.
           There are not adequate studies of urban/rural poor that could elucidate
       the relationship between fish consumption and poverty. However, it is

likely that there are significant numbers of rural and urban poor people who are
supplementing their daily intake of animal protein by catching and consuming fish
caught locally. If these fish are contaminated by pollutants that bioaccumulate,
then the pollutant exposures via fish ingestion for these consumers could be much
greater than for the average recreational angler.

    •  Analysis indicates that pregnant women consuming fish contaminated by a
       bioaccumulative and lipophilic  pollutant (PCBs, dioxin, methyl mercury)
       may accumulate these pollutants in their body fat and subsequently transfer
       the pollutant to their mother's milk. Pollutant exposures to the nursing
       infant may be up to 10-fold greater than the mother's exposure. (EPA,
     -  1991b).

    •  Exposure of young children to environmental tobacco smoke from parental
       smoking, particularly during infancy, is causally associated with increased
       prevalence of acute lower-respiratory-tract infections, respiratory symptoms
       of irritation, middle ear effusions, reduced lung function, and a small
       reduction in the child's rate of pulmonary growth and development (EPA,

    No national baseline currently exists of population exposures and risk to
environmental contaminants that is evaluated by age, gender, ethnicity, and race
for all environmental media.  Therefore it is not possible to statistically evaluate the
proportionate risk burden by age, gender, ethnicity and race on a national scale.
The situations discussed in this report suggest that environmental inequities could
exist, but a quantitative evaluation of the issue is not possible using existing data.


The risk assessment process consists of four parts. The specificity of the data
available for  assessing the hazard identification, dose-response analysis, exposure
assessment, and risk characterization affect the specificity with which the Agency
can determine the risks faced by particular population subgroups.

5.3.1  Hazard Identification And Dose-Response Analysis

Hazard identification is the first stage in the risk assessment process.  EPA
 evaluates available scientific evidence and decides whether an agent or mixture is
 likely to cause a particular adverse health effect. Specific population subgroups can
 become a focus if the available information is similarly related to a subgroup.
 Gender and  age are commonly studied factors.
     Information from epidemiologic studies has largely involved studies on the
 standing work force, i,e., exposures to healthy White male workers. Given this
 limited study population, the extrapolated hazards to the general population may
 not portray the range of consequences to children, the elderly, the sick and
 infirmed, females, racial/ethnic groups, or low-income populations. Hazard
 information  from animal studies, however, has the potential to provide information
 on effects specific to gender and age. Gender is frequently accounted  for and lately

 more interest is being directed to age. These types of information are integrated
 into the risk assessment for humans as warranted. The dose-response analysis step
 in risk assessment is closely tied to the hazard identification information and so it
 tracks the available data accordingly.
     When the Agency does have information about the susceptibility of certain
 subgroups in the population, this information is taken into account in the risk
 assessment.  For example, children have been specially singled out as being at risk
 from exposure to lead. The elderly are sensitive to carbon monoxide, and
 particulate matter exposure. Asthmatics are a sensitive subgroup for sulfur oxides.
 There are other examples where health information for special population groups is
 key to the risk assessment finding and examples where such focus is not

 5.3.2  Exposure  Assessment

 Exposure assessment, the third phase of risk assessment, evaluates the likely
 pathways leading directly or indirectly to human exposure to an environmental
 agent or mixture; estimates the magnitude, frequency, and the duration of
 exposure; and estimates the size of the exposed population and as needed
 documents other vital physiologic features that may be relevant.
    In general, ethno-cultural and economic considerations are not incorporated in
 exposure assessments. However, such demographic categories may be useful
 markers for identifying population subgroups that have some likelihood of
 experiencing exposures significantly different from the average exposure and,
 thereby, possibly different health risks from the average population.  Cultural
 specific behaviors, activity patterns, and food preferences vary significantly by
 ethnic and racial groups, and these patterns may define pathways of exposure to an
 environmental pollutant.  For example, the importance of fish  in the diet of certain
 Native American Tribes has a great impact on the exposure of these tribes to any
 contaminants found in the fish.  If the fish that a group of Native Americans eat are
 contaminated, the Native American's environmental exposure to these contaminants
 will be greater than for the average population. In addition, preference for high-fat
 content and bottom-feeding fish (i.e., catfish, carp, crappy, and eel) by various
 races, ethnic groups, and low-income people can increase the exposure, and thereby
 the risk, for lipophilic  contaminants.  Further, cultural preferences for the
 consumption of internal animal organs, such as liver, brain, kidney, heart, liver or
 pancreas of crabs, lobsters, or the consumption of whole fish are important factors
 to consider in conducting the exposure assessment.
    Economic circumstances may predispose certain populations to increased risk
 factors. For example, industrial  activities often are located in parts of town
 inhabited by individuals of lower socioeconomic status. Low-income or  poverty
 populations may lack the means to live outside the areas surrounding the polluting
 facilities.  Urban and rural poor  may subsist on fish caught in contaminated waters,
 or from home-grown vegetables, beef and dairy products that may be chemically
 contaminated from local industrial activity.
    Time-use studies can depict human activity patterns within the population and
 are useful in estimating the duration of exposure to environmental contaminants in
 a particular setting. Such studies may reveal over-representation of certain racial
 groups in high-exposure occupations, e.gv Latinos as migrant farm workers
exposed to pesticides.  Also, as mentioned above, certain ethnic and racial groups
may derive the bulk of their dietary animal'protein from the consumption of fish.

    Age may also predispose populations to different exposures and perhaps also
to increased/risk depending upon dose-response relationships. Nursing infants
may have higher exposures than adults to bioaccumulative pollutants (EPA, 1991b).
The susceptibility to the effects from exposure to a contaminant may increase in
certain segments of the population with immune systems that are not functioning
at their maximum (i.e., newborns and the elderly).
    One- to six-year old children are more likely to ingest soil than any other age
groups. If the soil that these children ingest is contaminated, their exposures to
these contaminants via this romte of exposure will be higher than for other age
groups. Children also tend to have different diets than adults, i.e., children
generally consume greater quantities of fruit and milk than adults.  This may
predispose children to certain exposures to substances that are found in these
foods.  Further, children have different physiologic rates and capacities than adults,
which may affect the exposure and dose-response relationship to those substances .
to which they are exposed.
    The influence of gender on, activity patterns  may lead women or men to greater
exposures;  Home workers are predominantly female; their exposures to indoor air
pollutants in home micro-environments will be of longer durations than for males.
Certain occupations are dominated by male workers, such as the chemical industry.
    Income levels, may define a population of urban/inner city dwellers whose
residences are co-located with small businesses or large enterprises which emit
contaminants to the nearby local environment. As an example, undesirable
exposures to solvents or other vented emissions  could be a problem.
    EPA has developed an Exposure Factors Handbook (EPA, 1990d).  A  review  of
the handbook indicates a paucity of reliable exposure factors relative to human
activity patterns and cultural-specific behaviors.  The [available studies on human
activity patterns (percent time spent in various activities while at work, home, and
recreation) are skewed toward middle income individuals, but are generally not
delineated by race/ethnicity (EPA,  1990c).                   .
    EPA has recently published Exposure Assessment Guidelines. The guidelines
address the topics of age, gender, patterns  of activity and identify some special
exposure situations among ethnic/cultural  and racial groups. The guidelines
emphasize the advantages and use of demographic information in planning and
conducting exposure assessments, and the identification of appropriate population
groups for study given the toxic endpoint of a particular chemical (neurotoxicity,
male/female reproductive toxicity; developmental effects, carcinogenicity,
immunotdxicity). There is no other compendium of exposure assessment guidance
or directive that emphasizes special demographic issues, other than in the pesticide
program. OPP routinely tracts age-specific diet consumption levels in conducting
their exposure assessments.                .
    Given the potential variation in susceptibility and exposure among certain
groups of individuals in the population, estimation of the distribution of population
by  age, gender, race, and ethnicity  may be necessary to protect each of these
populations adequately. However, without adequate information about the
variation in susceptibility and exposure relative  to these subgroups, the
demographic data will be  of little value in  addressing the risk to the subgroups.

 5.3.3 Risk Characterization

 Risk characterization is the final step in risk assessment where all factors are
 integrated into a summary and concluding statement about the nature and extent of
 possible health impact resulting from an exposure.
     It is the practice that if the available data base (i.e., health and or exposure)
 provides insight into such factors as age, gender, race/ethnic susceptibility that
 these elements are considered.  The risk assessment guidelines vary in degree about
 explicitly making reference to special population issues. While certain health
 endpoints or specific risk management decisions (i.e. site-specific Superfund cases)
 may naturally focus on particular population groups, other risk assessments
 supporting national regulatory initiatives focus on an average person who might be
 expected to have an average susceptibility to exposure to toxic contaminants in the
 environment.  This is a consequence of not having data rather than a reluctance to
 deal with the  issues raised by incorporation of such data in the analysis.  In many
 cases, the Agency is unable to characterize the possible risk to a target population
 in terms of vital demographic factors.


 As discussed earlier, the risk management/decision making process has certain
 features that are common to all programs.  However, each program has unique
 features in their risk management decision-making process, depending on which
 environmental statute is applicable.  The practice of risk management varies
 somewhat across the Agency.
    While some equity  considerations find  their way to the risk management table
 because they are definable in the risk assessment process, there are currently no
 other mechanisms such as published guidelines or other institutional elements
 which guide the decision logic of addressing equity or in choosing among equity


••   The risk assessment process is not exclusionary with respect to age, gender,
    racial/ethnic groups or socioeconomic status because the process does allow for
    these factors to be taken into account in the analysis. However, data on these
    factors are not always available to be used in the analysis.

 •   There is evidence that certain population groups experience increased exposure
    and risk due to different activity patterns, cultural behaviors, diets, and
    physiological differences.

•   While peer-reviewed, published guidelines exist for risk assessment, there are
    no guidelines for the risk management process.  Risk management decisions
    can greatly influence how the Agency addresses environmental equity issues.


The standard definition for risk communication is "any purposeful exchange of
scientific information between interested parties regarding health or environmental
risks" (Covello et al., 1988). Risk cornmunication is seen as a "tangled web," with
information flowing in many directions, between multiple sources and audiences,
through formal and informal channels, and without explicit goals or objectives
(Plough and Krimsky, 1987; Krimsky and Plough, 1988).
    Inits efforts to alert the public to risks, the Agency has sought to move beyond
simply transferring technical information, recognizing the desirability of public
involvement in the decision nuiking process. The EPA risk communication manual
(EPA, 1989a) highlights this goal:

    The Agency does not view risk communication as a one-way street. It
    recognizes the need to impart information but also to involve the public in the
    decision-making process.  The purpose of risk communication is not to allay
    the public or merely help them see [the Agency's] point of view.

    Risk communication, by itself, cannot redress distributional inequities in risk
However, risk communication is an integral part of the risk management policies
and programs that are intended to redress such inequities. The Agency's risk
communication efforts have been criticized by environmental equity groups for
failing to address the concerns of racial minority and low-income communities
during the policy making and subsequent risk communication processes.
    Equitable risk management efforts require equitable risk communication efforts.
Equitable risk communication means ensuring that the Agency engages all affected
parties at the beginning of and throughout the decision making process. Outreach
and consultation are at the heart of an equitable risk communication program.
    Underlying the relationship between equity and risk communication is the
issue of empowerment. For the public, there is nothing more frustrating than to be
given information on risks about which it can do nothing, or after the substantive
decisions have beenjnade (Kasperson and Palmlund, 1987).
    Racial minority and low-income groups may experience particular frustration.
Actual or perceived alienation from the political process—a process perhaps seen as
 ineffective or outright discriminatory—may steer these communities away from
 participating in the formal process of public hearings, often the extent of risk
 communication efforts. The groups perhaps most at risk may be least likely or able
 to participate in the decision making process.


 Risk communication is primarily a responsibility of the program offices and
 regional offices. However, the Risk Communication Program (RCP), within the
 Office of Policy, Planning, and Evaluation, provides technical assistance to the
 program and regional offices and therefore sets the tone for all EPA risk
 communication activities.  RCP engages in a variety of activities in four areas:
 training, problem-specific consulting and analysis, methods development, and
 coordination and outreach. R.CFs training activities include several completed,
 ongoing, and proposed courses, workshops, and manuals for EPA and State

employees. The center-piece of the RCFs training is a two-day workshop in risk
    EPA has been responsible in large part for directly and indirectly generating
much of the research in risk communication.  The RCP has collaborated with
program and regional offices, other agencies and organizations, and academics on
specific problems for risk communication, including radon, the
community-right-to-know program, hazardous waste siting and cleanup, and
chemical risks.  Other collaborative efforts have focused on more generic issues of
risk communication methods. The RCP has engaged in a number of outreach
efforts aimed at the general public. None of these projects or activities explicitly
addresses environmental equity issues in risk  communication.  However, the
materials contain valuable ideas about the process and content of risk
communication that could be directed to address equity issues.
    The subgroup's evaluation of EPA risk communication efforts consists of two
components.  The first component examines the four seminal documents that form
the core and set the tone of EPA's risk communication efforts:  The Seven Cardinal
Rules of Risk Communication (Covello and  Allen, 1988), Explaining Environmental Risk
(Sandman, 1986), Improving Dialogue with  Communities: A Short Guide for Government
Risk Communication (Chess et. al., 1988), and Improving Dialogue with Communities: A
Risk Communication Manual for Government (Hance et. al., 1988). The second
component of the subgroup's evaluation examines risk communication within the
context of regulatory programs.  The reviews begin with the Radon and
Community-Right-To-Know programs, the two most prominent risk communication
efforts within the RCP. Because pesticides, air toxics, and lead potentially impose a
high risk burden on minorities, these programs are also examined.


Of the four seminal risk communication documents, The Seven Cardinal Rules of
Risk Communication (Covello and Allen, 1988) has become the de facto guideline for
conducting risk communication at EPA.  The seven cardinal rules, presented as
common-sense guidelines, are a distillation of  much of what we know from
research and experience: "Accept and involve  the public as a legitimate partner,
plan carefully and evaluate your efforts, listen to the public's specific concerns, be
honest, frank, and open, coordinate and collaborate with other credible sources,
meet the needs of the media, and speak clearly and with compassion." Explaining
Environmental Risk, (Sandman, 1986) is a more discursive treatment  of these themes,
intended to help decision-makers understand why some strategies for dealing with
the media and the public succeed while others fail.  Improving Dialogue with
Communities: A Short Guide for Government Risk Communication (Chess et al., 1988)
and Improving Dialogue with Communities: A Risk Communication Manual for
Government (Hance et al., 1988) give detailed practical guidance to Agency
personnel responsible for the development of risk communication programs.
Largely based on interviews with numerous practitioners from academia, industry
and government, the guidance manuals have been criticized as "etiquette books for
risk communicators" (Otway and Wynne, 1989).  Despite the criticism, they
represent the state-of-the-art in risk communication.

    The four publications lack explicit discussion of equity issues, yet guidance for
more equitable risk communication efforts can be extracted. For example, the
admonition to "involve all parties that have an interest or stake in this issue"
(Covello and Allen, 1988) is important in making risk communication more
equitable to all involved parties.
    Below are brief discussions of how the guidance documents shape the Agency's
risk communication goals, process, and content.

6.2.1  Goals

None of the four publications aims explicitly at race, ethnicity, and income status,
though each explicitly and 'implicitly recognizes  that issues of control and equity
(or fairness) underlie most risk controversies. Sandman asserts that "it is hardly
coincidental that the risks the public tends to overestimate  generally raise serious
issues of equity and control" (Sandman,  1986). For example, though EPA asserts
that state-of-the-art hazardous waste facilities are completely safe, the public often
sees them as very risky.  On the other hand, it has been difficult for EPA to
generate concern and action about radon—one of EPA's highest ranked risks—
because it is dispersed and naturally occurring.
    The public is particularly concerned about the "outrage factors" (Chess et al.,
1988)—factors beside the scientific data of hazard  evaluations, monitoring, and risk
assessments.  Covello and Men stress this point:  "People in the community are
often more concerned about such issues as trust, credibility, competence, control,
voluntariness, fairness, caring, and compassion than about  mortality statistics and
the details of  quantitative risk assessments." These do not affect environmental
risk, per se, but are an intimate part  of the risk communication process. In general,
"risks that seem fair are more acceptable than those that seem unfair" (Chess et al.,
1988; Hance et al., 1988).  The EPA's risk communication workshop, which is based
on these publications, emphasizes that fairness is an underlying factor in the public
perception of risk Failure to account for fairness  as an attribute of risk is one
reason why expert assessments of risk differ markedly from public assessments.
Inequitable distributions of risk, such as the imposition of disproportionate risk
burdens on racial minorities and the poor may be perceived by those communities
as greater risks than risks that have less obvious inequities (e.g., radon).

6.2.2  Process

Covello and Allen (1988) emphasize that "[a] basic tenet of risk communication in a
democracy is that people and communities have a right to participate in decisions
that affect their lives." Racial; minorities and low income groups may feel wholly
excluded from the process, or the issues of greatest concern to them may be
dismissed peremptorily.  The gravest problems  of risk communication tend to arise
when "citizens determine that the issue  is important, that the authorities cannot be
 trusted, or that they themselves are powerless"  (Sandman, 1986). A good
 communication process should therefore build trust in the Agency, allow the public.
i to influence decisions, and convey the message  that issues of concern to the
 community will be taken seriously. Despite the Agency's 20 year focus on human
 health, some  believe the Agency is  more concerned with White, middle classes
 issues such as leisure and recreation, wildlife and wilderness preservation, and
 resource conservation than with the problems faced by minorities and low-income
 groups (Bullard, 1990).

    Involving the community early and substantively demonstrates the Agency's
 confidence in the public and its willingness to share power and take public
 concerns seriously. Placing notices in the Federal Register and holding large public
 hearings may be broadly defined as risk communication efforts, but they are
 generally inadequate for many communities. Evidence suggests that these
 processes are inaccessible to low-income and racial minority groups (Mohai, 1991).
 Therefore, the Agency has attempted in certain site-specific programs such as
 Superfund, to design a process that is "citizen-focused," and to learn from the
 community what type of involvement is preferred. These smaller, more informal
 meetings of people with similar concerns are generally more constructive and
 effective forums for the exchange of ideas.
    Any effective risk communication process must involve all parties with an
 interest or stake in the issue at hand.  Ironically, the groups (such as the poor and
 racial minorities) who may be at most risk may also be the most difficult to "reach."
 It is important, therefore, to devote time and energy to the slow, hard work of
 building bridges  with other legitimate and representative groups. Chess et al. cite
 this factor in their chapter on building trust and credibility:  "Enlist the help of
 organizations that have credibility with communities" (Chess et al., 1988). This
 facilitates two way communication—crucial in any risk communication effort—but
 particularly so with racial minority and low-income communities where people
 may perceive that EPA (and the government in general) does not consider their
 concerns.  In a number of cases, the Agency has initiated dialogues with such
 groups on specific issues.  For example, the Agency has had discussions with
 farmworkers on pesticide  exposure issues that are particularly important to them.
    A related issue is the use of community-appointed experts to assist in the
 interpretation of technical materials. Because they are often unable to pay for it,
 poor and racial minority communities have limited access to expert assistance on
 environmental issues (Freudenberg, 1984).  This limits the rate at which poor and
 racial minority groups can "get up to speed" on the technical aspects of
 environmental issues and reduces their effectiveness in adversarial proceedings in
 which the technical issues play a central role. Recognizing the need to provide
 communities with access to technical expertise, the Agency has begun to explore
 ways, such as Technical Assistance Grants, that will provide this help to

 6.2.3 Content

 There has been much written about the most effective content of risk
 communication materials, including how to present risk numbers and how to make
 appropriate risk comparisons. The documents Improving Dialogue with Communities:
A Short Guide for Government Risk Communication and Improving Dialogue with
 Communities:  A Risk Communication Manual for Government, written to apply to all
 communities, give extensive, practical advice on effective content.  This advise can
be applied to low-income and racial minority groups, but it would be more easily
 used if accompanied by information that discusses the particular needs and
 preferences of low-income and racial minority communities.

   The documents emphasize the need to involve the community to find out what
information people want to know and in what form. This is especially important
with low-income and racial minority groups whose concerns and assumptions may
differ from those anticipated by EPA officials. The materials of the risk
communication materials effort should be in the appropriate languages to reach
affected racial minority and ethnic groups. The materials must be relevant,
understandable, and answer the questions of the intended audience.

6.2.4  Summary

The Agency's seminal risk communication documents provide sound advice that
can be  applied to some of the equity issues facing EPA.  However, more guidance
is needed that illustrates these general principles with explicit reference to the
needs and concerns of facial minority and low-income groups.  The Agency may
need to develop new methods and recruit new message carriers to communicate
with these communities. Risk communication efforts in Regions I, m, and V will
contribute sound, practical advise and model approaches needed to advance the
Agency's risk communication efforts.


The following discussion offers snapshots of five regulatory programs within EPA.

6.3.1  Radon Risk Communication

EPA (1987g) estimates that between 5,000 and 20,000 lung cancer deaths per year
may be due to radon exposure in the home.  The main thrust of the Radon Action
Plan has been risk communication to encourage the public to test their homes and
mitigate if they find elevated levels of radon. The Agency is and has been engaged
in a variety of risk communication activities  at the national level and through state
agencies, including:

     •  The maintenance of a toll-free radon "hotline;"

     •  The wide dissemination of the Citizen's Guide to Radon (EPA, 1986b), which
       has been the primary risk communication vehicle;

     •  The dissemination of more  specific informational materials such as Removal
       o/ Radon from Household Water (EPA, 1987h) and Radon Reduction Methods:  A
       Homeowner's Guide (EPA, 1989b);

     •  The development and dissemination of public service announcements
       (PSAs) for broadcast and print media;

     •  The preparation and distribution of a pamphlet for journalists stressing the
       newsworthiness of the radon issue (EPA, 1989c).

     lit addition, the Agency has collaborated with several states in media
 campaigns to increase public awareness. In the fall of 1990, the Agency sponsored
 a National Radon Action Week in collaboration with the American Lung
 Association, the American Cancer Society, the American Medical Association, the
 American Academy of Pediatrics, the National Congress of Parent Teachers
 Associations, the National Education Association, and the Consumer Federation of
 America. The Agency is presently working with the  Advertising Council to explore
 a range of public relations and direct marketing strategies (CRCPD, 1990).
     Many states have initiated their own efforts in collaboration with EPA, using
 funds from the State Indoor Radon Grant (SIRG) Program. Many of these efforts
 involve surveys of residential or school radon levels,  but some states are using the
 funds to develop more imaginative risk communication programs. For example,
 Kentucky is creating a community and regional radon information/education
 outreach program. The program is intended to reach individuals in local Parent
 Teachers Associations, the American Cancer Society, and the public health
 community, as well as agricultural and home extension agents.
    This is probably the most extensive risk communication effort of any EPA
 program. Unfortunately, the communication of the risk from radon has not
 resulted in action by many households. ^EPA estimates that only about 5% of
 dwellings have been tested for radon, and only 8%  of those for which mitigation is
 necessary have actually mitigated (EPA, 1990b).

 Equity Issues in Radon Risk Communication. As a natural hazard, it may seem
 strange that equity should be a concern in dealing with radon, but there are
 actually several problematic issues.
    There has been a considerable amount of research on risk communication with
 regard to radon, but all of this focuses on homeowners. As Sjoberg (1989)
 concludes following a review of this research for EPA:

    Virtually all research so far has been conducted with homeowners so the social
    strata that have been represented have not been representative of the whole
    population.  We do not know how people who rent their homes respond to
    radon risk, or how involved their landlords are in monitoring and mitigating
    such houses.
As noted in Table 3 (Section 2.1.2), a significant percentage of racial minorities do
not live in homes they own.
    The research literature does not contain an explicit analysis of equity with
respect to risk perception of radon, willingness to take remedial actions, and
effective risk communication. Empirical studies do suggest, however, that
low-income and poorly educated people are more likely to perceive radon risks as
less severe than the other risks they face, and are less  likely to test for radon or
mitigate if they discover elevated levels (Doyle et al., 1989)! It is believed that the
lower rates of testing among low-income groups reflect concern over the potentially
high cost of mitigation if a problem is discovered, rather than the cost of
purchasing test kits, which are relatively inexpensive.
    Most testing for radon is conducted during the purchase and sale of houses,
and EPA's risk communication efforts have focused almost exclusively on
homeowners as the target audience. One potentially large audience that has not
been targeted in these efforts are owners and managers of multi-family housing

units such as apartments. While those living in units above the second story may
not face a radon problem, and therefore do not need the risk information, there are
a significant number of rental units at the basement and first floor levels. Those
individuals living in basement apartments, which are often the least expensive
units, may be especially at risk.  Congress has asked Housing and Urban
Development (HUD) to develop a program oh testing and mitigation in public
housing, but there has been little activity as yet.
    In terms of content and presentation, many of the risk communication materials
produced at both the state and federal levels are of extremely high quality.
Enormous effort has been put into the development of these materials to ensure
that they present the necessary information in an appealing and comprehensible
form for the general public.  Experts in risk communication and reading
comprehension reviewed many of the materials. Focus groups with members of
the public were used both to develop and test the materials. Indeed, this is an
ongoing process, and a substantially revised Citizen's Guide is to be released this
fall. Unfortunately, the content is again geared towards homeowners.  There are no
materials tailored to rental properties—either for the tenants or the landlords. The
risk communication materials offer no advice to renters about how to deal with
landlords who refuse to test, or what renters can do if they find their dwellings
have elevated levels of radon.  Similarly, there is no information explaining the
incentives for landlords to test and mitigate.
    Even if low-income homeowners do test for radon, the necessary mitigation
work may be prohibitively expensive.  Some of the mitigation options
recommended by the EPA (e.g., in the Radon Reduction Methods: A Homeowner's
Guide) may have significant energy costs. For poor households, the energy costs of
opening windows and ventilating crawl spaces may outweigh gains in reduced
radon risk. Risk communication on mitigation should, therefore, include some
discussion of this trade-off, alternative measures that may be cheaper, and the
availability of any grants, subsidies, or tax incentives that might apply.
    EPA's radon communications materials recommend that people contact their
state radon office for additional information on the risks of radon and how to test
and mitigate.  Many states send out packets of information, including the list of
testing companies that meet EPA's Radon Measurement Proficiency (RMP) Program
quality controls.  Unfortunately, many of these offices can only be reached by
 calling a toll number during the most expensive calling period. This adds an
 additional barrier to testing, and is a barrier for those who cannot afford such calls.
 Furthermore, EPA's existing toll-free hotline, which provides only a prerecorded
 message offering to send EPA's introductory brochure, might be enhanced.
    Finally, smokers who are exposed to radon have an increased risk of lung
 cancer over those who only smoke or are only exposed to radon. Since a higher
 proportion of low-income and racial minority groups smoke, there would be an
 increased overall risk to radon from these groups.  EPA, however, is  extremely
 cautious about including a discussion of the relationship between radon and
 smoking in the risk communication materials.  This reluctance is based on the
 assumption that both smokers and non- smokers may face unacceptable risks if
 they live in a house with elevated levels of radon, and the fear that focusing on
 smoking may lead  non-smokers to believe they are not at risk. Emphasizing
 smoking may also  have an adverse effect by alienating smokers,  who then also
 refuse to test or mitigate.  While the Citizen's Guide presents little information
 about the relationship between smoking and radon, it does recommend  that

 individuals can reduce their risks by stopping smoking themselves and
 discouraging smoking in their home.

 6.3.2 Community Right-To-Know

 For the purposes of this paper, community right-to-know (CRTK) is defined
 broadly, encompassing the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-know
 Act (EPCRA) of 1986 (also known as SARA (Superfund Amendments and
 Reauthorization Act), and in addition, CERCLA (Comprehensive Environmental
 Response, Compensation, and Liability Act), the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, the
 Pollution Prevention Act, and the Clean Air Act of 1990. Two program offices, the
 Chemical Emergency Preparedness and Prevention Office (CEPPO) (within the
 Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response (OSWER)), and the Office of
 Pollution Prevention and Toxics (OPPT), have the main responsibility for
 implementing EPCRA, but many other EPA offices, have been involved in
 developing and implementing the CRTK program. In some important respects, the
 CRTK program extends beyond EPA to many other federal agencies, to state and
 local governments, and to non-governmental organizations. This section discusses
 several aspects of CRTK that have implications for equity issues.

 Availability of Information to Racial Minority and Low-Income Groups.  Under
 the CRTK program, most groups have equal potential to obtain the technical and
 other risk information that accompanies or flows from regulation development if it
 is requested.  However, the existence of this source of information is not widely
 known,  except by interested industry representatives, environmental professionals,
 and other researchers. Further, this information is, by its nature, often highly
 technical and, therefore, not easily understood by the general public.  Specifically,
 three barriers to low-income and minority groups obtaining and using this
 information have been identified:

 Language barriers

    Very little of the formal CRTK and EPA-wide public relations output is
    presented in Spanish or other non-English languages. The technical and rule
    making material is virtually all in English. It is rare to find heavy participation
    by Hispanic or other linguistic minorities in EPA rule making hearings or other
    large-scale public meetings.

Metropolitan Proximity

    All EPA regional and headquarters offices are in major cities. Government
    repository libraries (which contain some EPA materials and usually have
    librarians capable of assisting interested patrons) tend to be in major cities  and
    within sizable universities. Thus, rural populations have relatively less access
    to information or assistance available through these mechanisms.

Education Level Bias

    Environmental issues and information are inherently technical and are
    sometimes complex. A person with some educational background in those or
    related issues is in a better position to identify and to be able to make use of
    much of the data that we have broadly included in CRTK information. Access
    to facilities with computers are also required to make use of some of EPA s risk

Tailoring Messages to Target Audiences. By and large, EPA's technical and
regulatory output comes in one style—technical-containing many legal and
scientific terms that appear to be jargon to other readers; it assumes a large
amount of background knowledge on the part of the readers. The process of
making this information available to a wide audience is a resource-intensive task.
So far/it currently has been undertaken for certain key areas, with plans to expand
it as resources are available.                                , „        ,  t  ,'
    In some cases, tailoring of EPA's message has been successfully accomplished.
The usual motivation has been to encourage compliance with some program among
the regulated community. As examples, the Underground Storage Tanks program
has produced very readable  compliance guides for the proprietors of gas stations
and other businesses likely to have such tanks. The certified pesticide applicator
training program takes into account the educational levels  and language skills of
those who are to be trained  and certified. Some labeling and other aspects of
pesticide use explicitly deal with Spanish-speaking farm workers.
    In those cases where EPA has expended efforts to communicate directly and
clearly, documents have been written in straightforward English,  sometimes with
careful attention to graphical content, assuming moderate skills on the part of the
intended readers.  The annual Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) national reports, some
 of CEPPO's documents and  other general EPCRA documents (eg. "Why Accidents
 Happen," "Chemicals In Your Community," and a brochure explaining EPCRA
 section 311/312 requirements to small businesses), and some materials from the
 Superfund program are among the examples of successful efforts.
    The Outreach Committee of the EPA Title m Implementation Work Group
 occasionally turned its attention to special language needs. This resulted in the
 translation into Spanish of ait least one short brochure explaining the use and access
 of TRI data.  CEPPO has recently made arrangements to have the "Chemicals In
 Your Community" brochure translated into Spanish, and has received requests to
 have other materials translated into Spanish and some Indian languages.

 6.3.3  Air  Toxics

 Although the risks considered by the Community Right-to-Know (CRTK) program
 and thrAir Toxics program are similar, there are enough differences in the  sources
 and nature of the risks that separate risk communication efforts are necessary for
 these two programs. In particular, the CRTK programs deal mainly wi* releases of
 pollutants to various environmental media (often episodic releases), while the air
  toxics programs are concerned with ambient concentrations and human exposures
  (via a single medium), often from multiple, chronic, and/or unknown release
  sources. The Air Risk Information Center (Air RISC), located at  EPA's Research
  Triangle Park f acility, has produced one monograph and three pamphlets (EPA,
  1991c,d,e,f) on communicating air toxics risk issues. Information  was not available


  as to how widely these materials have been disseminated or whether they (or any
  other written or oral risk communication activities emanating from EPA
  headquarters) have enabled significant numbers of citizens to participate in
  dialogue about air toxics problems.

  Review of Air RISC Materials.  Air RISC has produced several quality documents
  that address equity concerns. The three pamphlets that Air RISC has produced are
  readable, graphically attractive, understandable, and unusually complete in their
  discussions of uncertainties, costs and benefits, risk comparisons, and the
  importance and legitimacy of public perceptions about risk. However, these
  pamphlets do not directly address  racial and income factors as they affect exposure,
  susceptibility, and, thereby, risk.
     The monograph on "Air Pollution and the Public" is particularly praiseworthy.
  It contains an extensive discussion  of the variety of process and substantive goals of
  a risk communication program, and of the variety of target audiences that should
  be identified.  However, the treatment of this latter issue is silent with respect to
  racial and income equity.  Nevertheless, the document does encourage the
  environmental official to "consider  groups based on common demographic,
  educational, or vocational interests, which will not necessarily be within the
  geographic or political boundaries (of the exposed community)," advice which
  could be interpreted to apply to racial or income groups.'
     Moreover, the section on haw to communicate to different audiences is very
 sensitive to equity issues. The document advises the agency official to tailor the
 message to the appropriate educational level (without being condescending), to
 consider that cultural and sociological factors may influence both risk perception
 (and benefits perception) and how people view authority figures (giving as an
 example an allegedly successful "tailored" risk communication to
 Portuguese-speaking fishermen in Massachusetts), and to pay careful attention to
 both the questions people ask as well as the questions left unasked because of
 possible confusion, incomprehension, or fear.

 6.3.4  Pesticide Porgrams

 Risk communication and equity are prominent problems for the Office of Pesticide
 Programs (OPP) because so many of the migrant and seasonal farm workers who
 are exposed to pesticides on the job are poor and racial minority groups.  Risk
 communication is  especially difficult because of low literacy rates and the diversity
 of languages. Moreover, the population is dispersed over a wide area and, in the
 case of migrant workers, constantly  on the move. Finally, as recent immigrants, or
 illegal aliens, many workers are especially suspicious and distrustful of any
 government authority.

 Pesticide Labels and Risk Communication. The label of a registered pesticide is
 required to convey information concerning its contents, potential hazards to human
 health and the environment/and directions for use. Any regulation which applies
 to the use or handling of a pesticide product must be included in the label.
 Pesticides are placed in one of four toxicity categories. The least toxic are not
 required to car# any particular hazard labeling. Those in the other three
 categories must carry one the following signal words (in order of increasing
 toxicity): "CAUTION", "WARNING", or "DANGER." The Federal Insecticide,
Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) also requires that any pesticide containing

a substance highly toxic to human health shall depict a skull and crossbones figure
on the label along with the word "POISON" in prominent, red letters.  On some
agricultural pesticides, these words are written in Spanish as well as English.  The
signal words are found near the top of the label, underneath the trade name and
chemical content information. Below the signal words are precautionary statements
advising users of the type of hazard and protective measures to take, for example,
whether gloves or goggles ought to be worn. Also included in the precautionary
statements is information on how to administer first-aid in case of poisoning,  and
in some cases a note to the physician. Hazards to the environment and wildlife are
placed below the statements regarding human health. For the user, the label is,
therefore, the main source of information concerning the potential dangers and safe
use of a particular pesticide.
    Under FIFRA section 2(q)(l)(E), a label is required to be written in a way
"likely to be read and understood by the ordinary individual under customary
conditions of purchase and use." The label language assumes literacy at the
secondary level of education. Those with low literacy skills or whose first language
is other than English may have trouble understanding the label warning.  Many
agricultural pesticide labels contain a warning in Spanish not to use the pesticide
until the label has been fully explained.  Some registrants have  chosen to translate
the entire label for certain products into Spanish.
    The high rates of illiteracy among minorities and low-income groups
compounds the communication problems with these groups. Finding a way to
communicate warnings to those with low literacy skills has been  a particular   ^
challenge. During the mid-1980s a label utility workgroup was established within
EPA to explore the use of pictograms or symbols, as well as other ways to make
the labels easier to Understand.  A contractor was hired to interview consumers and
suggest ideas in a report, but no action has been taken since the report was issued.
 At this time, another work group has been formed^ take a look at these and other
 issues involving labels. Of particular concern is ti\e adequacy of labels on
 household pesticide product's in communicating information about potential health
 and environmental hazards, EPA plans to address this concern during the re-
 registration process for household pesticides (EPA, 1991).

 Farmworker Protection:  The Worker Protection Program.  Final regulations on
 Worker Protection Standards are due out within the next year. They will apply to
 workers on farms, and in forests, greenhouses and nurseries.  The regulations are  a
 response to the inadequacies, of current standards in protecting the health of
 agricultural workers, as presented in the background material for flie Worker
 Protection Standards proposed in 1988 (Federal Register, July 8,1988).   •
     The new regulations will cover a variety of activities and topics,  including:
 increased training in pesticide application, use of protective gear, notification of
 agricultural workers of what pesticides have been used and where they have been
  applied, reentry intervals for more toxic pesticides, and the availability of soap and
 water to wash off residues. The key to these efforts lies in education and training
  for agricultural workers, including farm workers. Much written material is already
  available in Spanish and English.  This material describes safety practices,
  appropriate types of protective gear, how to interpret label information, and what
  to do in case of an accident. In addition, slides and video presentations are  being
  prepared in both Spanish and English.
      The task of relaying this information, however, is enormous. The Federal
  Register notice of the proposed Worker Protection Standards estimated that 2.3,

 '                   ."      '           47            ••             :•     "

  million workers are exposed directly or indirectly to agricultural pesticides. A
  large portion of this number includes migrant and seasonal farmworkers. In the
  states of California, Oregon, and Washington it is estimated that 80% of the migrant
  fanซ force is Latino (Vaughan and Nordenstam, 1989). Many of them have limited
  education and read at about a 5th grade level in their own language. Seasonal
  farmworkers are of varied ethnic backgrounds. In some areas, Haitians and Asian
  immigrants have also taken up farm work  Outreach to farmworkers will therefore
  require extensive efforts in cross-cultural communication.
     While much of the safety training materials are well illustrated, it is recognized
  within the Occupational Safety Branch that these materials alone will be of
  marginal value in reaching farmworkers with little formal education. These
  materials will be most useful in aiding those who will teach the farmworkers about
  safety practices.
     In preparing materials for farmworkers, the Occupational  Safety Branch of OPP
  intends to make them concise and understandable. One source of advice in
  preparing the materials has been staff of Latino background with experience in the
  Peace Corps and knowledge of farmworkers' conditions.
     Grower organizations, the Cooperative Extension Service of USDA, and public
  service organizations are important channels for reaching the growers with new
  information on regulations as well as training materials on pesticide safety. To
  reach the farmworkers, OPP plans to communicate through farmworker
  organizations, which will do the necessary training.  Two organizations which are
  scheduled to receive funding include the National Migrant Resource Program
  (NMRP) and the Association of Farmworkers Opportunity Programs (AFOP)
     The NMRP is associated with the Migrant Health Project in Texas; the funding
 is for migrant health, which includes health hazards from pesticides.  AFOP is an
 association of farmworker organizations that are primarily involved in employment
 braining and upgrading job skills.  Through an inter-agency agreement, funds have
 been allocated to AFOP for safety training. The purpose of the funding is to train
 those individuals chosen to be pesticide safety trainers by their respective
 organizations. These trainers will go out into the fields to meet with farmworkers
 in their camps after working hours. Farmworker organizations often use mobile
 classrooms or provide transportation in order to get the worker to the classes
 AFOP is convinced that only by training the farmworkers in small groups, where
 the workers feel free to ask questions, will this training be effective.  The need for
 culturally-sensitive materials for other groups, such as Haitians and Laotians are
 under consideration.
    In addition to the Worker Protection Program,  the Communications Branch of
 OPP conveys information about risks associated with pesticides to labor and
 farmworker groups.  The Communications Branch regularly contacts farmworker
 organizations when an announcement is considered relevant to farmworkers  For
 instance, the announcement of the agreement to restrict the use of the pesticide
 parathion because of occupational  safety concerns was communicated to the United
 Farm Workers, Friends of the Farmworkers, and the National Association of
 Community Health Centers.

 6.3.5 Lead

The EPA lead programs are another example of an  important and highly visible
risk for which relatively little formal risk communication materials exist.  The
Office of Water has produced several pamphlets on lead in drinking water (dated


April 1987, December 1988, January 1989, and April 1989). In addition, the Office
of Water (OW) is drafting a. document—A Primer: Developing a Community-Based
Public Education Program on Lead in Drinking Water, (October 6,1989) which grew
out of a pilot public education program that EPA conducted in Raleigh, North
Carolina.  This document is designed largely for water suppliers. EPA's final
regulation for lead in drinking water requires public water suppliers to deliver
educational materials to consumers.  EPA is developing general materials based on
the Raleigh experience and will be providing them to public water suppliers in
camera-ready form.  OW will publish final guidance and  encourage public water
suppliers to work with local public health agencies.

Review of Materials front the Office of Water. The various pamphlets are very
informative and comprehensible to a wide variety of audiences. Issues of special
concern to racial minorities and the poor are raised and generally dealt with
sensitively. For example, the  pamphlets are not just aimed at homeowners, but at
renters in large apartment buildings (who may not be able to remove lead
effectively by flushing their taps each morning). The pamphlets recommend  that
people test their household water for lead, yet they do not provide information as
to whether subsidized or inexpensive tests might be available (except in the case of
the pamphlet "Get the Lead Out").  OW has research underway to develop
inexpensive field kits.                                         „,,,,,
    A good example of how an issue is addressed in a way that will be helpful to
low-income families is the discussion on the routine flushing of household taps.
Although EPA notes that such a measure will only increase a house's water bill by
approximately 25 cents per month, the pamphlets take pains to suggest that
households can use the flushed water  to wash floors or water house plants, or can
bottle  the water coming from the tap after it has been flushed for later use-in both
cases,  reducing the small but possibly significant cost of incremental water usage.
Although these suggestions may in fact have been motivated by water conservation
rather than cost-saving considerations, they will be appreciated by readers who
have serious financial concerns.

Broader Equity Issues in Lead Risk Communication. There appears to be some
There is a sentiment among some lead pollution activists that EPA and other
agencies only stepped up their efforts to abate lead exposure when lead was found
to be a serious problem for populations other than inner-city racial minorities.  The
allegations that EPA's attention to lead pollution in general reflects a lack of
concern about the health problems of  certain populations is unsubstantiated.
However, the fact that these  sentiments exist should be borne in mind by EPA in
conducting future risk communication activities.
    In fact, EPA has already taken action to reduce the amount of lead in gasoline,
 which contributed to a reduction in average blood lead levels over the past 10 to 20
 years  from 15 micrograms per deciliter (ng/dl) to 5 ng/dl.  However, since the
 Agency's action to reduce lead in gasoline, new scientific, research demonstrated
 that harmful effects occur at  blood lead levels previously considered safe. Based on
 this new information, the threshold level for lead toxicity concern has declined
 steadily. In response to this new scientific information on lead, EPA developed a
 strategy to reduce lead exposures to the fullest extent practicable, with particular
 emphasis on reducing the risk to children—the population at greatest overall risk.
 Implementation of this strategy is intended to reduce elevated  blood-lead levels in
 the nation's  children and, gpLven that a disproportionately large percentage of

           children from minority and low-income families have elevated blood lead levels,
           will have a greater impact on children in these high-risk groups.
               Critics of EPA's lead programs have indicated that EPA's emphasis on
           particular exposure pathways reflects a biased avoidance of the exposures of
           greatest concern to poor and racial minority citizens. According to the Alienee to
           End Childhood Lead Poisoning (AECLP), exposure to lead via drinking water
           contributes only 1 to 2 ug/dl or less to the background blood lead concentration
           (which may exceed 10-20 ug/dl in high-risk cases).  EPA has stated that the three
           major sources of lead contributing to blood-lead levels above 10 ug/dl appear to
           be:  (1) lead-based paint, (2) urban soil and dust, and (3) drinking water.  The
           Agency is  directing its risk communication efforts to provide information on
           exposure from these pathways for all groups that may be affected by these
           exposure pathways.
              Further, EPA is currently working on the development of model course
           curricula for inspectors, supervisors, workers, and designers to address the
           problems associated with the removal of leaded  paint.  In addition, a brochure for
           parents and day-care providers that will provide information on the hazards of
           lead exposure and how to reduce these hazards  is under development.

           6.4    CONCLUSIONS

           Neither the Risk Communication Program in general, nor the specific efforts in risk
           communication, have  explicit equity goals.  Indeed, they seldom mention race,
           income, or other characteristics that might influence the distribution of risks and
           benefits, or the effectiveness of risk communication.  The risk communication
           efforts have not been aimed at addressing disproportionate distributions in risk, nor
           are there explicit guidelines to ensure that the risk communication process itself is
           as effective as it could be at reaching all affected populations.
             While risk communication guidance contains valuable advice, much of it is
          general; it does not explicitly address the issue of equity. One can extract ideas for
          more equitable risk communication from the guidance, but  both the Agency and
          affected communities would benefit from risk communication guidance that
          explicitly addresses equity issues.
             Unfortunately, the real practice of risk communication is seldom able to live up
          to the aspirations of those who craft written guidelines.  Even in those instances
          where members of the community have been actively engaged in the
          decision-making process, these tend to be the members of society more likely to
          participate even without encouragement from EPA. Racial minority and
          low-income groups often feel excluded. While EPA believes that risk
          communication is a two-way process, many of the activities tend to be
          unidirectional, aimed at "educating" the public. Providing information in this
          manner without assuring forums for substantial input into the decision-making
          process can lead to frustration and anger on the part of the  public.


Administrator Reilly's fourth and final charge to the workgroup was to review
institutional relationships, including outreach to and consultation with racial
minority and low-income organizations, to assure that EPA is fulfilling its mission
with respect to these populations.      ,



Local grassroots organizations play a key role in the environmental equity
movement. These groups often are comprised of individuals who historically may
not have been part of a large membership environmental organization. In many
cases, individuals in these groups live in racial minority or low-income
communities and have mobilized around a threat to their immediate community,
such as a landfill or incinerator. It is of critical importance that the Agency make a
special effort to contact these groups both through EPA headquarters initiatives
and, more importantly, the Regional Offices.   Traditional community
organizations such as religious organizations also offer a unique opportunity to
reach individuals whose lives are directly affected by environmental equity issues.
An excellent example is the United Church of Christ (author of Toxic Waste and
Race, 1987). The United Methodists, National Council of Churches, and the
Presbyterian Church have all been actively involved in the environmental equity
movement. Clearly, part of EPA's responsibility to achieve effective outreach is to
identify community orgaiuzations with the credibility and means to reach
individuals who otherwise may not be reached.  ,
    Effective use of the media is an essential component in reaching population
groups with a direct stake in environmental equity issues.  The Subgroup compiled
information on a range of racial minority and ethnic newspapers and  newsletters
published nationally as well as locally. These publications provide a valuable
conduit for disseminating information. EPA is also exploring increased use of
radio public service announcements in languages other than English.
    The headquarters outreach committee has begun to contact hundreds of
 organizations and individuals nationwide to build a national environmental equity
 network. The outreach effort includes organizations such as universities, minority
 rights membership organizations, community-based grass-roots groups, religious
 organizations and local extension services. Groups and individuals are also
 included from the Agency's traditional constituencies such as environmental
 groups, civic, and consumer groups, labor organizations, business and trade groups,
 congressional representatives, and state and local organizations. This network will
 become a cornerstone for hearing concerns, sharing information, and exchanging
 success stories.  The list will be made available to the Risk Communication
 Program, Regional offices, and program offices for use in risk communication and
 outreach on specific rules zirid Agency initiatives.                 .


 Although EPA has several on-going efforts with the U.S. Department of Agriculture
 (USDA), the US. Department of Health and Human Services, the Appalachian
 Regional Commission, and the US. Census Bureau, there is significant room for
 increased cooperation. Work with Health and Human Services has focused on
 developing a proposed Memorandum of Understanding between EPA and the
 Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry-(ATSDR). The memorandum
 contains a section under which the agencies agree to exchange information related
 to health and risk assessments.  Also, ATSDR has a minority health initiative that
 should be coordinated with EPA's environmental equity initiatives.
    EPA's work with USDA has centered on establishing links with the
 Cooperative Extension Service—a Federal/State partnership where agents
 disseminate information to local communities. A pilot project is being developed
 by the Extension Service in which a training manual is being written to incorporate
 environmental concerns—including environmental equity issues. If successful, the
 project will be used as a model for training manuals used by other local extension
 services in other parts of the country. EPA is supporting the project by providing
 information on environmental equity concerns. The Agency also is discussing
 strategies for tapping into the existing network of hundreds of local extension
 services nationwide to spread the word about its environmental equity work and
 gain valuable feedback.
    The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) is a Federal-State agency
 concerned with economic, physical, and social development in Appalachia. EPA's
 work with ARC has focused on developing a Memorandum-of-Understanding
 (MOU) between ARC and EPA's Public-Private-Partnerships (P3) Program. The
MOU seeks to promote public-private partnerships and other financing alternatives
in solving environmental problems facing small, economically disadvantaged
communities in this region.



Many environmental equity issues will best be addressed by regional offices
because environmental problems and local populations differ widely across the
United States. Regional staff, closer to the problems and the communities at risk,
will be better suited to identify and solve equity issues. The role of the
headquarters office should be to identify broad national environmental equity
issues, develop policies with strong regional representation and provide technical
assistance to the regional offices.
'r A Regional Perspectives Subgroup was formed to detail perspectives from
regional staff on^equity issues and to collect information on regional environmental
equity activities. Regional staff were surveyed by telephone.  They were asked to
comment on where inequities might exist Regional contacts were also asked about
projects underway that targeted equity issues or strongly impacted specific
population groups.


Through many discussions with regional staff, the most important discovery to
emerge Was that many were unaware of equity issues. When pressed staff
members could cite anecdotal evidence that environmental risks impact certain
communities disproportionately. However, many believe that the Agency's
activities are generally equitable, because its mission statement is focused on the
environment, not on particular groups.  This perception—founded on the
assumption that national standards and a focus on resources protect all
communities equally—is, in part, what has allowed instances of disproportionate
distribution of pollutants to continue unaddressed.
    Awareness of equity issues varied considerably by region. Most frequently,
staff members cited the following as areas of concern: The existence of large
numbers of hazardous waste sites in low-income communities, EPA's lack of
control over the siting process, and disproportionate distribution of National
Priorities List sites.  Regional staff also consistently pointed to issues surrounding
siting of publicly owned treatment works (POTWs) and construction grants under
the dean Water Act.  It should be noted, however, that the siting of POTWs is a
local decision and not within EPA's jurisdiction.
    Most of the Regional staff members interviewed identified outreach as a key
method for addressing environmental equity issues. There are  examples of EPA
targeting information to specific, high risk populations.  Among the examples of
this are Region DCs translation of Worker protection standards  into Hmong; the
translation of Superfund Factsheets into Portuguese for use in New  Bedford, MA
 (Region I); and Region ITs production of the Spanish publication "Mercuric y el
 Ambiente" ("Mercury and the Environment").
    Outreach on environmental equity issues can be conducted in two ways. It can
 be unidirectional, with the Agency communicating its message to the communities
 of concern, or bidirectional, with the Agency engaging in a dialogue with these ^
 communities, both communicating its message and listening to the communities'
 concerns. Regional staff members support a bi-directional approach, believing that

 :   '       '     ' .   -    '           53          '  .

  the Agency needs to exhibit a willingness to address community concerns as well
  as^the Agency's own agenda. Examples of a bi-directional approach are Region
  DCs underwriting of Spanish-language radio call-in programs in the Fresno,
  California area that deal with issues of pesticide use and worker safety, and Region
  VIII's model risk communication program.
     Given the general lack of awareness demonstrated by many regional staff, the
  importance of the individuals addressing equity concerns increases. Regional staff
  familiar with environmental equity issues  demonstrated the ability to address the
  issue through existing programs. In many cases, equity issues can be addressed
  without major shifts in staff responsibilities or programmatic changes. However,
  awareness of equity issues by individual regional staff is not sufficient.  Equity
  considerations must be incorporated systematically into all aspects of the Agency's
  field work.                               '
     Despite the general lack of awareness, there are on-going regional activities that
  address environmental equity issues.  Many of these activities began before the
  Workgroup was formed. Through the efforts of a relatively small number of staff,
  several regional offices have managed to conduct research, outreach, and risk
  communication efforts targeted to racial minority and low-income communities.
  However, the efforts are not comprehensive, and should be viewed as
  demonstrations of what regions can do to address equity issues.


 EPA's regional offices are leading the way in on-the-ground, practical programs to
 reduce perceived and actual environmental inequities.  Regional offices are engaged
 in a variety of environmental equity projects including risk assessment, risk
 communication, and programmatic efforts targeted to reduce disproportionate risk.
 The following list of projects includes regional and Headquarters programs that
 address risks in racial minority and  low-income communities.  This list expands
 upon and adds new information to that information included in the Summarv
 Report.                                                '           .'

 Project Name: Urban Environmental Initiative
 Region: I      (Boston)
 Contact:      James Younger
 Phone*:      617-565-3427

 Project Summary:

 The Urban Environmental Initiative is  an attempt to develop a bi-directional
 communication strategy.  The ultimate goal of the Initiative is to develop a listing
 of environmental issues to be addressed—an environmental agenda—for the Boston
 area which includes the concerns of racial minqrity communities.
   Currently underway in Boston, the project focuses on community awareness,
 empowerment and involvement in environmental issues. The program is exploring
 the impact of environmental problems on the urban community with particular
 emphasis on environmental problems other than lead, such as air pollution, PCBs
 and radon.
   Region 1 is employing a broad-based meeting approach. Groups of community
leaders, black college student government presidents, local urban media outlets and
EPA officials have been convened. Nine meetings will be held over the course of

two years and will culminate in a major conference in the spring of 1993.  This
outreach will not only address critical issued but also convey to the community a
description of the Agency's mission statement, mandate, and authorities.

Project Name: Strategic Planning Initiative
Region:!      (Boston)
Phone #:
James Younger
Project Summary:

In 1990, Region I refined its strategic planning process to serve as a tool for
managing human health and ecological risks. The region articulated four strategies
in this ongoing process: Changing organizational culture, pollution prevention,
resource protection, and relationships with government agencies. Recognizing the
importance of environmental equity, the region incorporated the issue under
changing organizational culture.  A component of the region's articulated vision
emphasizes this commitment: "A New England where rich and poor alike share in
the benefits of a healthy environment."
    Key to the strategic planning process is the undertaking of strategic analysis to
assess the Region's internal strengths and weaknesses. The region determined that
it is not addressing the problem of environmental equity, since low income groups
may be facing higher risks and disproportionate costs for environmental protection.
The present organizational culture does not support the skills and approaches
necessary to advance environmental equity. The region also identified as a critical
issue the need to  focus its outreach efforts to address environmental equity.  Part of
the region's integrated action plan provides for equity awareness training.

Project Name: Supeifund Enforcement Investigation
Region:  II     (New York)
Contact:       Dana Williams
Phone #:      212-264-1709

Project Summary:

In 1990, Region 2's Equal Employment Office (EEO) proposed examining the
hypothesis that more affluent communities were receiving more favorable  cleanup
through the Superfund program. The study will document if there are more
Superfund/CERCLIS sites located in racial minority and/or poor communities.
Using census data recently loaded into a Graphics Information System (GIS), a map
will be developed that includes the location of CERCLIS and Superfund sites and
pertinent demographic data.  Demographic data will include per capita income and
percentage of population in racial minority groups.
    In addition to this site location/demographic analysis, the study will examine
cumulative individual risk at sites, using standard risk assessment methodology to
quantify the  risk  to public health in reasonably foreseeable exposure scenarios.
    Are more affluent communities able to speed up the Superfund process? This
study will identify the key factors in determining the speed of activity of
remediation  at Superfund sites.  Do racial minority and poor communities receive
 proper attention  in the earlier stages of the Superfund process? To measure the
 efficiency of the Superfund process, time frames in the earlier stages of the process

                                     .55        .    "•'•-

  will be investigated. An evaluation of the amount of time spent performing these
  tasks may reflect environmental inequities stemming from higher prioritization
  given to more politically charged sites.
     Are more sites making the National Priority List (NPL) in affluent communities
  than in poorer communities?  CERCLIS sites with severe enough environmental
  conditions are placed on the NPL and are therefore eligible for a federally funded
  cleanup. This study will evaluate the type and degree of political pressure
  exercised by communities in influencing whether sites are placed on the NPL.
     The following elements of the Superfund process will be investigated:

     • " Do biases exist within the Hazard Ranking System that would favor
        affluent communities and allow  them to receive higher scores and be
        placed on the NPL?

     •  Is public involvement more visible in more affluent communities?

     The methodology will be dependent upon the data available. The first level of
 analysis involves anecdotal evidence found through interviews with the Superfund
 st^? m Region 2. The second level will involve quantitative measures, focusing on
 the statistical significance of the data. If the data  are available and adequate, a
 third level of study will be performed involving multiple regression analysis.
 ^-ฐFe*ations  ^^ be developed between demographics and the various elements of
 the Superfund process.

 Project Name: Baltimor^Washington, D.C. Urban Environmental  Risk Initiative
 Region: HI    (Philadelphia)
 Contact:       Dominique Luckenhoff
 Phone*:      215-597-6529

 Project Summary:

 Multi-media environmental risk profiles for socioeconomic subgroups within the
 study area will be developed and displayed on Geographic Information System
 (GIS) maps. GIS will serve not only to assist with the analytical work, but also to
 present the results in a format understandable to the general public.  These risk
 profiles will also be compared to background or reference conditions in order to
 determine whether environmental risks within the defined study areas are
 disproportionately distributed by socioeconomic class. Community outreach to
 organizations and individuals representing the affected populations in  the study
 areas will be conducted with the assistance of state and local officials and Morgan
 State University. In addition to communicating EPA's risk assessment findings,
 these community outreach forums will also be used to reach consensus on the
 environmental problems of greatest concern and how best to address them based
 upon community needs and available resources.

Project Name: Radon and Asbestos Awareness Program (RAAP)
Region: HI    (Philadelphia)
Contact;       Aquanetta Dickens
Phone #:      215-597-4553

Project Summary:

The Radon and Asbestos Awareness Program (RAAP) targets racial minority
communities for effective communication of health risks associated with radon and
asbestos. The program is now being piloted in the Philadelphia area, with the
intention of being transferred to other major metropolitan areas within the region.
The program involves regular radio forums consisting of professionals from EPA,
other federal agencies, universities/colleges and private industry to communicate
the health threats of radon and asbestos and to obtain direct feedback from
members of ethnic communities on their experiences and perceptions of the

Project Name: Multi-Cultural Participation in the Chesapeake Bay  Program
Region: HI    (Philadelphia)
Contact:      Dominique Lueckenhoff
Phone #:      a5-597-6529        "

Project Summary:

The Chesapeake Bay Program is developing a multi-cultural participation program
to broaden public participation and involvement in the restoration of the Bay. The
target groups for greater involvement are citizens of African, Latino and Asian
descent, -as well as rural poor and others with a direct economic link to the
productivity of the Bay.
    The focus of the program is on structuring public information materials and
educational programs to have broad appeal and encourage increased participation.
This includes surveying multi-cultural interests to evaluate the impact of the
Chesapeake Bay Program on racial minority and low-income communities. For
example, the Anacostia Public Education arid Participation Program of the
Interstate Commission has reached over 40,000 people since 1988. The program has
a quarterly newsletter, 9 sub-basin coordinators and educational activities and
outreach. A prime goal of this program is to get every foot of every stream within
the Anacostia watershed "adopted" by local residents and businesses.

Project Name: Lead Education and Abatement Program (Project LEAP)
Region: V     (Chicago)
Contact:      William H. Sanders HI, Project Director
Phone *':     312-3S3-3808

Project Summary:


The Region 5 comparative risk study was completed in the summer of 1990.  The
 study identified lead as one of the multi-program pollutants of concern. The region
 thus selected lead as a priority area, and tasked the medium programs, and a
 project director, with development of a comprehensive strategy/implementation
 plan to address and remediate lead contamination in the six state region.
     The group recognized that lead poisoning in children is now considered  to be a
 national epidemic.  Lead exposures from exterior and interior residential paint, as
 well as exposures from contaminated soils and dust in and around structures

 present in most urban areas, drinking water, air emissions, food, occupational
 settings, and hobby activities, result in multiple pathways of exposure.  These
 exposures are responsible for a number of adverse health effects in humans,
 especially in children. Because children are at elevated risk, a targeted population
 has been chosen to be children under seven years of age, and women of child'
 bearing age as a surrogate for the fetus.  Within this population group, African and
 Latino-Americans are particularly targeted in recognition of an increased body
 burden susceptibmty/vulnerability to the uptake and effects of lead exposure.
 Within the region, 68 Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs)—essentially all the
 inner-city locations—are being studied.
     Project LEAP is a multi-media and multi-program approach having four basic
 components: (1) data analysis and targeting; (2) pollution prevention; (3) education
 and intervention activities; and (4) abatement activities. The project will be
 implemented over a three year period, and is a component of the Agency Lead
 Strategy. The project focuses upon data analysis, air modeling of major sources,
 prioritization of sources and areas for targeting purposes, and selection of
 geographic areas for attention during the second and third years of the Project.
 The data analysis stage will be completed in the Spring of 1992.'


 AJDRS-FS data (stationary source air emissions) have been obtained and organized in
 a database for all Region 5 states except for Ohio (data is pending from the state
 agency). Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) data are also being used in this project.
 Between the two data bases, all reported significant sources of stationary source
 exposure via the air pathway should be ascertained. Emission information for the
 30 Municipal Waste Combusters located within the region, along with other facility
 information,  is also being incorporated. Significant sources within the 68 MSAs
 will be selected for air concentration and deposition modeling
    The national database for drinking water contains a very limited number of
 public water supplies reporting exceedances of the then-existing 50 ppb drinking
 water standard for lead (Le., there have been a relatively small number of
 exceedances). Information is being provided by each of the six states on actual
 measured values, as reported, for public water supplies serving residents in the 68
    Although all Superfund sites in the region have been mapped in geographic
 information systems (GIS) format, information has not been evaluated for lead.
 Consequently, that information will have to be gleaned from individual hard copy
 reports of the preliminary assessment/site investigations for each site in the areas
 of interest. A similar approach will be started for RCRA facilities. LEAFs first
report, Spatial and Numerical Dimensions of Young Minority Children Exposed to Low-
Level Environmental Sources of Lead, is complete and available upon request.

Project Name:  Geographic Enforcement Initiative
Region: V      (Chicago)
Phone #:
Bert Frey

Project Summary:

The Region 5 Geographic Enforcement Initiative (GET) is a major part of an
ongoing, risk-based, multi-media effort focused on Southeast Chicago and
Northwestern Indiana. This heavily industrialized area is beset with a host of
environmental problems affecting air, water, soil and quality of life. The residents
olthis area include a high percentage of low-income and minority people.
Previous evaluations of this area have highlighted a variety of unacceptable human
health and ecological risks.

The goals of the GEI are:

•   Reduce toxic loadings in the area by 50% by 1990.

•   Restore Ecological Systems within the area.

•   Achieve a high level of compliance with all Federal and State environmental
    laws and regulations.

, •   Achieve full compliance with Annex 2 of the Great Lakes Quality Agreement.
                         t                '
•   Develop and implement a pollution prevention program to complement Federal
    and State Enforcement.

•   Integrate an aggressive communications strategy into each aspect and phase of
    the initiative.

Project Name:  CIS/Comparative Risk Equity Analysis
Region: VI    (Dallas)
Contact:       Lynda Carroll,
Phone #:      (214) 655-6570

Project Summary:

Region 6 has developed Geographic Information System (CIS) and Comparative
Risk capabilities to evaluate environmental equity concerns in the five  states in the
area.  Region 6's comparative risk methodology identifies susceptibility factors as
part of risk evaluations for human health. Factors such as age, pregnancy, genetics
(race), personal income, pre-existing disease and lifestyle are susceptibility
measures. Considerations of racial minority status are included in the genetics and
lifestyle factors. The other factors indirectly assess the socioeconomic status of
identified population groups.
    Susceptibility factors have been analyzed for site specific studies (i.e., areas
around hazardous waste sites) and large geographic locations such as  cities, states
or the region.  Combined with chemical release data (i.e., the Toxic Release
Inventory or monitoring information), geographic and demographic data and state
health department vital statistics data, regional equity assessments can be
performed routinely.

 Project Name: Gulf Coast Toxics Initiative                           -
 Region: VI    (Dallas)
 Contact:       Lynda Carroll
 Phone*:      (214)655-6570

 Project Summary:

 The Gulf Coast Toxics Initiative is a major 1992 enforcement effort in Region 6.
 The program will target facilities in the sensitive Gulf Coast ecoregion where most
 of the toxic releases in the region occur. The region's inspectors will allocate 38
 percent of their time to this initiative. Owing to the high human populations and
 quantity of wetlands in the Gulf Coast of Louisiana and Texas, it was selected as
 the most likely area to benefit from an intensive multi-media enforcement effort.

 Project Name: Rio Grande Study
 Region: VI    (Dallas)
 Contact:      Lynda Carroll
 Phone*:     (214)655-6570
                                 •  "  /
 Project Summary:

 The Agency is committing $352,000 over the next two years for a study that will
 monitor and analyze the presence of toxic chemicals along the Rio Grande from El
 Paso to the Gulf of Mexico.  The study is designed to determine whether
 environmental pollution is causing the high incidence of birth defects in the lower
 Rip Grande Valley and whether the health of residents along the U.S.-Mexico
 border is at risk. Water and sediment samples will be taken in the Rio Grande
 above and below all major urban areas and industrial sites outside of urban  areas.
 The EPA will also sample each  tributary as it enters the Rio Grande, as well  as
 sampling wastewater treatment discharges and untreated sewage at their points of
 discharge. Furthermore, the study will include laboratory analysis of fish samples
 taken from various points along the river.

 Project Name: Region Vn Indian Strategy
 Region: VH   (Kansas City)
 Contact:       Dewane Knott
 Phone*:      913-551-7000

 Project Summary:
   ,'        'M|      ,11 •       ,              ,       ,                        ^

The focus of EPA's Indian Strategy is to develop the capability within tribes to
manage their own tribal environments. Since tribal environments and the
corresponding environmental problems vary nationally, Region VH is implementing
the strategy by concentrating in the three areas identified as priorities by the tribes
in the region:  solid waste, environmental education and groundwater protection.
A Native American Senior Employment Program person has been hired to work
exclusively with the tribes on solid waste issues by providing training
opportunities.  In terms of environmental education, Region Vn is distributing an
environmental curriculum to the reservation schools accompanied by teacher
training, distributing training videos to the tribes, and coordinating with the local
Native American junior colleges. Groundwater contamination is being addressed

with additional outreach and by including a groundwater component in all grants
awarded to tribes.

Project Name: Environmental Education Initiative
Region: VII   (Kansas City)
Contact:      Rowena Michaels
Phone #:      913-551-7000

Project Summary:

Region VH and the University of Kansas established a National Environmental
Education and Training Center to provide leadership in environmental education,
teacher  training and professional development. The region funded a pilot teacher
training project to develop exemplary environmental education modules for use in
the four state area. The project focused on educating K-6 teachers at a two-week,
on-campus "Summer Institute" in July, 1991. Special emphasis was placed on
assuring that teachers selected for the "Summer Institute11 represented  diverse
school districts from urban and rural areas in Region VH. The Center will continue
to assure that diversity is a special focus in future educational efforts.
    The Region VH Strategic Plan covering fiscal years 1993 through 1996 includes
commitments to work extensively with educators throughout the region to assure
that young people receive adequate information, about environmental matters to
make sound environmental choices throughout their lives.  The Plan also
recognizes environmental equity as an important issue which will be reflected in
communication and outreach.

Project Name: Equitable Enforcement Investigation
Region: Vin   (Denver)
Contact:      Elmer Chenattlt
Phone: #:     303-293-1622

Project Summary:

Region 8 has initiated an investigation of polluting facilities and enforcement
actions in the Denver-Boulder metropolitan area using Geographic Information
System (CIS) technology. The concern is that one or more localities may experience
a significant degree of inequity with regard to, the level of enforcement.
     1980 demographic data has been assembled for the Denver-Boulder Metro area.
 Census tract areas range from populations of 30 ta 8,000 (average 4,000). Income
 data was projected onto the areas for both poverty and poverty threshold areas.
 Poverty areas are made of tracts where greater than 25% of the persons live below
 the poverty level.  Poverty thresholds areas are defined as areas where greater than
 12% of the population lives below the poverty level. Ethnic composition has also
 been included in the GIS.
     Environmental hazard data derived from the CERCLIS inventory and the Toxic
 Release Inventory (TRI) was then projected on to the area maps. Of the universe of
 315 sites, approximately 120 appear to present a potential health hazard. These
 include 98 CERCLIS and 22 TRI sites.
     Future project activities will entail collecting enforcement data and adding it to
 the data base. Once this is completed, a review of the level of enforcement with
 regard to ethnicity and income level can than be delineated. If inequities do exist,

 recommendations will be made to ensure equitable distribution of enforcement
                 ':,'          k   ป                              .
 •Project Name: Outreach Program in Ethnic Communities
 Region: Vm   (Denver)
 Contact:       Elmer Chenault
 Phone #:      303-293>1622

 Project Summary:

 Region 8 is currently developing and testing a model outreach program designed to
 communicate environmental awareness to ethnic communities. The program
 heavily emphasizes two-way communication and is being piloted in a low-income
 neighborhood in Denver. Based on initial meetings with the community, the multi-
 media approach is being designed to communicate, in simple common language:

    •   Risk Assessments: How are they done, what they mean, how they are
        used, etc. (For example: What is a risk factor? How is it determined?
        What risks are acceptable, why/why not?)

    •   Legal Rights:  What peoples rights are and how they can be pursued.

    *  SARA Title m (Community-Right-To-Know):  What is it? How does it
       work? What is it for? Who can access what information? How?

    •  Technical Assistance Grants (Superfund): How can communities access
       technical assistance grants or other types of grants? Technical Assistance
       Grants can be used to do studies, hire technical experts, perform outreach
       into communities, etc.

    ซ  Federal vs. State Responsibilities: Explains who has responsibility for
       oversight, enforcement, and law suits relating to polluting industries.

    •  Hazardous and/or Toxic Materials:  Why are materials defined as
       hazardous and/or toxic?

    Once the program has been implemented and modified in Region VIE, an
information packet will be distributed for national application. The kit will include:

    •  An EPA outreach model for low-income communities;

    •  Actions Plans for Workshops;

    *  Detailed Workshop Presentations; and

    •  Detailed schedule to implement community workshops.

Project Name: California Migrant Labor Drinking Water, Enforcement Program
Region: DC    (San Francisco)
Contact:       Mona Ellison
Phone*:      415^744-1846

Project Summary:


For years, small water system compliance with the National Primary Drinking
Water Regulations has been a focus of EPA Region 9^ public water supply
enforcement efforts. During the past year, Region 9 has worked to gather
information on a subset, of these systems — migrant labor camps in California.
Since migrant farm workers are known to be vulnerable to many environmental
hazards, the Region 9 Drinking Water Branch was concerned that labor camps
shared many, if not more, of the compliance problems common to small systems
throughout the state.
    A listing of over one thousand labor camps was obtained from the California
Department of Housing and Community Development.  This listing revealed over
300 camps, located throughout 41 of California's 58 counties, which might have
water systems meeting the Safe Drinking Water Act definition of a public water
system.     ,                                                           ,
    In addition to the county environmental health agencies, several migrant
worker and rural community assistance agencies were contacted to discover any
camps unknown to both state and county agencies. Contact was made with the
Rural Community Assistance Corporation (RCAC), California Rural Legal
Assistance Foundation, California Institute for Rural Studies, and the Agricultural
Workers Health Center in Stockton.


The survey revealed that labor camp water systems may have a higher
noncompliance rate than other categories of smaller systems. Most camps were not
inventoried or being monitored as public water systems by county environmental
health agencies, although they met the definition of public water systems. In
summary, we  found 191 violating labor camp water systems (some camps have
more than one violation) serving over 8,500 people in 20 counties.  Failure to
monitor (sample) and report is the most common violation category.  Not all labor
camps house "migratory" people; many camps serve water to workers and then-
families in single family dwellings on a year-round, permanent basis. Some house
and serve water to people for at least six months or longer.


More than one county contact warned that strict enforcement of the drinking water
regulations may result in the closure of many labor camps, creating additional
housing, welfare and social burdens for county administrators, taxpayers and camp
residents. According to these country contacts, labor camp owners have often
chosen to close their camps rather than comply with regulations.
     Counties were contacted to discuss the enforcement options available for
bringing violating camps into compliance. Options included the county assuming
full enforcement responsibility, EPA issuing the initial enforcement action (a Notice
of Violation) with county follow-up enforcement, if necessary, or EPA assuming
full enforcement responsibility.
     In June 1991, a final report of Region 9*8 findings, including an appendix listing
the violating camps and related pertinent information was sent to the California

 Department of Health Services (DHS), the California Department of Housing and
 Community Development (HCD), and all county environmental health agencies
 involved in the survey. EPA Region 9 hopes to work in a close, collaborative effort
 with bpth DHS and the county environmental health agencies, as well as HCD, to
 bring as many violating labor camp water systems into compliance as possible.
    As part of this effort, Region 9 staff plan to accompany county housing and/or
 public water system inspectors on routine inspections of some labor camps.

 Project Name: Hawaii Environmental Risk Ranking Project
 Region: DC     (San Francisco)
 Contact:       Gerald Hiatt
 Phone*:      415-744-1022

 Project Summary:

 The state of Hawaii has undertaken a comparative risk project to identify and rank
 environmental problems facing the state.  Risk assessment information is being
 used  to rate Hawaii's environmental problems on the basis of threats  to: human
 health, environment, economic welfare and quality of life.  One of the major quality
 of life concerns is the effect of development and pollution on native Hawaiians,
 including a number of subsistence-level communities. Native Hawaiian culture
 and religion are closely tied to the environment and the sociological and
 psychological impacts of environmental change extend beyond direct health and
 ecosystem effects.
    Two issues unique to native Hawaiians are being considered: 1) cultural and
 religious impacts of loss or degradation of specific ecosystems or sites; and 2)
 increased exposure to environmental pollution in subsistence-level Hawaiian
 communities.  Three professors at the University of Hawaii are assisting the project:
 Drs. Luciano Minerbi, Davianna McGregor, and Jon Matsuoka.

 Project Name:  Pesticide Applicator Training
 Region: X      (Seattle)
 Contact:       Allan Welch
 Phone*:       206-553-1980

 Project Summary:

Region 10 has developed, in conjunction with the Washington Department of
Agriculture, a Pesticide Applicator Training course in Spanish. This training
module was developed for Hispanic farmworkers who find it easier to learn in
Spanish.  During 1991, a total of 400 Hispanic farmworkers attended one of the six
session courses that were held at six different locations in Washington state.  Many
of the participants took and passed the Washington private applicator exam.  A
copy of the training program will be made available through the Washington
Department of Agriculture.

Project Name: A Methodology for Estimating Population Exposure from the
              Consumption of Chemically Contaminated Fish
Region:       Headquarters/Region X (Seattle)
Contact:       Craig McConnack
Phone*:      202-260-5873

Project Summary:

The purpose of the study is to develop a methodology to estimate populations that
may be at a greater than average risk from eating fish contaminated from industrial
point pollution. These populations eat fish at a greater than average rate and
include Native Americans; Asians, Blacks, and recreational and subsistence fishers.
The methodology developed provides an estimate of a geographical area of
potential exposure  and an estimate of exposure and risk in consideration of age, sex
and race/ethnicity. The methodology will assist EPA regional offices and states in
issuing fish advisories.
   To collect more data on the fish consumption patterns of Native Americans,
EPA is sponsoring  the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission Survey of Fish
Consumption and Related Issues. In this survey, four Pacific Northwest Indian
tribes are being surveyed about their fish consumption habits.

Project Name: Effectiveness of the SRF Program:  Economically Disadvantaged
              Communities                            -
Headquarters: Office of Policy Analysis
Contact:      Bob Greene
Phone*:      202-260-7069

Project Summary:                                        .

This study is testing whether the State Revolving Fund (SRF) Loan Program is
providing equitable funding to economically disadvantaged small communities and
the proportion of water qualify problems contributed by these communities.  (SRF
is the funding mechanism under the Clean Water Act for publicly owned treatment
works). Data on communities receiving SRF loans and construction grants, amount
of loan/grant, purpose  of the award, community size, and financial condition of the
community is being put on a data base.  Data will be collected relating to the
effects of small, economically disadvantaged communities on water quality.  The
study will also review alternative methods of creative financing for economically
disadvantaged communities. Project completion is being set for spring of 1992, and
will be relevant to the Clean Water Act reauthorization proceedings in Congress.

Project Name: Public-Private Partnerships (P3) Program
Headquarters: Office of Administration and Resources Management (OARM)
Contact:      David Osterrcian
Phone*:     202-260-1020

Project Summary:

The P3 program works to leverage public and private resources for environmental
protection financing in small and/or economically disadvantaged communities. P3
is implementing demonstration projects in each of the EPA regions to serve as


         of practical solutions to local environmental financing problems. The
  projects, designed to be replicated in communities across the nation, develop and
  test new financing arrangements and encourage private participation in
  environmental services. To date, twenty projects have been funded.
     P3 also has a joint demonstration program with the Appalachian Regional
  Commission, a Federal-State agency concerned with economic, physical, and social
  development in Appalachia. The program promotes partnerships and other
  financing alternatives to solve environmental problems facing the small and
  economically disadvantaged communities of the Appalachian region.
     The P3 program is evaluating the feasibility of establishing a development fund
  that will serve as a permanent source of money for supporting innovative
  demonstration projects.  This fund would be a non-profit authority that makes
  grants and low-interest loans to finance the development of public-private
  partnerships. The initial feasibility study is being conducted in Puerto Rico.

  Project Name: EPA Lead Reduction Strategy
  Headquarters: Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics
  Contact:      Joe Carra
 Phone*:      202-260-1815

 Project Summary:

 EPA's comprehensive lead strategy, released last February, has a goal of reducing
 lead exposures to the fullest extent practicable, with particular interest in reducing
 the risk to children. One of the objectives EPA will use to set program priorities
 and gauge program success is the significant reduction in the number of children
 with blood lead levels greater than 10 ug/dl.  EPA is currently evaluating the
 feasibility of regulating the commercial use of lead solder for drinking water
 plumbing, and a lead leaching standard for plumbing fittings. Last June, EPA
 published a final rule reducing the amount of lead in drinking water. It ensures
 tfiat homes with the highest risks are targeted for treatment. As a result,
 approximately 600,000 children will have their blood lead levels reduced below 10
 ug/dl. In addition, by next spring, EPA will propose lowering the National
 Ambient Air Quality Standard for lead.

 Project Name:  Mexico-U.S. Integrated Border Environmental Plan
 Region:        Headquarters, VI (Dallas), and DC (San Francisco)
 Contact:       Richard Kiy
 Phone*:      202-260-0791

 Project Summary:

 In response to a request by the Presidents of the Mexico and the U.S. in November,
 1990, EPA and its Mexican counterpart have developed a bilateral plan to protect
 the environment in the border area.  Of particular concern are the inadequate waste
 water treatment and drinking water facilities for the colonias (unincorporated
 t^w*3 along the border.)  The plan was released in mid-winter of 1992. The U.S.
 National Enforcement Training Institute held training sessions for Mexican
 inspectors of maquiladora industries on March 23-27,1992.
    EPA, joining forces with the State of Texas and the U.S. Department of
Agriculture (USDA), has launched a major initiative to address the severe water

               	!   ..    '   '"'  '      .66

pollution and water supply problems faced by the colonias on the United States
side of the U.S.-Mexico border.
    U.S. colonias are small, unincorporated, rural border communities which often
suffer from substandard housing, inadequate roads and drainage, and limited or no
water pr sewer treatment facilities.  Lack of these basic sanitation facilities poses
serious public health risks, among them hepatitis and cholera, for the more than
200,000 residents of these predominantly Latino communities.
    Colonias were largely bypassed by thie national water cleanup programs of the
last 20 years.  Since 1972, EPA's multibillion dollar Construction Grants program
has been the major source of funds for municipal wastewater systems in the U.S.
By statute, grants could only be awarded to state or local governments. Most U.S.
colonias are in unincorporated areas and their environmental problems have been
largely unaddressed as a result.
    Federal and state multimillion dollar efforts will result in measurable
improvements in coloraa environments* EPA has requested $50 million for 1993,for
the construction of wastewater systems in these disadvantaged communities in
Texas. The State of Texas is already administering an EPA-funded $15 million
special State Revolving Fund to. provide indoor plumbing in colonias.
    EPA will also work in tandem with USDA's Rural Development Administration
to tackle the water problems of colonias. USDA requested $25 million for 1993
specifically for drinking water systems in colonias. The State of Texas is also
contributing sizable funding for water pollution control in Texas colonias.

Project Name: Environmental Health Equity Analysis: Evaluation of Potential
              Human Exposure to Pollution Using the Toxics Release Inventory
Headquarters: Office of Health Research
Contact:      Ken Sexton
Phone*:      202-260-5900

Project Summary:

The Office of Health Research (OHR) has initiated a project to evaluate the
relationship between levels of pollutant emissions and the extent of exposure to
racial minorities and/or people of lower socioeconomic status. The first step
involves an analysis of the location and magnitude of emissions (as identified by
the Toxics Release Inventory) and the demographic characteristics of the population
in the surrounding area.  Demographic data will come from the U.S. Bureau of the
Census or the Donnelley Marketing data base. Additional data sets, such as the
attainment of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards, will be added as the
project develops.  The analysis will be  done by state, county and targeted
geographic areas. This is a long-term effort that began in February 1992.
    The Office of Health Research (ORD) and the Office of Air Quality Planning
and Standards are developing a demographic study of toxic air emissions.  A
massive GIS will be used to plot TRI air releases and Census Bureau demographic
data.  This is a long-term, larg;e scale study that will begin in 1992.

 The Equity Analysis Subgroup reviewed definitions of environmental equity and
 explored how to incorporate equity into Agency operations. As part of their
 efforts, the Subgroup developed the following comprehensive model for addressing
 environmental equity issues at EPA.


 EPA should develop institutions and mechanisms to address environmental equity
 issues as they arise. The institution should be accessible to affected communities
 and capable of grappling with many different forms of equity (racial, socio-
 economic, age, etc.) where equity issues are being addressed by others, such as
 Congress, the states and other Agencies, EPA should attempt to appropriately
 coordinate its efforts with these other institutions.


 To insure that equity plays a role in shaping national environmental policy, the
 equity program at EPA should have a broad mission.

 9.2.1  Goals

 •   Display the Agency's good faith and due process in decision making.

 •   Provide a procedural mechanism within the Agency to aid officials making
    difficult equity decisions.

 9.2.2  Functions


 •   Stimulate the Agency to consider equity issues in the course of its decision-
     •    .'.,,            ,       ',.'..     .      ....-'•
 *   Educate the Agency and facilitate communication about equity issues as they
    arise, both internally and  with other organizations.  Support a similar
    educational process at regional and state levels.

Policy Recommendations and Guidelines

 •   Develop and issue policy  guidance.  Develop a process for the consideration of
    equity issues. Identify equity issues where programs or offices fail to do so.


'•   Consult with appropriate program offices to clarify equity issues inherent in
    policies and decision processes. Determine whether all relevant information
    has been collected.  Help to resolve conflicts if they arise.

              /:  '    '    ,         68


•   Review the equity implications of previous decisions and policies. Perform
    "audits" of the institution and its programs at regular intervals.


The Agency should pursue a phased approach toward formally institutionalizing
an equity function into its structure and operations.  This approach is outlined
below and illustrated in the following diagram.

9.3.1  Phase One:  Short Term

1.   Creation of an Internal Standing Equity Group                       -

EPA should establish an internal standing group to address equity concerns, and
should provide this group with adequate staff and financial resources to support its
functions.  This group would normally meet quarterly but could be convened as
needed. The proposed equity group is shown in Figure 2 and includes the

    An Equity Committee which builds on the role of the current
    Environmental Equity Workgroup. The Committee would be supported by
    a Coordinator (1.0 FTE minimum) who would provide an institutional
    focus for equity issues and act as a conduit to outside groups.
Figure 2:
Equity: Institutional Model (Internal)
                        EPA Equity Group
                   Representatives From All Program Offices
                     Office of
Office of Solid Waste and
 Emergency Response
                             STANDING GROUP
             Representative from
            Administrator's Office
      Office for Communication
        And Public Affairs   "^
                                           Points of Contact for All
                                              External Groups

     Representatives from all EPA Program Offices.  This function could be
     filled by Special Assistants in each Assistant Administrator's Office. These
     representatives would be responsible .for monitoring potential equity issues
     in their respective offices and keeping AA's informed of program-relevant
     equity concerns of external groups.

     A Representative from the Administrator's Office (Special Assistant) who
     would keep the Administrator informed of the Equity Group, its work, and
     emerging issues.

     A contact within the Office of Communications and Public Affairs to
     facilitate public education and outreach activities.

     The Equity Group would initially focus on the functions of education,
 communication, and issue identification, and would:

     •   Maintain steady communications with outside groups; serve as a
        clearinghouse for their concerns.

     •   Provide outreach to advocates for low-income groups and maintain
        communications with "invisible minority" advocacy groups, e.g.
        organizations focusing on hunger, homelessness, occupational safety.
                 "' ,liปf    •     ,  ' '      ,    ' !           ' ' I
     •   Identify environmental equity issues in Agency activities, such as proposed
        rulemakings, issuance  of guidelines, and grant allocation.

     •   Provide technical assistance to program offices in carrying out
        Environmental Equity  Workgroup recommendations and addressing equity

    •   Coordinate activities and policies with equity implications with other
        Federal Agencies such as Health and Human Services.

    •   Educate the Agency about equity through holding internal symposia and

    •   Sponsor a yearly conference which focuses on equity or equity-related

2.  External Advisory Committee

    In addition to an internal Equity Group, EPA should establish an advisory
board on environmental equity, referred to in Figure 3 as the "Equity
Analysis/Policy Advisory Subcommittee," in the style of the Science Advisory
Board.  This external group would consist of highly credible and impartial experts
who could perform individual case reviews and offer policy recommendations  to
the Agency on equity issues. This group would fulfill the functions of policy
review and consultation. The membership of the board should reflect the range of
intellectual perspectives on equity, including philosophers, economists, sociologists,
anthropologists and grassroots groups.
    The subcommittee would be a group with standing membership and would be
responsible for developing positions on individual cases referred to it by the
internal mechanism within EPA. It would be responsible for selecting appropriate


operational definitions for the term "equity" for application to given situations. The
internal EPA equity group would incorporate the advisory committee's
recommendations into Agency activities as it saw fit.

3.   Identification of Research Needs

    Both the Equity Group and the advisory committee would highlight areas in
which additional research and data collection where needed to understand the
distributional impacts of environmental policy.  These needs could be addressed on
an ad-hoc basis or by formal inclusion in the research plans of the EPA Office of
Research and Development or Office of Policy, Planning and Evaluation.

9.3.2 Phase Two:  Long Term

The long term objective is the internalization of skills for analyzing and considering
equity in EPA decisiorunaking. This can occur with the aid of experience gained
through interaction with the various resource groups and the  advisory board
described above.
    "Internalization" would be oriented towards affecting and building internal
processes which are equity sensitive and would take place in the following areas:

•   Systematic planning and program review

    The internal group would develop guidelines for program review which
    become part of the Agency strategic planning and program evaluation
    processes. This would begin with at least one regional and one program
    pilot project to develop guidelines and methodologies and then become
    mandatory for all regional arid Headquarters strategic  plans, depending on
    the outcome of the pilot projects.  Equity sections of the strategic plans
    would be reviewed by the Equity Group.,

•   Periodic equity "audits"

    The internal group could expand its activities to include periodic audits of .
    the institution, its existing and emerging programs. Such  audits would
    focus on broad issues of environmental equity such as: the social and
    geographic distribution of benefits and burdens, the allocation of scarce
    resources for risk reduction/management, and of communities'
    participation in risk allocation decisions which could affect the quality of
    their lives.




 10.1.1    Major Points

 •   EPA should be commended for taking up the issue but has a considerable ways
    to go to strengthen and implement its recommendations.  No specific time
    tables, actions or anticipated outcomes are given with the recommendations.

 •   The report overstates the lack of data on environmental risks to racial minority
    and low-income communities.  The report identifies lack of data as a major
    finding, but EPA is not planning activities to remedy this gap.  EPA should
    request funding for data needs.
       .......               •       '
 •   Some high-level officials view equity as a public relations issue. The
    communications plan released by Rep. Henry Waxman is indicative of EPA's
    lack of commitment to solve environmental inequities and the
    dishonesty/disrespect with which EPA treats racial minority organizations.
    EPA should not continue to attempt to co-opt legitimate leaders.

 •   EPA should appoint a special assistant to the Administrator for environmental
    equity with decision-making authority, budget and staff.
       •ป       ' ' ''"'         '                    '          '
 •   EPA has recognized the need for a new Farmworker Protection (FWP) Rule for
    12 years but still none exists.  5 staff are devoted to the FWP. Rule, but 52 staff
    work on radon gas protection which affects middle-class single-family homes.
    EPA should immediately issue enforceability provisions of the FWP Rule to
    make the existing regulations enforceable.

•   EPA is one of the worst federal agencies in terms of integration of its
    workforce. EPA should put people of color employees in substantive decision
    making positions.

•   EPA should integrate environmental equity into Operating Year Guidance,
    strategic plans, and Agency themes.

•   EPA should work with civil rights groups to equitably implement pollution

*   EPA should establish an Environmental Equity Advisory Board.

•   After more than 2 decades of operation, why has EPA (and the report) failed to
    address inequitable siting concerns?  EPA's current position of delegating
    authority over  facility siting to private industry and states creates  and
    perpetuates environmental inequities. The report does not go far enough in
    calling for mandated permitting requirements that would force states and
    private industry to address siting equity. EPA should examine aggregate risks
    in the permitting process.

•  A national health care.policy, national industrial policy and a national energy
   policy are necessary to address environmental inequities. The Administrator ,
   should tajce the lead in coordinating other federal agencies to develop these
   policies.                                      ,

10.1.2   Michigan CoaUdon

•  EPA should be commended for taking up the issue but has a considerable ways
   to go to strengthen and implement its recommendations. The
   recommendations could produce some important results, but in their current
   form they appear general and weak.  No specific time tables, actions or
   anticipated actions are given with the recommendations.  When will the
   Agency state that it will take action?

•  Most important issue is the implementation of environmental equity policies.

•  The report overstates the complexity of defining environmental equity. This
   gives the impression that EPA is casting doubt on the existence of the problem.

•  The report overstates the lack of data on environmental risks to racial minority
   and low-income communities.  There is also more information  about the impacts
   of environmental hazards on these communities. EPA's definition of risk is too
   narrow and does not include anxiety, depression, sleep disturbances and others.

•  The report almost totally ignores issues of cause and effect.  No mention of
   housing discrimination, poverty or imbalances in political access and power.

•  There is no mention of industry's role in promoting environmental inequities.
   Industry should be required to use nontoxic materials to eliminate hazardous
   byproducts of manufacturing.

•  There was no mention of intra- and  inter-agency coordination.

•  Three of the proposals contained in the March 1990 letter to the Administrator
   were omitted from the report: 1) require, on a demonstration basis, that racial
    and socioeconomic equity considerations be included in Regulatory Impact
    Assessments; 2) enhance the ability of Historically Black Colleges and
    Universities and other minority institutions to participate in and contribute to
    the development of environmental equity; and 3) appoint special assistants for
    environmental equity at decision-making levels within the Agency.

•   The report would have been strengthened if more ongoing input had been
    solicited from external groups and individuals.
         ;                            .                *
•   The report fails to acknowledge the  expertise (experience and common sense)
    of community groups in addressing environmental problems.

•   There are high-level officials that view equity as a public relations issue.  EPA
    needs to publicly acknowledge that  environmental equity issues are real and
    serious problems.

•   Authors were "encouraged" by the following:

 — Geographic targeting of high-risk populations;
 — The Administrator's April 1991 policy statement: "The consequences of
    environmental pollution should not be borne disproportionately by any
    segment of the population."
 — Recognition of the general lack of health effects by race and income.
 — Recognition that EPA and other government agencies can improve
 — Recognition of the need for environmental equity awareness training.
 — Recognition of the need to ensure that EPA programs are equitable, that
    enforcement actions reflect the degree of risk, and that access to decision-
    making is available to all communities.

 Report recommendation #1: EPA should not only increase the priority that it
 gives to environmental equity issues, it should make environmental equity the
 top priority.

 Report recommendation #2: Race and income information should be routinely
 included in risk assessments.  Concern voiced over the statement that studies of
 health effects and exposure should collect and disaggregate data by
 race/income "to the degree feasible."

 Report recommendation #3: Deep concern stated that the recommendation
 calls for moving "toward" incorporating equity considerations in the risk
 assessment process.

 Report recommendation #4: A sound recommendation but it should have a
 time table.

 Report recommendation #5: Environmental equity impacts of proposed rules
 should be done on a routine basis, not only "where appropriate."

 Report recommendation #6: Although this recommendation has much
 potential, specifics on how it will be implemented are lacking.

 Report recommendation #7: EPA should do more than increase current outreach
 and communication efforts.  EPA should involve racial minority and low-
 income people in environmental policy-making.

 Report recommendation #8: Target dates should be set. EPA should appoint a
 special assistant to the Administrator for environmental equity with decision-
making authority, budget and staff. The external advisory committee is
 extremely important

A national health care  policy (including a basic floor of health insurance),
national industrial policy and a national energy policy are necessary to address
environmental inequities. The Administrator should take the lead in
coordinating other federal agencies to develop these policies.

10.1.3    Southwest Network For Environmental And
           Economic Justice

•  The communications plan released by Rep. Henry Waxman is indicative of
   EPA's lack of commitment to solve environmental inequities and the dishonesty
   and disrespect with which EPA treats people of color organizations.

•  The Southwest Network sent a letter to the Administrator in July 1991, and
   EPA has still not responded (as of 3/18).

•  EPA treats the issue as recent in origin, but grassroots groups have been
   dealing with environmental problems for decades.

•  The report avoids acknowledging environmental inequities.

•  There is no analysis of causes of environmental inequities. EPA policies,
   including delegation of programs to state/local governments, voluntary
   agreements with industry, and  market incentives, disproportionately impact
   racial minority and low-income communities.,

•  The report fails to mention the farmworker protection (FWP) rule.  EPA has
   recognized the need for a new  rule for 12 years, but still none exists.  Five staff
   are devoted to the FWP Rule, but 52 staff work on, radon gas protection for
   middle-class single-family homes.  It took EPA 3 weeks to cancel Alar (after
   Meryl Streep testified before Congress about risks to white, middle-class
   babies).  In contrast, EPA reached the conclusion that it should cancel use of
   Parathion in 1987 but withheld action until staff leaked word of the coverup in

•  EPA has been dragging its feet continually since, 1980 on dealing with lead
   poisoning. EPA shredded information indicating that inner-city children were
   exposed at higher than reported levels.  In the  Dallas lead smelter case, EPA is
   proposing lead cleanup in a racial minority neighborhood which is 50 times
   less protective than exposure for the population in non-contaminated areas
   (white neighborhoods).              ,                 ,

•  EPA's "objective" risk assessment/risk management process has been
   continually subject to political manipulation. EPA routinely factors politics and
   power into its major risk management decisions. An excellent example is
   EPA's decision to ban Alar and its inaction on banning Parathion.
   Furthermore, EPA aggregates exposure in ways that dilute the vulnerability of
   racial minority populations.

•  While the report identifies lack of data as a major finding, EPA is not planning
   any major effort to remedy this data gap. EPA has never asked Congress for a
   major appropriation for research on farmworker risks or other environmental
   equity issues.

•  Exposure to pesticides, lead, air pollution, toxic dumps and incinerators are all
   results of EPA policy implementation. For example, EPA's policy of promoting
   incineration as an acceptable waste disposal  method impacts primarily racial

 minority communities because they are being targeted as sites for the incinerators.

 *   EPA does not have a policy or standard practice of translating relevant
     materials into non-English languages. Authors claim that EPA has translated
     more of its materials into Polish than it has into Spanish.

 •   EPA is one of the worst federal agencies in terms of integration of its
     workforce, which is especially true of racial minorities in substantive decision-
     making positions.

 •   EPA has given the equitable implementation of its programs and statutory
     responsibilities a low priority.  The FY93 Operating Year Guidance has been
     finalized for each office but environmental equity priorities are not included
     anywhere. No EPA official with ranking as high as L. Crampton or E. Hartley
     has disavowed either of their memos released in February.

 •   EPA's policy with respect  to Native American tribes is premised on treating
     tribes as states but not delegating power to tribes until each has developed an
     "adequate" environmental infrastructure. An example is EPA's denial of
     standing for the Yakima Tribe to be a party to the Hanford, WA federal facility
     compliance agreement

 •   The priority that EPA gives Third-world issues and programs compared to the
     priority of Eastern European countries is baffling in terms of EPA's "scientific"
     risk-based approach to priorities.

 •  Regional implementation of the report's recommendations will require national
    policy leadership and oversight

 •  Individual pollution prevention projects could have a good effect on ecology
    but a new and greater risk to people of color maintenance workers without
    EPA consideration of the tradeoffs.

 *  How does EPA plan to include grassroots organizations in regulatory
  1],      ' „   ,     I ;.i      "      '                        ,                   ! "

 1.  Recommendations from the Authors

 1.  EPA  should accept the probability that people of color are at greater risk
    because of the location of their homes and call for widespread pollution

 2.  The Agency should develop a major EPA policy which creates a "presumption
    of equity11 in EPA actions and requires an equity impact analysis for major
    rules, programs, actions, reviews, etc.

 3.  EPA  should integrate environmental equity policy into Operating Year
    Guidance,  strategic plans, and Agency themes.

4.  EPA should work with civil rights groups to implement pollution prevention in
    an equitable manner.

5.   Outreach and communication: Do not continue to attempt to co-opt legitimate
    leaders.  Work with us in mutual respect.

6.   EPA should develop formal Federal Register requirements for all state and local
    grant, permit, delegation and enforcement policies.

7.   the Agency shotdd implement oversight of state and local grant, permit,
    delegation, and enforcement for equitable implementation.

8.   The EPA should establish an Advisory Board with representatives from
    community-based and labor organizations.

9.   EPA should request funding for data needs.

10. EPA should support a General Accounting Office investigation into whether
    state programs are in fart equitable.

11. Legislation:  EPA should support the Conyers bill, Waxman bill (lead), Chavis
    bill (RCRA Reauthorization) and others.

12. EPA should  put people of color employees in substantive decision making
    positions and listen to input.  The Agency should open dialogue and encourage
    participation of employee organizations in developing overall EPA policy.

13. The Environmental Equity Workgroup should be assured of its independence.
    Unions and employee organizations must be involved.

14. The EPA should work with the VS. Department of Agriculture and
    environmental groups to include equitable considerations and civil rights and
    labor groups in "power brokered" decisions.

 15. EPA should develop  an ongoing relationship with the Congressional Black,
    Caucus and other groups.

 16. EPA should reopen and reject the 1977 decision withholding application of
    Civil Rights laws to environmental laws and programs.

 17. EPA should immediately issue the enforceability provisions of the Farmworker
    Protection Regulations to make the existing regulations enforceable.

 18. EPA should apply the findings of the National Academy of Sciences Report on
    Pesticides and Children to children exposed in farmworker situations. EPA
    currently pretends either that children do not work in the fields or that children
    are no more vulnerable than adults.

 10.1.4    Dr. Robert Bullard

 • During the September 1990 meeting between the Administrator and the outside
     organizations, three major programmatic thrusts were explored:  1) an EPA
     policy (within 1 year) to address environmental inequities and disproportionate
     health risks borne by high-risk populations; 2) an EPA science panel (within 1
     year) to advise the Agency on environmental equity issues; and 3) budget
     resources to address equity problems, ie., a "targeted approach to impact those


most at risk. The report does not indicate that any of these actions have been

•   The report contains a selective, biased and superficial review of the literature
    on *? Ita^Ie ^d severity of environmental problems faced by low-income and
    racial  minority communities.

*   The report did not produce one piece of original research or new information.
    The Environmental Equity Workgroup failed to grasp the interrelationship
    between race, class and environmental decision-making.  A more in-depth and
    comprehensive report and action plan could and should have been produced.

•   The report omits the rich and voluminous literature on environmental politics
    which challenges the notion of a "value-free" science and application of

•   The report attributes class factors as the reason for the elevated risks borne by
    people of color.  In addition to racial barriers (i.e., segregation), environmental
    inequities result from a host of factors including the distribution of wealth,
    housing and real estate practices, land-use planning, redlining, and differential
    enforcement of environmental laws.
       report failed to make the link between domestic and global ecological
  '''• '  ' !   M       „ • ,,    ,    ,   !    ,'   ' .      „' ,           ' '  ' '  i   ' ' "'   '

   The report failed to acknowledge the existence of the Cerrell Report (prepared
   for Chemical Waste Management; stated that the best place to site facilities was
   in politically disadvantaged communities.) The question of "Who gets what,
   where and why?" is often a political decision and may have little or nothing to
   do with science and objective criteria.

   Nowhere in the report is the issue of institutional racial discrimination

   After more than 2 decades of operation, why has EPA (and the report) failed to
   address inequitable siting concerns? The report failed to mention that the siting
   inequities uncovered by the GAO in 1983 are worse in 1992. Siting inequities
  have increased as a direct result of more stringent federal environmental
  regulations and the difficulty (public opposition) in siting new facilities. EPA's
  current position of delegating facility siting to private industry and states
  creates and perpetuates environmental inequities. The Agency has done little
  to encourage local and state governments to adopt equitable facility siting

  The report does not go far enough in calling for mandated permitting
  requirements that would force states and private industry to address siting
  equity.  EPA should examine aggregate risks in the permitting process.  The
  Agency can develop methodologies to address multiple exposures in
  "saturated" communities.

  EPA should require translations in predominantly non-English speaking (i.e.,
  Spanish) areas where waste facilities are proposed.

The report states that there are numerous examples of poor communities
                             l facilit but does not cite an  of these ca
   seeking a waste site or industrial facility but does not cite any

•  The report offers no insights as to why EPA has done so little to protect those
   who are most vulnerable. For example, the Agency has consistently delayed
   and dragged its feet on the lead-based paint, soil and drinking water problem.
   The report also failed to mention the West Dallas lead smelter case.

•  The report glosses over the pesticide problem faced by workers and those who
   live in nearby migrant labor camps.  The report emphasizes the Agency's risk-
   based decision-making but does not explain the difference in actions taken
   against Alar (3 weeks) and Parathion (5 years).

•  EPA will not be able to build an effective outreach program in racial minority
   communities without addressing the question of environmental justice and
   trust.  Residents in these communities perceive the EPA as protecting industry
   not the citizens.

•  The report demonstrates the unevenness and lack Of awareness of equity
   among EPA's regional offices and did not explain regional disparities.

10.1.5   Human Environment  Center

•  The report makes no distinction between adults and children in the area of risk

•  Far too little attention was paid to the special needs of urban communities.

•   EPA could do a much better job of addressing inequitable environmental
    problems by using data bases which analyze neighborhood composition by race
    and income level.

•   The Community-Right-To-Know Program (TRI) is underfunded by the federal
    government.              ;

School of Natural Resources
     April 1,1992
                                              Post-It7" brand fax transmitted memo 7671 * ฐf pปsซ
     Ms. RcinaMilligan
     Office of Policy & Planning Evaluation
     Water & Agriculture Policy Division
     401M Street, S.W.
     U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
     Washington, D.C. 20460

     Dear Ms, Milligan:

           Please find enclosed a copy of the Review of the EPA Environmental Equity Workgroup
     Report.  We are truly sorry for the delayed response. But, we look forward to a provocative and
     meaningful discussion, we also are sending a copy of the critique to other people who will be at
     thp meeting. We also encourage you to send them a copy of the Review of the EPA
     Environmental Equity Workgroup Report

           If you have any questions regarding what is written herein, then please do not hesitate to
     get in touch (313) 763-2470.

     xLu/v***^ uA*Afl*j("~

     Bjunyan Bryant  '
     Associate Professor
Paul Mohai
Assistant Professor
 P*B* duiWing 430 E. Univenity
 Aon Axbor. Mkbigaa 48109*1115
                                                                                         Recycled Piper

 loof of Natural Resources
                        Review of the EPA Environmental Equity Workgroup Report
                                                April 1,1992
                              Bunyan Bryant, Paul Mohai, Benjamin Chavis,
                     Michel Gelobter, David Hahn-Baker, Charles Lee, Beverly Wright
   la ibis report we want to be critical in ways that are helpful in order to move the agency forward in addressing this
   important issue. We know that agency staff have pat in countless number of hours and are personally attached to the
   outcome of this Report, Although critiques are often times hard to near because of our personal involvement we none-
   theless ask you to read our comments with openness and fey to hear what we are saying. Even though we have tried to
   be detailed and objective, our pain and our anguish may be reflected throughout some portions of this document; try not
   to let the pain stand between you and your understanding of our concerns. Because the cold war is over and the world is
   at peace for the most part, we should be able to turn our attention to pressing social and environmental problems here at
   home. If we have the political will, there is nothing that we cannot do, and we firmly believe this. We start with micro
   policy issues reflected in the Report The last section of our critique comes from a more macro analytical framework; we
   want to nudge you to take the necessary steps to observe and implement environmental equity within a much larger
   context  Without environmental equity firmly seated within the context of much larger policies, then we will continue
   to fight a rear guard action.

   While the Environmental Protection agency (EPA) has been given a challenging and historic mission of including
   environmental equity as a part of its policy decision making we feel that the most important issues are not so much what
   has been  committed to paper but the implementation of environmental equity policies so that people no matter where
   they live  or what color they are can live with confidence that their biophysical environment is safe and nurturing.
   Although historically the effects of multiple pollutants in non-attainment areas have disproportionately impacted people
   of color and low income groups, it is only recently thai scholar activists, primarily people of color, were able to bring
   currency  to environmental equity issues by both their activism and their scholarly •?&&. Although long overdue, the
   EPA should be commended for at least taking up this charge, but the agency still has a considerable ways to go to
   strengthen and implement its recommendations.

   While the report conta**1? *ซซ™ซ mendations that if implemented could produce some important results, in Iu current form
   the recommendations appear general and weak. They lack force and conviction on the part of the agency. Every
   recommendation begins with "EPA could" or "EPA should." At what point is EPA reaco to state that iisdE take
   action? In some cases, recommendations ate further weakened by indicating that they will be carried out "where
   appropriate." This is a significant loophole. What are the criteria for "appropriate" and who will decide when the criteria
   are met?

   Contributing to the lack of force of these recommendations is the absence of specifics and time tables as to how and
   when recommendations are to be carried out (if to feet they will be carried out). Also, descriptions of the anticipated
   outcomes of carrying out these recommendations are lacking.

   Troubling also is the Report's casting of the background information on the problem of environmental injustice. The
   Report appears to go out of its way to make the concept of "environmental equity" a complex one.  The impression left
   isthat the EPA is intentionally casting doubt on the existence of this problem (since we can't be sure of what it really is,
   can wfrbe sure mat me problem is real?). EPA also appeals to be casting doubt by overstating the scarcity of evidence.
   Although more information is definitely needed in order to fully understand all the ramifications of environmental
   injustice, the evidence is considerably more than ample that the problem exits.

   The following are more detailed comments about our reactions:

            The Report needs to acknowledge the existence of other data regarding the distribution of environmental hazards
            by income and race such as those included in Moftai and Bryant (1993). The EPA Report includes only 3 of the
            16 studies discussed by Mohai and Bryant Also, considerably more information about the impacts of
            environmental hazards exists than the EPA Report acknowledges when one begins to look beyond the incidence
            of lead and the incidence of cancer and disease.  These include psychological impacts (anxiety, depression, sleep
            disturbances, impairment of cognitive functioning, and others) resulting from noise, odor, perceived risks, loss
una Building 430 ฃ. University
on After, Michigan 48109-1115
                                                                                                     Printed oo
                                                                                                   Recycled Piper

         ปprcs>eซy values, aitf the diniiiu^                               The issue of environmental eauitv
         cannot be fully addressed with the narrow definition of risk put forth in this document  Although there is a clear
         need for mow data regarding the disiribution and impacts of environmental hazards by income and race the
         Reports emphasis on lack of existing data gives the appearance of a strategy of denying that the problems
        In the section entitled "Defying the Issues" (pages 7 to 10), the Report also appears to overeats the complexity
        oftheconceptofequity. This overstatement once again takes on the appearance of denying the problem.  We
        can t be certain about what environmental equity is; so how do we know, that a problem exists.
                               issues of cause andeffect. The.most detailed statement of cause and effect is
                                                            ,          ,           a  an  use  ecso
 "P otw socipeconoinic factors that affect where people live and work," This same explanation is repeated on
 page 13. The term "historical patterns" appears to imply "accident" or coincident"  Nowhere does the report
 mention the factors of housing discrimination, poverty (and the job and educational discrimination which leads
 to disproportionate poverty among minorities), or imbalances in political access and power.

 The EPA should not just recognize the need to increase the priority U gives to environmental equity but it
 shouM make it the top priority. By making it the top priority, we all will undoubtedly benefit from cleaner and
 safer biophysical environments. As state in the Report, "everyone has a stake in environmental equity because
 it is also an argument for better environmental protection generally" (page 2, paragraph 4),

 Given the disproportionate impact of environmental insults on communities of color and low-income people,
 there is nothing more fundamental than getting industries to change their production strategies, particularly as
 more and more waste is generated in an ever growing market. We were alarmed that none of the
 recommendations dealt specifically with industry and the role U plays in promoting environmental injustice.
 Industry should be required to use nontoxic materials in its manufacturing to eliminate hazardous waste as an
 outcome of production.  Communities of color will more often than not be the brunt of multiple environmental
 insults and ar| expected to subsidize the overall growth of the economy with their health and their lives-

 There is also a need to cojnmunicate not only with communities of color, but EPA needs to communicate
 across its own units as well as with other governmental regulator agencies in order to formulate consistent and
 noa-ointtadic tory policies. While there was no mention of intra- and inter-agency coordination, we feel that this
 is defirately important. A policy of sound, productive inter- and intra-agency coordination, we feel, will help
 solve equity problems in the long run. Environmental inequities will not go away unless we address
 fundamental issues that are responsible for so much suffering and pain.

 The Report highlights on page 6 only 4 of the 7 proposals put to EPA by the Michigan letter of March 1990
 Three very important proposals contained in this letter are omitted; These include the following:

 -    require, on a demonstration basis, that racial and socioeconomic equity considerations be included in
     Regulatory Impact Assessment;

 -    enhance tjie ability of Historically Black Colleges and Universities and other minority institutions to
     participate in and contribute to the development of environmental equity;
            , I.};  , ,,    ,i    '; "''",„'  '    ', "  ' "    •   ''!•'' ;"''' •  ', : •    , T! '''•'' ;','•''       ,,'    '  , '   '  •  • ''  „• " •   i|
 -    appoint special assistants for environmental equity at decision-making levels within the agency.

 We feel that die Report could have been strengthens if the methodological approach had solicited ongoing input
 from those who have spent years working on this issue. For example, if our ongoing support had been
 solicited, then three proposals listed above may not have been left out of the Report and fewer issues would be
 raised about its final outcome.

The report lafls to acknowledge the expertise of community groups in addressing environmental problems.  EPA
has the science, community groups have the experience, but no one has a monopoly on common sense.
Community groups have expertise equally important to that of the EPA in addressing these issues.

10)     WeiecognizetJwharawojtcthathasbeendQne^
        high reaches of the agency that view equity issues as public relations issues. EPA needs to pubhcally
        acknowledge that environmental equity issues are not public relations issues but real and serious problems on
        which the agency needs to take decisive action.
                                                  , -    *.-•          --Pf-   -'-     -                        .
U)     RtsV aซreซ""ซt is a process in making decisions and has flaws. Risk assessment alone is not enough to solve
        the problem

Although mote work needs to be done we felt encouraged by the following:

 1)     Geographic targeting 
  "EPA should establish a research and data collection plan and maintain information which provides an objective basis for
  assessment of risks by income and race."

  We believe that this is an important step and commend the EPA for recognizing its important m achieving the goal of
  environmental equity. However, we are quite concerned about the qualification that the agency makes when it states on
  p. 31 that it wfll do so "to me degree feasible." How is "feasible" to be determined and who will mate that
  determination? We are concerned that this qualification may come to be a significant loop hole and will effectively
  eluniiiateunportaiuassessmeritsofriskbyinwweandiace.  We believe thatrace and income information should be
  routinely included in risk assessment. Furthermore, we strongly urge EPA to involve scholars of color from universities
  around the country to be involved in this data collection.


  "TJ1* EPA should rm?ye toward incorporating consideration of environmental equity into the risk assessment process. In
  calculating population risk, distribution of environmental exposures and risks across the population should be estimated
  where relevant. In some cases it may be important to know whether there are any particular Donnlation erouos at
  disproportionately high risk."                                                            .

  White this is an important goal, we are deeply concerned about the word "toward" in the first sentence. While the word
  impUes goal directedness," since we do not have a time line, it is difficult to monitor progress.  Twenty years from now
  WI Sฐfo*4 1ป still tป Raving toward considerations of environmental equity into the risk assessment process and we may
  nqt 0$ any closer than we are today. Again this is an important goal, but we are concerned about the qualification
  Where relevant." It is stated in the discussion of this Recommendation on page 32 that "Information on race and
  income will not be necessary or appropriate for all risk assessments, and EPA should devote time to deciding what cases
  demographic information should Ibe included in risk assessment" Our concerns are similar to that of Recommendation 2
  Bow ;are "relevant" and "appropriate" cases to be determiiiedaiid who is to rnake that determination? We believe that race'
  and ww^einformatioji should be gathered on a routine basis in meeting this objective. We feel that people of color
 Recommendation 4

 EPA should identify and target opportunities to reduce high concentrations of risk to different population CTOUDS
 employfcg approaches developed for geographic targeting.                                *~*ซ—ซ   &  v,

 W,e think that targeting various communities to reduce high concentrations of risk is a sound idea. We also hasten to add
 that jnere might be some rural communities where people of color are differentially exposed to environmental insults.
 We feel that specific starting and ending dates would be most helpful in evaluating both the process and the outcome
 Al^o people of color should be included in the targeting as well as included in workshops in order to learn GK skills.


 "E?Ashpuld, whew appropriate, selectively assess and ซ>rwitซsidtปmovenwซttowardei^^                       It is ironic that one of the
roost important sections is also the the shortest. We hope that this in no way reflects the importance the agency is
placing upon this section. And just as important, we feel that people of color should be intricately involved in
rulemakmg and agency initiatives.

Recommendation 6

"EPA should review and selectively revise its permit, grant, monitoring and enforcement procedures to address high
concennations of risk in racial minority and low-income communities. Since state and local governments nave primary
authority for many environmental programs, EPA should emphasize its concerns about environmental equity to them.

There appears to be much potential in this recommendatioru However, lacking are specifics. How are these Pซ*edBfe$ *>
be revised? And how will the risks in racial minority and low-income communities be addressed? What would be the
outcomes* me examples listed on page 35 of the ways in which EPA could implement this recommendation likewise
appear promising but they lack specifics of how these would be accomplished. Thus it is difficult to determine what the
results of implementing these proposals would be. We feel that people of color should be involved in penmt. grant,
monitoring and enforcement at all levels of the agency.

Recommendation 7

"EPA should expand and improve the level and forms with which it communicates with racial minority and lew-income
communities and should increase efforts to involve ซhem in environniental policy-making."

As in other of the recommendations, this represents an important objective but specifics of how it will be accomplished
axe not weU defined. Although it is important mat minority and low income communities be adequately informed by
EPA of matters affecting them, how will information and the concerns of these affected communities be incorporated into
EPA policy making? People of color should be intricately involved in planning and implementing such communication
strategies. Such strategies should include a multi-media approach including the use of TV series show at prime time,
comic books, people of color newspapers and information dissemination through the churches.

Recommendation 8

 "EPA should establish mechanisms to ensure that environmental equity concerns are incorporated in its long-term
planning and operation."

This is an exnsmely important step. We wonder why the sub-rewniinendations are stated so tentatively.  "EPA could"
should be change to "EPA will" in each case. Target dates for achieving each of these sub-recommendations should be
established. In addition, EPA should appoint a spec!ialassistimt:(a person of color) for environmental equity with .
 decision-making authority, budget, and staff. We recommend that this person of color report directly to the Administrator.
 The external Environmental Equity Advisory Committee is an extremely important component We too feel that people
 of color should not only make up two third of the committee, but people of color from the Michigan Croup, the United
 Church of Christ Commission for Racial Justice, the Gulf Coasts Tenants Organisation, the Southwest Organizing
Network on Environmental and Economic Justice, and the PANOS Institute win be consulted on the criteria, the process
 by which members are selected and rotated.

 Environmental Equity and a Health-Care Policy

 In this section we want to push you to your outer limits. Again we hope that you are open and are willing to hear us and
 the pain that we have experienced from talking with people from around the country. We basically feel that
 environmental equity cannot be obtained unless there is a national industrial policy, a national energy policy, and a
 national health-care policy. To be serious about environmental equity, we have to place it within a broader context for
 substantive discourse. Because the environment is aU inclusive, and overlaps with other areas of concern, this necessitates
 expanding our horizons to meet contemporary challenges. We feel it can be done.

 While much of the Report is involved in showing how complex environmental equity issues really are, we find that the
 Report may provide the rationale for inaction. We eouldrevistethis same Report two decades from now and we may not
 be closer to answers to complex questions raised in the Repeat than we are now and hundreds of thousands may have
 suffered.  To focus our attention on these complexities without providing bold relief to people in need fe to be less than
 responsible.  For example on page 13 it is stated that  a person's activity pattern is the single most important
 determinant of environmental exposures for most pollutants. To us this simply means that some peopte wiflun the same
 neighborhood may subsidize production or growth and development more than others with their discomfort, their pain ana
 large sums of money paid in medical health care bills. The true cost of producing goods and services incur society is
 not calculated.

  Because of the thousands of new chemicals coming on the market and eventually released into the air, water and son,
  those who are already differentially impacted by noxious pollutants can expect to be impacted even more. The number of
  people experiencing sickness and pain may increase in the years to come. Yet it is ironic that 38 million people are not
  fullyproiected by medical health care insurance. We hypothesize that a considerable number of them live in non-
  attainment areas and most are vulnerable to a variety of toxic waste.  We feel that the society as a whole should subsidize
  growth and development, rather than relegating the burden to people of color the poor or those unable to to buy their
  way into cleaner and more pristine environments. And white cancer rates between blacks and whites may be explained by
  poverty, these differences may not be explained when we control for social class; when poor blacks are compared to poor
  whites a larger percentage of the the former may be less healthy than their white counterparts.

  The impression we get from the Report is that the issue is too complex and therefore it has to be researched more. This
  reminds us of a statement that Martin Luther King made about the paralysis of analysis.  We want to become empowered
  from analysis-not paralyzed by it. We may be called to act in the face of inconclusive data. Are not there some times
  w,hen we should make policy based upon significant associations rather than cause and effect? Yet even in the face of
  conclusive data we feel the agency has been less than helpful.  In ameliorating the impacts of lead on black children
  (eight million of them exposed yearly in our inner cities and for every 10 to IS microliters of lead in the blood stream
  there is a toss of 41.Q. points) we feel that the agency has not be able to respond in any meaningful way. We feel the
  decisions for less than adequate action may be related to political and economic decisions. Meanwhile millions of black
 and inner city children will pay for the price of production for the rest of their lives and there will be millions more
 joining the ranks. Environmental equity means providing a basic floor of health insurance for those in society that are
 most vulnerable to aggravated or toxic induced disease.

 Environmental Equity and a National Industrial Policy

 The United States is probably die  only industrialized  country in the world without an industrial policy. To date, the
 effects of not having such a policy has been devastating to the millions of people who have lost their jobs due to plant
 closings and layoffs. Here recently workers in Ypsilanti, Michigan lost out to the workers in Arlington Texas because
 the Arlington workers were willing to make more concessions. States are placed in the position by powerful industries
 td compete with one another by marketing anti-labor or anti-environmental packages in order to attract them.
 Unemployment brings with it the whole alphabet soup of attendant problems such as a lowered self-esteem, drug and
 alcohol dependency, wife and child abuse. Since people of color are often the "last hired and the first fired," we are deeply
 concerned about the disproportionate number of mem  who have joined the ranks of the unemployed. We were also
 alarmed that this Report failed to address the negative environmental consequences of industry and what could be done
 about them.

 We need an industrial policy to help us shift from a war-time to a peace-time economy with as little disruptions as
 possible. We need an industrial policy that retrains workers for new jobs and one thai supports them during this
 transitional period* We need an industrial policy that will put people to work to produce socially useful goods and
 serVkra,aiid one that wiUrebd!4 and red vigour cities                                         Weneedan
 industrial policy that provides incentives for industry to invest in America and one that supports the sound stewardship of
 oor land, our natural resources and the air we breathe.  We need an industrial policy that requires non-toxic materials to be
 used in the production process in order to curtail pollutants at the end of the production cycle. We need an industrial
 policy that supports full employment arid one that is benign to the environment. I f other democratic and industrialized
 countries in the world can have such a policy, then why can't we?

 Environmental Equity and Energy and a National Energy Policy.

 Environmental equity cannot be justly served unless we have a national energy policy. The amount of energy we waste
 in this society is staggering. And as long as we are energy dependent on sources of energy from other nations, this
 places us in a position to use military might to defend international corridors for the transport of energy supplies.  We
 must become much less dependent on foreign sources of energy by conserving our own. In 1976 Dennis Hayes stated that
 "We annually consume more than twice as much fuel as we need to maintain our standard of living. We could lead lives
 rich, healthy, and fulfilling-with much comfort and with more employment-using less than half the energy now used,"
 Through energy conservation we not only become less dependent on international energy supplies but we can create more
jobs.  In fact there is evidence to suggest that a sustainable energy economy would produce more jobs than one based on
 fossil fuels, Havia and Lessen (1990:41) report that a  study in Alaska found that "weatherization created more jobs and
 personal income per dollar than any other investment,  including the construction of hospitals, highways, or hydroelectric

iiowtts " ?iom vreatoerizatMMisikme there ate a number of different jobs that can be created for home insulation workers,
arpenters, sheet metal workers and others. From the solar industry there is a need for photovoltaic engineers, solar
architects. Too there are a vast number of jobs that wffl come from recycling, recovering, reusing and reducing our waste
stream. Although the jobs may be numerous, we need to make sure that they are decent paying ones.

Although little noticed by the general public, protection of the environment and abatement and control of pollution have
grown to be a major sales-generating profit making, job creating industry. While some continue to argue that
environmental regulations destroy jobs, throwing millions out of work the fact of the matter is that most industries
close, not solely because of strict environmental regulations, but because of obsolete equipment, stiff competitum,
declinging sales lack of efficient production, and problems with raw materials (Kazis and Grossman 1982). In fact
pollution abatement control within the next decade will likely equal or exceed the U.S. Department of Defense Budget,
creating numerous jobs.(BeoJek, 1992). Therefore we not only need a national energy policy to reduce our dependency on
foreign energy sources, but we need an energy policy to stimulate enough jobs, where people of color wdl no longer be
diswooortionately unemployed. A sound energy policy and environmental equity can go hand in hand. The question is
whether we have the political will to make this happen. Therefore we challenge the Administrator to take on the task of
intra- and inter-agency coordination for a sound national health, industrial, and energy policy so that people can Jive and
work without fear in a sustainable, healthy, and productive environment. Only when this happens can we say that
environmental equity has been served.
Bezdek,R.H. 1992. Employment and ft
                                                       in the Environmental Protection Area Poring the 1990s
      ,..     .
        Washington, D.C.: Management Information Services, Inc. An Interactive Symposium for Labour, Business,
        and Environmentalists, Ottawa, Canada.

Bryant, B, and Mohai, P. 1992. flare aitf fte incidence of Environmental Hazards; A Timg for Discourse. Westview
        Press, Boulder, CO. Inpress.

BuDarAR.  1990. PimmiriFin Pi™- Race. CiasE ซ.nri BnviTonmantel Quality. Westview Press. Boulder, CO.
BuBard, R. and Wright, B, 1987. Blacks and toe Environment. wปmhnMt Journal ^f Social Relations Vol 14. Pp 165-

Flavin, C. and Lensseni-N. 1990. Wปซ-iHWarrh papy 1M: ftevond me Petroleum Age: Pestgning Solar Economy.
       Washington, D.C.: WorldWatch Institute.

Hayes, D. 1ฐ76- Worl4w^tch Paper 4: Enerpv: The Case for Conservation. Washington. D.C.: WorldWatch Institute.

Kazis, R. Grossman, Rl.  i Q V^Oataia. Labor *"d the Environment. New YortePilgrim Press.
Mohai P and Bryant, B, 1992. "Environmental Racism: Reviewing the Evidence.* In B. Bryant and P. Mohai,
      ' editors, Raca and Ae ft^flWfr f BnvteymtftBlri Ha^r/j^r A Tima for Discourse. Westview Press, Boulder,


Taylor, D.E. 1989. Bkcks and the Environment Toward an Explanation of the Concern and Action Gap Between
        Blacks and Whites. Environment and Behavior. Vol 21.  Pp. 175-205.

   Southwest Network for Environmental and Economic Justice
              211 10th St. S.W., Albuquerque, New Mexico. 87102 ,• (505)247-8832 • FAX (505)247-9972
  Richard Moore
  Rose Marie Augustine
  RoUnd Matukaja
   Havuupai Nation

  Lucille Allen
  Josฃ Bravo
  Robin Cannon
   Los Angeles
  P*m Tiu Lee
   Sin Francisco
  Lori Salinas
 Mike Maes

 N*ป Mexico:
 Antonio Lujifl
 Joe Motif e
 Johnny Russell, Jr.
 Donalyn Tones

 Odessa Ramirez
   Canon City
 WilliamRaise, St.
  Western Shcehone

 Susaaa Almanza
 Antonio Dfiz
  San Antoaio

 Lead Organisation:
 Organizing Project
 Richard Moore
                                       March 18,  1992

  William  K.  Reilly, Administrator
  United states Environmental  Protection Agency
  Washington,  D.c. 20460

  Dear Mr. Reilly:

       On  behalf of the Southwest Network for Environmental
  and Economic Justice  (The Network), we are submitting these
  comments   to   the   Environmental   Protection   Agency's
  Environmental  Ecruity Report.

       It  must  be  noted that we  were  never  offered  the
  opportunity  to  comment on  this  report  and  we  strongly
  object to the fact that EPA has attempted to publish the
  report  without  input  from communities  of   color  and
  indigenous   peoples.      it  is   our  communities   and
  organizations which are the focus of this study,  so we have
  a direct interest  in  its content.

       We must  also note  with considerable  alarm that  the
 most. recent  draft  of  the  Equity  Report was  released
 publicly  amidst   serious   controversy.     At   the   press
 conference in Washington D.C. staff members  for Congressman
 Henry A. Waxman of  California  released a "Communication
 Plan"  prepared  by EPA's   chief communication  official.
 According to Congressman Waxman, this  plan is designed to
 "co-opt  the mainstream (civil rights) groups" to prevent
 the  issue from reaching a "flashpoint".

      Congressman Waxman  commented  that "the  agency views
 th|^environmental equity initiative as a public relations
 matter, not an opportunity to understand and respond to  the
 very real health problems  faced by people  of  color...The
 communication   plan is a   cynical   'divide  and  conquer'
 strategy.    it seeks  to drive  a  wedge  between activist
 groups  and traditional civil rights organizations.   It
 shows no appreciation  of the serious environmental threats
 faced by minority communities."

    .  Based on our  experiences thus far with the  present
 administration  of the Environmental Protection Agency, we
 would have to agree with Congressman Waxman's assessment of
 the  EPA,  and  assume that we can expect nothing  more than
 business as usual from the  Agency.

      We  would  also like to  state  our support  of  the
dissenting opinion submitted by the  National Federation of
Federal Employees, Local 2050, and the concerned members of
the  Environmental Equity Workgroup  and EPA staff.    The
concern  expressed by these  employees  offers true hope  for
J f
     On July 31 1991, the Soxvthwest Network for Environmental and
Economic Justice sent a letter to EPA Administrator William Reilly.
The  letter  cited examples  of  the disproportionate  impact  of
pollution  and contamination  on communities  of  people  of color
throughout the Southwest United States.  The letter also provided
clear  examples of policies  pursued by the  EPA that  have been
detrimental to our communities.

     We would  like to ask that the  July 31 letter be included as
part of the Environmental Equity Report.

     The Network made a number of requests t;o the  Agency  asking for
information about EPA policies in communities of  color,  and asking
for a meeting with the Administrator.

     To this day, eight ปoniih!s later, the Southwest Network has not
received a response from the  Aduinistrator to the requests made in
the July 31, 1991 letter.

     The experiences and concerns outlined above raise for us a
very grave question:  "How can we honestly believe that the current
Administration  is willing to engage us in an open dialogue and
commit to  working together  with us to  address the  very real and
serious  problem of  environmental  racism?"   These are the most
recent examples of the disrespect and arrogance of the  Agency which
we have  experienced  throughout  its  history,  and  which has led to
the need for developing an "Environmental Equity Report".

     We  continue to   stand  committed   to   working  with  the
Environmental  Protection Agency to  assure that it fulfills its
mandate for a safe environment in all communities, however we must
make clear that we will no longer tolerate the policy of  disrespect
and dishonesty which continues to plague  the EPA  at the highest
levels.              .

     With these concerns in mind, we are submitting our comments to
the Environmental Equity Report.   Our comments are  general and
specific.    Please  feel  free  to  contact us  if  you  have  any
Richard Moore
                                   Robin Cannon
Odessa Ramirez
                                   Ruben Soils



      The Report is more significant for what has been omitted than
 what has  been included.    The  Report treats  the environmental
 ^quity issue  as an academic  debate  rather than an  EPA policy,
 political, and civil rights issue.   Similarly/In its twenty-one
 years  of  existence,   EPA  has  never   acknowledged  that  many
 environmental problems adversely affect people of color groups.

      Ironically EPA treats the  issue of environmental justice as a
 concept of "recent11 genesis.   In a  recent cover article in a new
 EPA  publication,   Administrator  William   Reilly  "met  with  key
 participants and received  information  on environmental equity that
 he  found'especially  disturbing."1     This  perspective   is
 fundamentally incorrect.

      In Maxell, 1990, Administrator  Reilly met with  the so-called
 ''Michigan Coalition"   (a  predominantly  African-American  ad-hoc
 ^roup)  and suddenly discovered "environmental equity."  As a result
 of this meeting, Reilly agreed to commission a workgroup study with
 input from people of color  organizations.   We  sincerely  applaud
 EPA's historic effort,  but,  as  you  may see from our comments,  the
 import  is  clearly  limited  and behind.

 Grassroots people  of color  organizations  have been dealing  with
 "environmental" problems for decades before the term "environmental
 equity" was coined.	;	
 "'!'',.|i'  • • ,/ '  ' " :>.W '-  " ~ • ~ '^T ,:•":  '"'" • '!•  ".'"„ • ' '   'i  • r: r, 'i ••:",-,,.•%. .„, ,  •-" •  •  ,„ ,..•••  	 ' ' ! 	 ,. • •, '" „

      Grassroots people of color  organizations have been  dealing
 with  "environmental"   problems  for  decades  before   the   term
 "environmental equity" was coined.   "Civil rights" issues,  such as
 decent   housing   and   decent  working   conditions  constituted
 fnvirpnmental equity in action long before mainstream environmental
 fr'oups  discovered  these problems.   EPA  staff have consistently
 faised .these same concerns to the level of the Administrator since
 It least 1984,  with no success.

  The Report findings miss  the reason that EPA actions have such an
 adverse impact on  people of color.   EPA  cannot begin to  address
 equity  problems until  it acknowledges their existence, and this
 document studiously avoids any  such  acknowledgement.

 EPA cannot begin to address equity problems until it acknowledges
their existence,  and  this document studiously avoids  any such
acknowledgement.  	    '       	 .	

     Because there is no acknowledgement of the problem, there is
lio analysis  of what is causing the problem, and  an inadequate
analysis of how to  address the  problem.   For example, several of
EPA's major policy thrusts work to reinforce environmental neglect.

The Agency is irreversibly cominittejd to certain policy initiatives,
regardless of whether they create unfair burdens of environmental
exposure.  Several policies such as delegation of powers to State
and local  governments, voluntary  deals with industry, and market
incentives  all  have  direct and  indirect  inequitable features.
These policies all involve EPA-brokered negotiation of the power to
distribute environmental risks  and these negotiations consistently
exclude  people  of color  groups.    In short, EPA  is consciously
distributing environmental control to the  same groups which people
of  color for  years have found to be the chief  source of racial
inequity.   Although  most environmental statutes  provide EPA the
authority to delegate programs, none of these statutes provides EPA
with the authority to administer its programs inequitably.

The  report, incredibly,  fails to even  mention  the farmworker
protection regulations.	_	.	

     The Report,  incredibly, fails to even mention the farmworker
protection regulations.   The  Agency's response to  the  risks of
migrant farm workers  (over 90% African-American, Asian, and Latino)
is particularly disturbing.  Although the average lifespan of these
farmworkers is barely fifty  years, these people are not entitled to
the same protections  as some "endangered species."  Instead species
such as the blunt nosed leopard lizard are afforded more protection
from deadly pesticides than people of  color  farmworkers.

     In   1979,   EPA   recognized  that  regulations  to  protect
farmworkers  and  their  families  from  exposure  to  agricultural
pesticides were  totally inadequate:   EPA  started  revising its
regulations.   currently, the Agency  has  still not developed new
farmworker protection regulations and has not seriously enforced
the existing obsolete regulations  for years.  Given the lifespan of
people  of color  migrant  farmworkers,  the twelve-year-delayed
regulations, such as they are, will be far too late  for too many

     The Agency's priorities are clear:  twelve years of inaction on
farmworker protection, with a skeleton staff of five.  Contrast
this with  the 52 employees EPA has working on radon gas protection
for middle-class single-family homes.  Or  the ability of EPA to
cancel  the use of the chemical Alar  on  apples some three weeks
after actress Meryl  Streep  testified before Congress about white,
middle-class  babies consuming  minute  residues  on  some   apple
products.   In contrast,  EPA reached the conclusion that  it should
cancel  the use  of the pesticide Parathion in 1987  because of the
health   threat   to   farmworkers,   but  withheld  action  until   a
staff member leaked word  of  the coverup last year.
                                   91  .


 Given the evidence of specific  events, specific policy decisions,
 and data th'* actions  in the 1980 's to eliminate nearly all
 the  lead in  gasoline  were  a major  step in  the direction of
 fnvironmental equity": This statement is either unbelievably naive
 or an incredible attempt to rewrite history. It is unsupported bv
 the facts.
               has been dragging its feet continually si
 *  -The Report  correctly identified  lead exposure of  African-
 American kids as a major environmental problem affecting health and
 education of our inner  city  kids.   However the Report failed to
 ??Jซ •1^S? EPA it^self &as been dragging its feet continually since
 1222;-. ^ Aj^cy's record was so poor that the administration was
 admonished by a Federal District Court action involving the way
 that  lead refiners  and EPA  conspired  to  ignore  the  racial
 implications  of their jointlydeveloped lead exposure policy.

 v ^ During this  period EPA was shredding  information indicating
 that inner-city children were exposed at even higher  levels  [EPA
 shredded staff  reports  that showed that  lead  monitors  which
 recorded airborne lead  levels  of  fumes  actually breathed  by inner
 city residents  correlated better with lead  blood levels than  lead
 monitors which  were remote].  EPA  restricted enforcement of  the
 lead rules to such an extent that EPA attorneys had to file Freedom
 of information Act Requests to find out what was going on  in their
 qwn cases.  EPA developed a "methodology" for "rounding-off"  lead
 pollution  figures  which was  unheard  of   in  the  history of
 mathematics in order to  give an extra break tjo small refiners.

     The agency's record continues today.  In the infamous Dallas
 lead smelter case [highly contaminated communities of color
 adjacent to lead smelters —  the  cases,  beginning in the 1970's,
2ฃ?ซ2 ti- ISEft01^3 ^??A iฎ  PrฐPฐsin9  lead cleanup in people of
color neighborhoods  which is fifty  times  less protective than
          for  the  population  in non-contaminated areas  (white
              •  The. Agency  attempted to delay for twenty  years
               for drinking water, at  the same time Vice President
            having   lead  contamination  removed  from  his  vice
             mansion,  with EPA assistance.   Why  can't  African-

                                     EQUITY REPORT. 3/18/92
B.   EPA Has  Delayed the  Farmworker Protection  Regulations for
Twelve Years Because it  Knows that the African-American, Latino,
Native- American,  and  Asian-American  Workers  Do Not  Have  the
Political Power of the Agribusiness and Chemical Interests.

[see comments in introduction]

C .  EPA' s Dependency on "Objective" Risk Assessment/Risk Management
Has Been Continually Subject to Political Manipulation.

                     Management Bias
     p. 20 , NO. 3, "Risk assessment and risk management are not in
themselves biased...":  This is not true.  EPA  routinely makes both
risk  assessment  and risk  management  decisions  based  on  pure
politics and power of constituencies.  Because  EPA's priorities are
always subject to interference from political power, EPA's reliance
on its slogan that "risk based priority" setting will automatically
result in equitable treatment for people of color, is misplaced.

     In addition, EPA's  risk assessment efforts are only as good as
the  data plugged in and  is  constantly subject  to data  gaps,
methodological challenges, and delays.  If EPA  intends  to study
environmental equity until it has good data, the  agency will never
act.   The data  on exposure  of people  of  color  will always be
subject to aggregation  problems,  just as this report is.   If you
aggregate  all  exposure to  people  of  color,  rather  than  the
particular  population exposed,  the  relationship  may be  hidden
[e.g., if you aggregate people of color eating  eaters in Georgetown
S.C. with people of color fish eaters  in  Georgetown,  D.C.,  you
conclude  that  there is no  exposure  problem  related  to  fish
consumption in communities of color].

EPA  routinely factors  politics and  power into  its major  risk
Management decisions. -- ._ - - -

     EPA routinely factors politics and power  into its major risk
management  decisions.  An  excellent  example  of this  is  the
comparison between its decision to ban alar and its decision to ban
parathion.   EPA  moved to cancel the use of the  chemical  Alar on
apples some three weeks after actress Meryl Streep testified before
Congress about white, middle-class babies consuming minute residues
on some apple products.   In  contrast, EPA reached the conclusion
that it should cancel the use of the pesticide Parathion in 1987
because of the health threat  to farmworkers,  but  withheld action
until a staff member  leaked word of the coverup last year.

     These  considerations run  throughout EPA  decision-making.
Another good example is dioxin.  The Report touches  on contaminated
fish  consumed by Latino, Asian,   Indian,  and  African  American
subsistence communities such as Georgetown, S.C. and Columbia River
in Washington.  However, EPA has cut a deal with industry to ignore


 the factthat people  of  color subsistence populations are eating
 toxic chemicals thousands of times more concentrated than the same
 toxic chemicals  found at Times  Beach and Love  Canal,  where EPA
 spent hundreds of  millions  cleaning up soil  that white families
 were walking on.  EPA's own internal risk numbers showed 10-6 for
 Times Beach and 2 in  10  for dioxin  in fish consumed by people of
 color.                ,   ',
         I'.'i!   ,  ,  •  i   , . ,    •       .• ',i   .  ''••'''.       '  '    '' '    ' '  "'V "
  ,i   •   ' . . ' ,1 '        . •    ,   ' ; "      .     ', '• ' i,1 ' /  _  ' '  v ' i  ' ,   , ' ,  ,''"'. C i, :: •

 Lack of Data

 .. .EPA has  never asked  Congress for a  major appropriation  for
 research.	,	^_	I	_

      p.  11:   EPA  complains  that  data  is  incomplete,  a  major
 problem, if  true.  However, EPA is not planning any major effort to
 remedy this  data gap.  Environmental equity does not  show up on EPA
 internal ORD long term planning priorities. All agree that data on
 farmworker risk is inadequate, yet EPA has never asked congress for
 a major  appropriation  for research.   In addition, EPA never  seems
 to  find a  problem regulating risk with "insufficient  data"  where
 the politics are on the other foot (Alar?).  If the Agency says it
 lacks  adequate  statistics,   why  hasn't  EPA  done  what Benjamin
 Goldman, Dr. Robert Bullard, or the United Church of  Christ have
 done in  their studies?

     There is no reason why EPA could not have done a decent job of
 correlating  some existing data by now.  Even without Toxic  Release
 inventory data and expensive mainframe computers,  EPA has not even
 approached  Benjamin Goldman's the Truth  about Where You Live  or
Robert  Builard'sDumping in  Dixie.   EPA implies  that  it  just
 discovered  environmental  equity  two  years ago.    What  was  the
Agency's response to  people of  color employees'  letter  to  the
Administrator six years ago  (published in  the  EPA Journal) asking
EPA  to tajce  action?

   : ... . ,  ;,| '. :  '  , .'.'.•';. , ;.  , :, : '  .  , :*• '.;•?;;',:; v ,' - f, V '' •', | " ' ,  '• _' , ';   • i V • •'  : '".  ,/^	^vl,
D.   EPA Policies work directly and  indirectly to deny adequate
environmental conditions  for people  of color populations.

     Policies  such  as   ignoring  inequitable  state  and   local
programs,aggregating  risk,  cost-benefit analysis are  continually
used against the interests of exposed communities of color  (see
Analysis section).   Exposure to pesticides, lead, air pollution,
toxic  dumps and incinerators are  all  results   of  EPA  policy
implementation.     For   example,   EPA's   policy  of  promoting
incineration  as  an acceptable  waste disposal  method  impacts
primarily on communities of color  who are being targetted as sites
for the construction of incinerators.

Translation of Materials
     p. 25, translation:  EPA does NOT have a policy or at least a
practice of translating relevant materials.  In Kettlemen, EPA is
siding with Chemical Waste Management in preventing local residents
from receiving materials in Spanish.  In the important farmworker
protection area, EPA declined to  translate many of the materials
suggested by UCC and UFW.  EPA has; translated more of its materials
into Polish than it has into Spanish.

E.  Segregation  of  the workforce  and continuing lack of cultural
diversity has resulted in biased input in policy decisions.

Segregation of Workforce
     p.  8,  "Defining  the Issues":    The  Report mentions  EPA's
"cultural diversity" effort but fails to note  that EPA is one of
the  worst  agencies  in  the  federal  government  in  terms  of
integration  of  its work force.   This  is especially true  with
respect to segregation of people of color in substantive decision

EPA is one of the worst agencies in the federal government in
terms of integration of its workforce. 	;	__	

positions involving mission of the agency.   African American and
Latino employees are typically assigned to civil rights, personnel,
administration, .and other areas which will not affect overall EPA
policy.  In the recent EPA awards ceremony,  honoring those projects
the Agency  finds most  important,  people  of color professionals
accounted for less than two per cent of the  award winners.  EPA has
demoted, harassed,  fired,  and driven  out  of the agency  as  many
people  of  color as it  has  promoted.   EPA refused  to  pay  the
conference fee for people of  color employees to attend the People
of Color Summit  and has harassed employees who have had any contact
with Summit organizations.    The  EPA management  has  declined to
involve  EPA   people  of  color  employee   organizations  in  the
environmental equity  issue (Blacks  in Government, Minority  Bar
Association, National  Federation  of  Federal Employees,  Hispanic
Advisory Council, etc.).

F.  EPA has awarded  a low priority to the equitable implementation
if its programs and statutory responsibilities.

     The Report implies  that  EPA "discovered"  the  concept  of
environmental equity.   Both people of color employees,  Office of
Civil Rights Staffers,  and outside organizations such as the United
Church of Christ have been raising the issue to EPA management for
at least six years.  The Southwest Network for Environmental and
Economic  Justice   sent  a   letter   detailing  the  inequitable
enforcement policies of the  Agency.  What  has  been the  Agency's


       p. 4, Summary of Recommendations, #1, "EPA should increase the
  priority it gives to issues of environmental equity":  The  Report
  never really  explains,  in terms of EPA operating  procedures,  how
  EPA will  accomplish this.   For example, the  FY  1993 individual
•  office  Operating Year Guidance  has now been  finalized  for each
  office, yet environmental  equity priorities  are nowhere  to be
  found.  As far as the actual operating units of  EPA are concerned,
  environmental equity is not on the radar screen.

       Nor is environmental  equity found  in long term FY 1992-1996
  Strategic Plans for individual offices.  This means that not only
  does EPA not intend to address environmental equity issues now, it
  will not even begin to address these issues until  1996.  When the
  Michigan  coalition met  with Mr.  Reilly  over  a  year ago,  the
  expectation was that EPA would be taking action on these issues .
  It is also important to note that EPA staff had raised these same
  issues to the Administrator,, as far back as  1985.  In contrast to
  the lack  of  real  action  correcting the  problem, EPA's  public
  relations  of f ice has whipped into action immediately, with stories
  in the Post and the Times, and a strategy to co-opt civil rights,
  church and academic groups.

  . . .not only does EPA not intend to  address environmental equity
  issue  now, it will  not even begin to address these  issues until
                        "  '          •                   •
       p.   9,  bullet  "reflect  risk-based  priorities...":     No
  environmental equity issues are identified in the FY 1993 budget or
  FY 1993  b"f<3.  See comment # 4, above.   Both  the Lew Crampton and
  Edward Hanley memoranda support this finding.  No EPA with ranking
  as high  as  Crampton or Hanley has disavowed either of these memos,
  arid EPA  declined, (in the  waxman hearing to officially disavow the
  aeraos.   , , :    '     ......    ; ,       ,   ,„   •  , ,"  .'  '   ,   ....    „   '   \,

       p.  31:   The verbs used in this section evidence EPA's lack of
  commitment  to any real policy change on this issue.  Making, "clear
  statements" and giving "signals"  will not address twenty years of
  Agency policy of inequity.   "Indicating" our interest  to States
  will not change existing inequitable practices.  The same remedies
  were ineffective 30 years ago.   If  the  Agency  is serious  about
  change,  it  will implement  the recommendations listed below.

  6.   EPA  and other federal  agencies have established  a patronistic
  catch-22 policy with respect to Native  American  tribes.   This two
  pronged  policy  is  premised  on   treating tribal  governments  as
  "States" but not delegating power  to the tribes until each  has
  developed an "adequate" "environmental infrastructure".


      With respect to Native American issues, EPA  describes pilot
 programs which are the exceptioh to the rule: the environment in
 which Native Americans are forced  to  live has been raped  beyond
 recognition.     Major Native  American issues  include the  basic
 rights to natural resources and issues  such as drinking water,
 groundwater,  Federal  facility cleanup,  OMB cuts,  to Bureau of
 Indian  Affairs  and  other   infrastructure  resources,  specific
 problems in a number of Native American lands, Uranium and other
 mining, Nuclear testing and contamination of Pacific islanders New
 Mexico and  other  areas.

      One example of  the  failure  and  inconsistency  of  EPA's
 "infrastructure"  approach  is EPA's denial of  standing for  the
 Yakima Tribe to  be  a party to  the Hanford, Washington,  federal
 facility compliance agreement.  Although EPA policies state that
 Tribes should be  treated  like States, the Agency has consistently
 excluded  the  Yakimas   from  negotiations  on   the  extremely
 contaminated Hanford site, even though the site is  on land ceded by
 the Yakimas,  the  Yakima's still retain rights on the site, and the
 Yakima reservation is adjacent to the  site.

 H.   EPA needs to reopen and examine the 1977 decision withholding
 application  of  civil  rights  laws  to  environmental  laws  and
.'. programs.   '                           • •

 PUtrHr Relations -Spin Control
      p. 4, Finding #4,  This finding appears to express EPA's basic
 approach to environmental equity — "if they would just listen to
 us, environmental racism would disappear, we just have a failure to
 communicate." Although not stated outright in the report, internal
 EPA meraos detail the Agency's intent to treat environmental equity
 as a "spin-control"  PR exercise with no substantive policy changes
 reflected anywhere in the Agency's operating guidance.  ,

 ...EPA nemos  detail the Agency's  intent to treat  environmental
 equity as a "spin-control" PR exercise with no substantive policy
 changes reflected anywhere in the Agency's operating guidance,	
      p. 4,  Finding  #5;   We  note  that EPA removed  the statement
 "there is a strong commitment on the part of EPA managers and staff
 to  address the  environmental  equity  issues."     Deleting  this
 comment could apply to much of the Report.  This is a significant
 change in  the direction of  the  Report  in that  it is  the first
 acknowledgement that  EPA management does NOT  view environmental
 equity as  a priority.   There is  a very strong question as to
 whether EPA has  any commitment to this  issue, as can be seen in


  many EPA actions:  co-opting interested organizations;  Vic Kimm as
  a  witness; Cabinet  Status bill  support; the  EE Report;  Agency
  Priorities; etc.

       p.  13,  the "potential"  for exposure...":   People of  color
  don't just have the  "potential"  for exposure, people of color are
  exposed.   Yes, the "differences  in  exposure  rates are  complex and
  deeply rooted in many aspects of  society..."   These  "aspects  of
  society" are known to people of color as "racism" and the issue is
  whether  EPA policies are  reinforcing environmental racism.   Since
  EPA does not acknowledge a problem,  it never  addresses  this  issue.

      p. 17, 18, studies of "licensed anglers" may misrepresent the
  number of  Native Americans  consuming fish, as noted on p. 18.   We
  suggest  you consult  the  work  and  input of  Dr.  Jeffrey Foran  of
  George  Washington  University,  and  others  familiar   with   this
  research area..,....".
      A study  of  fish consumption in  people  of color populations
 generally does not reflect the  fish  consumption by "subsistence
 populations", which,  by definition, implies consumption dependence.
 We are not necessarily interested in how many African Americans eat
 broiled snapper in restaurants in Georgetown, DC,  we are interested
 in who eats hqw many catfish in  Georgetown, SC.

     r ^ r   	j>A Projects
      p. 23,  The Reports cites the Office of Pesticide Programs as
 an example of EPA's  equitable programs.   This is the same office
 which has been sitting on the farmworker protection regulations for
 12 years and delayed  the ban on parathion  for five years.  We note
 that the latest draft deleted the example  of  the Office of Water's
 fish survey.  We  would hope you have some better examples.
...''"  ...  ,  , ' ;ji'i   , , :,  , ' ',,',,,'.'„ I,, ' , : .„  i ,  ,:'  , 'i : ' " „ '? .,':,'.",''' i   ' ,   •      • • •   	 ;,

      p.  41,  EPA projects:  The projects mentioned in this appendix
 are important first steps taken  by  independent midlevel managers
 and concerned EPA staff.   However, many  of the projects listed
 consist of  studies,  surveys,  outreach projects,  communications
 strategies and other  actions which do not involve  a basic policy
 change or high level  high priority policy commitment.   These good
 deed projects would  disappear  immediately  with  the  slightest
 objection from local aayors,  state  officials,  politicians,  or
 special  interests.



Universal Stan.flaT>dg "Do Not: Raise All Boats"
     p. 1, under "Environmental Equity":  Although the "standards"
are  universal,  they  are  not  uniformly applied  or  enforced and
therefore exposure is not "the same" for all sources.   Although
some statutes and  regulations provide for the "most vulnerable",
EPA aggregates exposure in ways that dilute the vulnerability of
people of color populations.  Likewise, in risk assessment and risk
management EPA disaggregates  exposed populations to increase the
cost benefit  balance against  people  of color.   For example, if
there  is  a 10-6 cancer risk  and 10 2.  population exposed to the
risk, then EPA can ignore the risk.   In this way, EPA can always
ignore exposed populations of  people of color one at a time because
for  each  pollutant  and  each  source   exposure  there  will  be
insufficient  exposed population to  produce  the one theoretical
cancer  or other  risk sufficient  to overcome the  cost benefit

Federalism and Cost Benefit Policy
     There is a  more invidious aspect to  EPA's  use  of  two  major
policy thrusts, cost benefit analysis and the  "presumption against
federal standards" (the Federalism Executive Order).  By delegating
the power to assess risks to the State and local  levels, and then
applying  cost  benefit analysis, EPA  can effectively "value" the
life of a Mississippi African American  baby at less  than half of
the  "value"  of a  middle  class white Connecticut baby  without a
trace  of  overt discrimination because  the policies applied are
"neutral" on face.

International Issues
     p. 8, international  issues: The discussion  on "international
equity"  raises  some additional  issues.    It  is  difficult  to
understand how the Administrator is going to have any credibility
with Third-world countries given EPA's record  and credibility with
Third-world populations in this country.  In addition, the priority
that EPA  gives Third-world issues  and programs  compared  to the
priority  of  Eastern European  countries  is baffling in  terms of
EPA's. "scientific" risk based approach to priorities.  The cultural
diversity issue  also  continues to appear:  EPA  has  consistently
recruited  Polish  and Eastern  European  employees  for  Eastern
European projects while ignoring Latino employees  in developing its
Mexican program.

     A  good  example  of  EPA's  neglect  of  such  problems is the
manifestation of anencephaly  along the  Mexican border,  where the
U.S. trade agreement is subsidizing pollution along the Rio Grande.

           Process and

      p.  9,  10, "While EPA can ensure that its processes...11:  This
 is  an  inadequate response,  in that EPA could easily  find that
 delegation  to  State and local  government is a  neutral process,
 therefore   this   policy   carries   no   environmental   equity
 responsibilities for EPA.   It  is  difficult to find  evidence of
 C>yert rงciงm in EPA's past  "process11 yet  this process has resulted
 in  widespread  environmental  racism.    What  does  EPA  propose
 Changing?   EPA,  like all  other federal agencies  with  delegable
 |>6wers, is ultimately responsible  for  ensuring  that the statutes
 that it administers are equitably implemented.

 Farmworker Data
      p.  19,  Farmworker  section.   This section  is apparently
 attempting to make the  absurd point that, "since we are  poisoning
 a few white farmworkers  along with Latino, African-American, Native
 American, and Asian workers, we should all be satisfied".  Does EPA
 think that civil  rights groups would be happier if only more white
 workers were poisoned?   Is it  not racism because  growers  don't
 bother  to selectively  spray  their workers?   If  there is  some
 worthwhile point in this  section, we fail to see it.  The section
 is more significant for what it omits than what it says: no mention
 of the long delayed  farmworker protection regulations.    This
 section alleges that there  is  insufficient data  on  health impacts
 of farmworker exposure.   Yet EPA must have developed some measure
 of the  health benefits  of regulating farmworker exposure  for the
 cost benefit  analysis  for the  farmworker rule.    The  Agency,
 however,  has consistently failed to ask Congress for more studies.

glean, Air Act
      PPซ  25-26, CAA: EPA  could utilize provisions of the  Clean Air
Act  and other statuses to address environmental equity questions.
However,  in the past, the Agency has used CAA and other provisions
to support discriminatory environmental impacts against  people of
color.  There is nothing in this Report which suggests anything
other than business  as  usual.   We note that you have deleted the
paragraph on CAA offsets  -  why?    with  respect  to   equitable
Compensation, congress and EPA appear to be moving in the opposite
direction.   The new  Clean Air Act Amendments,  and EPA proposals,
provide for aggregating or averaging pollution sources by putting
th^ ^ ^irtiest jsource in more depressed economic areas. Other market
based approaches  that EPA is pushing also favor pollution in one
place,  capital returns in another.

 Consents about Current Recoraeridations

      p.  5,  #6,  This is  a good  suggestion but does  not go  far
 enough.   If EPA is really siarious about  addressing environmental
 inequity,  it should implement the recommendations  above.
                        i    , .                      •          j '
      p.  16,  "more study of this issue is required...":   This issue
 has  been studied to death.;  Study is not required, analysis  and
 action are required.  EPA should accept the probability that people
 of color are at greater risk because of the location of their homes
 and  call for widespread pollution prevention.

      p.  24, siting and permitting of waste facilities:   Typically,
 EPA  delegates siting and permitting decisions to State and  local
 governments,  with an automatic EPA rubber  stamp  approval.   For
 example, the New York  RCRA approval  process  includes state  and
 county officials  and  nearby landOWNERS.   The  EPA  process  is
 systematically designed to exclude those  with  the  least power  and
 most exposure.

      p.  26, #3:  The Report states here that equity issues  are best
 addressed at the regional level.  Yet the Report also states that
 there is great  regional  and  State  variation and  that the most
 significant finding about the  regional  offices was the ignorance of
 the  environmental equity  issue.   This  recommendation (regional
 lead)  fails to recognize that these problems  require  national
 policy leadership and oversight.

      Cover memo.   The cover memo  from Mr.  Wolcott suggests that
 some of the most obvious remedies, oversight of the equity  of State
 delegated programs,,are limited by statute.  Is EPA trying  to argue
 that civil rights statutes do not apply to environmental statutes?
 We can find  no such statutory  provisions.   Is the Agency saying
 that congress intended these statutes to be administered, delegated
 and  implemented in  an arbitrary and inequitable manner?  . We  can
 find no  such legislative history.

     p.  21, communication:  EPA's fundamental approach appears to
 be a communication strategy, as noted  in  numerous internal memos.
 "Outreach"  and "communications  Strategy" will not work  if,   it
 appears, EPA views  this as a  mission to  convince people of  color
 that they shouldn't worry so much about inequitable  exposure.  This
 smacks of the  approach  that EPA attempted to apply in the Dallas
 case:  "they don't  need a  clean up,  we'll just teach them how  to
 grow grass on their yards and then they  wont  notice the  lead  so
much"...                                                          ,

     EPA expansion of outreach and participation:
 How  will  EPA  expand   its  outreach,  with  its current  lack   of
credibility?  It would seem that the first step in outreach would
be to take credible action, build up your  credibility before you go
 "out  to  reach" people.  An outreach program  built on co-opting



  civil   rights,   church,   and    education   organizations   is
  counterproductive  and  lowers  the  Agency's  credibility.    In
  addition,  EPA has very few people of color in substantive decision-
  raaking positions who know anything about communicating with grass-
  roots organizations.   Using  only  a  regional approach  will not
  address problems which are national in origin and which EPA refuses
•;1-.":to recognize.  •       i      '             „ ,  '   '

       p. 36:  EPA does not need to "tell" people of color what it is
  doing with respect to people of color studies  and pilot projects:
  E|>A needs  ฃ0 listen to people of color and  take decisive action.
  To the extent  that EPA is  developing an "incinerators  are your
  friends"  c,pmmunicatipns  strategy/  we do not regard  this as  a
  dialogue among  equals.
 . i '  ,„" " ,  ' , 	 "!ni,|ll!|, , | „ •   '"' "I,,	M	 , . ' ,  ., ,, , ' • ,   ,:  i, ,!'" 'J,:'!•.,_,'  !,„,! , ' '•' ,, ' • •  ",:	 ,,:•;' ,' ,' ,',,:', '!"''! i" 'I ,' '• ,I>W
       p. 25,  pollution prevention:  pollution  prevention  may have
  mixed results for people of color workers  or  residents.  We support
  strongly  EPA's  efforts  at  pollution  prevention  if the  Agency
  actively  initiates environmental equity  review of its  pollution
  prevention  actions  as  we  are  suggesting  for  other  actions.
  Currently,individual pollution prevention  projects  could  have  a
  good  effect on ecology but  a new and greater risk to people  of
  color maintenance  workers  without  EPA consideration  of  the
 We are interested in joining the Agency in promoting this effort in
 a  manner beneficial to all.
'". '" ; '  ' '   ."   	i, ti ."' " •. ,  ' ' . "' i ' " ;"   ,. ' . • "i  ' ,i ';; ...  ,' ,  „ ,	> , \ in, ., . „ /,  r* ,, , . . , , ',  , 1 •  ., y,  , ,,',,',, " ' , • UHJ!,::1 ;
      p. —:  The Report recognizes the interdependence of  agencies
 and organizations in addressing environmental equity issues.  There
 are  seyeraj.  good examples of  this.   EPA,  the Natural Resources
 Defense Council,  and  the Paper  industry  teamed up to exclude
 cpmmuni.ties of cplpr who relied on fishing from a court  settlement
 involving  dioxin  in  paper  mills
EPA,  the  Department  of
 Agriculture, OMB, and the National Agriculture Chemical Association
 teamed up to exclude farmworker input in the farmworker  protection
 regulations.  EPA and  Housing and Urban Development teamed up to
 exclude apartment renters from getting adequate protection  from
 radon.   We  would like  to know  EPA's  pans to  start  including
 grassroots organizations in these coalitions.

      p.  31  Better  data  and  better priority  setting  based  on
 relative risk  will ultimately make EPA's  programs and  policies
 fairer. However, as we mentioned earlier, there are policy changes
 which EPA could institute now.  If EPA had been  so concerned about
 the lac,k of data, why hasn't it asked congress  for more money for
 spch data needs?  Why  doesn't EPA support Representative Conyers
 bill on environmental equity?  Why can't EPA perform analyses  such
";i	as Goldman's?



a.  The Agency should develop a Major EPA Policy which creates a
"presumption  of  equity" in  EPA actions  and requires  an  equity
impact analysis for major rules, programs,  actions, reviews, etc.

b.  EPA should integrate Environmental Equity policy into Operating
Year Guidance, strategic plans, amd Agency Themes.

c.  Pollution Prevention:  EPA should work with civil rights  groups
to implement Pollution Prevention in an equitable way.

c.  Outreach and communication: do not continue attempt to  co-opt
legitimate leaders,  work with us: in mutual respect.

d.  EPA should develop formal Federal Register requirements for all
State & local grant, permit,  delegation, and enforcement policy.

e.  The Agency should implement oversight of State & local  grant/
permit, delegation,  enforcement, for equitable implementation.

f.  The EPA should establish an Advisory Board with representatives
from community-based and labor organizations.

g.  The EPA should request funding for data needs.

h.  EPA should support a General Accounting Office investigation
into whether State programs are in fact equitable.

i.  Legislation - EPA should support the Conyers bill, tiaxman bill,
Chavis bill, and others.

j. Cultural diversity and the  integration  of the workforce - EPA
should put people of color employees in substantive decision  making
positions and listen to input.  The  Agency should open dialogue and
encourage  participation of  employee organizations  in developing
overall EPA policy.

k.  structure of  Environmental Equity Workgroup  - The Workgroup
should  be  assured  of  its   independence.   Unions  &  employee
organizations must be involved.

1.   Relations with other  agencies and  organizations:    The  EPA
should work  with  the  US Department  of  Agriculture,  DA,  and
environmental groups to include equitable considerations and civil
rights and labor groups in "power brokered" decisions.

m.    EPA  should  develop  an  ongoing relationship  with  the
Congressional Black Caucus and other groups.

                                                               iiiiiiil iiiiiili	
                                                            PC. is

n.   EPA should  reopen and reject the 1977 decision  withholding
application  of  civil  Rights  lavs  to  environmental  laws  and
programs.                                    .

o>  EPA should immediately issue  enforceability provisions  of the
Farmworker Protection Regulations to make the existing regulations

p.   EPA should  apply  the  findings  of the National  Academy of
Sciences Report on Pesticides and Children to children exposed in
farmworker situations. EPA currently pretends either that children
do not work in the fields or that children are  no more vulnerable
than adults.

                                                             SANTA BARBARA • SANTA CRUZ
                                             DEPARTMENT OF SOCIOLOGY
                                             RIVERSIDE, CALIFORNIA- 92521-0419
                                             PHONE: (714) 787-5444  FAX: (714) 787-3330
                                                March 19,  1992
   Mr-.  Robert  Wolcott,  Chairman
   Environmental Equity  Workgroup
   Office of Policy, Planning and  Evaluation
   U.S.  Environmental Protection Agency
   Washington,  DC

   Dear  Mr. Wolcott:

   Enclosed please find   a copy of my written   comments  to the Draft
   EPA  Environmental Report dated  January  17,  1991.


   Robert D. Bullard  )


  !   .   Jl"*''  ;" -.          Rpt>ert  P.  Buliard^  ,-  '"..   .  '   ' ,, .".'•'."".'.'
                      Department Of Sociology
                    'University of California
                   Riverside, California  92521

  	    	   \ "  '   ..'...;.;    ,     . .    	  -   	         . „,  	
                                , .         >         .        .      '
     The  following comments are made in  response to the EPA's draft
report  entitled  "Environmental Equity:   Reducing  Risk  for  All
Communities" datedJanuary 17,  1992.

     The  following comments  are the views of the author and do not
in any way purport to represent the University of  California.   I
was one of  the  persons (i.e., Michigan  Coalition) who .drafted .the
March, 1990  letter to EPA Administrator  William Reilly and a member
of the  group  that met  with the administrator and his  staff  in
September,   1990.   However,  I  offer  these  comments  as my  own
critique  of the Equity Report..

Programmatic Initiatives
      " '  '.! f ! !  '.  ,!'„'" ":' "   ': •.•.'''  . •. •' -   : • ; '' ' :'.   ' "• '   ' ' '. • ' " •''' ' • •  ' • •'.'.•  ' pi'.'.>'V 'i1
     During the  September,  1990 meeting with Mr.   Reilly,  three
major programmatic thrusts  were  explored:   (1)  an EPA  mandated
policy  (within  one year) to address environmental  inequities  and
disproportionate health  risks borne high-risk populations, (2)  set
up a  science  panel  (within one year)  to advise  the  agency  on
environmental  equity  issues, and  (3) budget  resources  to address
equity problems,  i.e.,  a "targeted"  approach to impact  those most
at risk.  After more  than eighteen months.,  there  is no  indication
in the Equity Report that any of these actions have  been initiated
by the agency.           ,

Selective Literature  Review

     After more  than eighteen months of "study, " the EPA Workgroup
on Environmental Equity has  failed to grasp the interrelationship
between race, class,  and environmental decision making.  First,  the
report contains  a selective, biased, and superficial review of the
literature  on  the nature  and severity of  environmental  problems
faced by  low-income and  communities of color in the  United States.
1  .    -  .',T! ,   .''  •  .1   - ,. ''.'•.  '', '.: ;;' i" '.. • ,Y i  '• • ,;:;',:;" -,. l •' '... ""i   ./	•/::."•.. '.'•	; y
     Thesystematic omission of the published works that document
the  impact  of  discriminatory  land use  planning,  differential
enforcement  of  environmental regulations  and laws,  inequitable
facility  siting on communities of  color is telling.   The report
makes only  a p'assing reference to a handful  of studies that have
documented a relationship between sociodemographic characteristics
of communities and environmental quality.  However,  numerous books
have been written on  this subject  dating back to  the early 1970s.
Some of  these  works. include Allen V.  Kneese and Blair .T. Bower,
Environme'ntal Quality Analysis  (1972), D. K. Newman and D. Day,  The
American  Energy Consumer .(1975),   Michael Greenberg and Richard
Anderson, Hazardous Waste Sites: The Credibility Gap (1984), Louis
        ..;'	'•' •  > • ••'*':• " ••,-'  ':  •  ice ' .  '  '"      ' '   '    . '  	"

Blumberg  and  Robert Gottlieb, War  on  Waste  (1989),  Robert D.
Bullard, Dumping in  Dixie: Race, Class, and Environmental Quality
 (1990),  and  Benjamin Goldman, The  Truth about Where  You  Live
 (1991).  The  research findings in these books show clear patterns
where  racial  and  ethnic  minorities  bear   greater health and
environmental risks'  than the larger society.   These books were not
cited  in the  Equity  Report.
     The EPA  Equity  Report has not produced one  piece of original
research or new  information.  More importantly,  it has done  a less
than adequate job in synthesizing the  state of the knowledge  in the
field  of  environmental equity.  The  report  appears  to reflect  a
half-hearted  and less than serious treatment of the subject matter.
Given  the  nature  and  importance  of  environmental and  health
problems facing  low-income, working class, and communities of color
in the United States, a more in-clepth and comprehensive  report and
action plan could and should have been produced.

     The  omission  of  the  rich  and  voluminous literature on
environmental politics further weaken the credibility of the  report
findings.   A growing body of   multi-disciplinary  environmental
research  (sociology,  political science,  economics, planning,  law,
ethics,  engineering, natural resources,  human  ecology,, etc.) is
beginning to  address equity concerns.  Many of  these disciplines
are now challenging  the  notion of  a  "value-free"  science, science
policy/  and application of technology.   Is  the reader to  assume
that  the  EPA has made and continues to make all of  its decisions
based  on  "value-free risk-based priorities?"  We know better. The
not so distant past  is a-reminder that the "politics  of  pollution"
 is alive and well in the USA.  We offer the example of the agency's
own Ann Gorsuch Burford,  Rita  Lavelle,  and John Hernandez scandal
 in the 1980s.  These were all  advocates  of  "good science."

Environmental Racism,  Fact or  Fiction

      Does racism exist in the United States?  Environmental  racism
 does  not  exist  if we  are  to  believe the EPA Equity Report.  The
.report attributes class  factors  as  the  reason' for the  elevated
 risks  borne by  people of color.  However, the  report offers very
 little substantive  and  empirical  evidence  supporting  its own
 contention.                             ^              -

      On the other hand, there is overwhelming evidence documenting
 that,  the   roots of institutional racism are deep and have been
 difficult to  eliminate in-the American society.   Discrimination is
 a manifestation of institutional racism.  Even in today's society,
 racism influences where an individual  lives,  works,  and  plays.
 Racism also influences the likelihood of exposure to environmental
 toxins and the  accessibility to health care.

      Environmental racism defends, protects,  and enhances quality
 of life choices available to  whites at the expense of people  of
 color. Environmental racism is reinforced by governmental,  legal,
 educational,    economic,   political,   military/  and   religious
 institutions  through  policies  and practices that   have  the
          ,                         107

 consequence  (whether  intended or  untended)  of  differentially
 impacting  people  of  color.   For  example,  there  is  a  direct
 cprrelatfon,''between.^the exploitation of land and the exploitation
 of  people.   To deny  this  fact is  to .deny an  important  (though
 painful) piece of  this nation's history.  The .nation was built on
 free land  (stolen  from  Native Americans),  free  labor (African
 slaves),  and  free  men (only  white men with property  held the

      There is  substantial  evidence indicating  that  the nation's
 industrial and environmental policies have not  impacted all
 communities equally.  The systematic targeting of people of  color
 Cpiranunities'1 for "noxious " facilities ,; such _ asn sewer treatment plants,
 garbage dumps, lanclfiiis,  incinerators,  hazardous waste disposal
 sites,  lead smelters, and other risky technologies  is environmental
 racism. Excluding people of color from policy and decision-making
 boards, commissions, and staffs of governmental and nongovernmental
 organizations influencesenvironmental policy outcomes.
	:•  ••" : •,: i"!i;•'..; •,--."• vyi •.•;•'•<'^.-i.\ •••• •;.'•• ^ivi•'.•'< m ::ซ• ••::'••n>\./:•.•,••'.••':'•. :>-:^
      Relaying remedial cleanup actions or bans on dangerous health-
 threatening chemicals,  pesticides, and other toxins solely because
 the victims are mostly persons of  color is environmental racism.

      Allowing and  encouraging dangerous chemicals,, pesticides, and
 toxic wastes  to be exported abroad to Third World nations is a form
 of  environmental racism and ecological imperialism.  However, the
 practice of targeting of people of color nation's for the export of
 toxins  is  an  extension  this  nation's domestic toxic dumping
 policies.   The Equity Report  failed to make  the  link between
 domestic and  global ecological inequities.

 The Web of Institutionalized Barriers              .

      African  Americans are especially hard hit  by environmental
 racism.    No  matter  what  their  educational  or  occupational
 achievement or income level,  African  Americans  are  exposed ;tp
 higher  crime  rates,  less  effective  educational  systems,   high
 mortality   risks,   more  dilapidated   surroundings,  and  greater
 environmental threats because of  their race.

      Institutional  barriers   such   as  housing  discrimination,
 redlining,  and residential  segregation  make  it  difficult for
 African Americans  and Latinos  to buy  their  way  out  of  health-
 threatening physical environments.   For  example, in  the  heavily
 populated  South Coast air basin of the Los Angeles, over 71  percent
 of  African American^ and 5.0 percent of Latinos reside in areas with
 the most polluted air, while  only  34 percent of whites live in
 highly  polluted areas.

      Thedevelopment of spatially  differentiated communities  where
 people  ofcolor are segregated from other Americans have resulted
 from governmental, policies and marketing practices of  the  housing
          |l| ' •    ' ,', "i -I1', ''••'',": ,"' ,'",''• s i  ., ••  ' ' ', ' , 111'. •" •• I,,,,,, •'i ,",""'", ,,. "'  i;i!i;\ I',,,1, ' • "	 , ,  	;,,  , •   • ,  	
     '  ,    •  ••/ ..; ' •' ;,:  • .,  . ',:  . • , . "108
:i j" 
     "•              .          ''  J.     "  •          •

industry and lending institutions?.   Housing segregation follows a
color continuum  with African Americans  being the most .racially
segregated minority  group.   Millions   of African Americans are
geographically isolated in polluted urban neighborhoods away from
the expanding suburban job centers.

     Some communities are spatially located on the "wrong side of
the tracks" and  subsequently receive  different  treatment  when it
comes to the delivery of  public services including  environmental
protection.    In  addition  to  racial  barriers,  environmental
inequities result from a host of factors including the distribution
of wealth,   housing and real estate practices, land-use planning,
redlining,    and   differential   enforcement   of   environmental

Selective Targeting and the "Smoking Gun"

     Are some communities more  suitable, than  others  for .locating
waste disposal facilities?  Very seldom  is there  a  "smoking gun"
found detailing  the thinking  behind  facility  siting.    The EPA
Equity Report failed to  cite a single  study challenging the notion
that waste facility siting is based on objective criteria.
     The 1984 report Political difficulties Facing Waste-to-Enercrv
Conversion  Plant  Siting  written  by  Cerrell  Associates  of Los
Angeles  was  a  smoking  gun.    The  government-sponsored   study
confirmed  what  many people had suspected all  along.   Cerrell
Associates (a private consulting firm)  advised the California Waste
Management Board to place waste-to-energy facilities (incinerators)
in areas least likely to express opposition, older neighborhoods,
and low socioeconomic neighborhoods.

     The  city of  Los   Angeles   took  the advise  of  the  Cerrell
Associates report  and proceeded to plan  the  city's  first modern
municipal solid waste incinerator (LANCER 1) in the mostly African
American  and Latino  South Central  Los  Angeles.    In addition,
private disposal companies and the state of California selected the
mostly Latino communities of East  Los Angeles and Kettleman City
 (located  in the  agriculural-rich  Central Valley)  for hazardous
waste  incinerators.     Both  hazardous  waste  incinerators  were
approved by the  federal EPA,

     The EPA Equity Report failed to acknowledge the  existence of
the Cerrell Report.  By  doing so, it also failed to acknowledge the
role of  government  (i.e., California  Waste Management Board)  in
systematically   "targetin"  some communities for locally unwanted
land  uses  (LULUs)  such  as landfills,  incinerators, .and   other
noxious  facilities.   The question of  "who  gets what, where, and
why" is often a political decision and may have little or nothing
to do with science and  some objective  criteria.

     Nowhere in the report is the issue of institutionalized racial
discrimination addressed.   There is a large body of  sociological

1	"ft!11:	,?Wll;!VvWlf
I1 1111 111 111
        studies that  explain racial  disparities  in education,  employment,
        housing,  law enforcement, and  other areas.  Why  is it that  the
        report failed to consider racial discrimination as  a  factor  that
        contributes   to  siting  disparities    between  people  of color
        communities   and white communities  as  it relates to  exposure to
        industrial toxins,  dirty  air and drinking water, and the location
        of noxious  facilities such as municipal  landfills,  incinerators,
        lead smelters, and hazardous  waste treatment, storage, and disposal

             After more than two decades of operation, why has the EPA  (and
        its EquityReport)  failed to address inequitable siting concerns?
        The EPA has undertaken  few .initiatives on its own  to address  this
        problem. The  Equity Report was  correct in citing the 1983  General
        Accounting Office  study Siting  of  Hazardous Waste  Landfills  and
        Their Correlation  with Racial and .Economic  Status of  Surrounding
        Cdmmunities.   It  is also worth noting  that  the GAO study  was
        initiatedonly after mass protests in predominately black Warren
        County and District of  Columbia  Delegate  Walter Fauntroy (who  was
        then chaired the Congressional' Black Caucus)  requested a study.
        The  GAO discovered that  75 , percent  of  the  off site  commercial
        hazardous waste landfills in  EPA's Region  IV were located in mostly
        black communities.   African  Americans make up about one fifth of
        the population in Region IV.   The EPA did not fpllowup this  federal
        study in 1983.

             The EPA Equity Report  failed  to mention the fact that  the,
        siting inequities uncovered  by  the GAO in 1983 are worse in 1992.
        For example,  the two operating  offslte commercial  hazardous waste
        landfills  in  Region IV  (Emelle, Alabama  and   Pinewood, South.
        Carolina)  are  both  located in Zip  Code  areas where  African
        Americans make up  the majority  of  residents.   African  Americans
        still make up only  about one  fifth of the region's total population
        in 1992.

             Siting  inequities  have  increased as a direct result  of more
        stringent  federal   environmental regulations and  the  difficulty
        (public opposition)  in siting new  facilities. No new  sites,have
        gone  in  the  region.   The  legacy  of past  discriminatory waste
        facility siting places African American residents  in Region IV at
        greater health risks  than. other residents  in the  region.    The
        Equity   Report   failed   to   acknowledge   "past  in   present
        discrimination"  (i.e., residuals of  an earlier era and practices)
        and the effect on quality  of  life~of  communities of  color.

             It isnot an accident that  the  first national study on toxic
        waste and race was  conducted by a civil  rights organization,   not
        the federal EPA—-the agency charged with environmental  protection.
        The gqmmission for  facial  Justice's Toxic Wastes and Race study was
        released at the National Press Club in 1987.  The EPA did not take
        any action to fpllowup this study in 1987.  On  the  other hand,  the
        Centers  for  Disease  Control  (CDC)  and the Agency   for Toxic
          '   ,  •  ' "':  , • ,  :.  :,„   •'	'  '  ., •..'  HO.   , ,  	    '   '   ".

 Substances  Disease  Registry  (ATSDR)  developed  and or  expanded
 several  minority  environmental health  initiatives, including  a
•study and a national conference.'

 Waiting  for EPA to Act Can Be Hazardous to'Your Health

      The EPA only took action on environmental equity concerns in
 1990,  after a letter was written to the administrator by a group of
 social  scientists  who  participated  in  a  conference  at _  the.
.University  of Michigan.   The Equity Report is in part  a   direct
 'result of this  "outside" prodding.

      Unlike  the  EPA,   communities .. of  color  did  not  discover
 environmental inequity in 1990.   They have  been living" (and many
 dying) with inequitable  environmental quality for decades—-most
 without  the assistance  of the BPA,   The  Equity Report  correctly
 cites the  1988  ATSDR The Nature and  Extent of  lead Poisoning in
 Children in the United States:   A Report, to Congress  study and
 points out the  glaring racial  and class dimensions of  the lead
 problem.   For' example,  lead  affects  between -3  to  4  million
 children, most of whom are African Americans and Latinos who live
 in urban areas.. Among  urban children 5 years older and younger,
 the percentage  of African Americans who have  excessive' levels of
 lead  in  their -blood far exceeds the  percentage  of  whites at all
 income levels.                                •

      The ATSDR- study found  that  for families  earning  less than
 $6,000,   68  percent  of  African  American  children  have  lead
 ppisoning,   compared with 36  percent  for  white  children.   In
 families with incomes  exceeding $15,000,  more than 38 percent of
 African American children suffer from lead poisoning compared with
 12 percent of  whites.    Lead- is a  complex  problem in  that it
 touches a number of program  areas  and require cooperative working
 arrangements    with    multiple   federal   agencies,   including
 environmental, public health, hoiising problem, and  education.

       The ATSDR  study deemed  lead  as the  "number  one environmental
 health problems facing  children."  The Equity Report concurs that
 "sufficient" scientific evidence,  is  available  on lead and human
 health risks.  However,  the report does not provide any insights as
 to why'the EPA  has  done so little to protect those who are  "most
 vulnerable." The  agency has  consistently delayed and .dragged it
 feet  on the lead-based paint, soil, and drinking water problem.  It
 is important to note that having  sufficient facts  and documented
 "proof"  is not a  strong predictor  of  the  agency's  action on
 environmental  and health ..problems that  disproportionately urban
 minority children.     For millions  of  inner-city  children, the
 'agency's delaying tactic  is  tantamount to a life sentence in lead-
 contaminated environments.            .

       The  Equity  Report  also  failed  to  mention  some  of  the
 questionable decisions the agency has  made regarding communities of

 color and lead.  A case in point is the EPA's mishandling of the
 lead problem in the West Dallas,  Texas  neighborhood.   West Dallas
 residents still do not understand why the agency  scrapped a 1983
 voluntary cleanup plan proposed by the local lead smelter company.
 The EPA demanded another study.
                            • , i1'
      On December 31, 1991, the EPA began a comprehensive cleanup of
 the lead-contaminated soil in West Dallas after more than a decade
 Of  delays,  scandals,  and excuses.  An, estimated 30,000  to 4-0,000
 gubic yardsof lead-tainted soil  will be removed  from the several
 ffest pallas  site,s, including school property, the West Dallas Boys
 Club,  and yardsof 140 private homes.    The West Dallas  soil  is
 scheduled to  be dumped at a landfill in  Monroe, Louisiana	a
 community that is 60  percent African American.

      Moreover,  the Equity Report  failed to. uncover the  fact  that
 ง.11 three .of  Dallas' s lead smelters  happened to  be located  in
 African American and Latinp neighborhoods.   It is  for  certain that
 the people in  the Dallas neighborhoods were  there  long before the
 smelter.   Moreover,  West Dallas residents  did not  invite  the
 polluting Industries  into  their  neighborhoods.    Moreover,  few
 residents actually  worked in the  plants  that  polluted  their
 neighborhood,  homes,  and children.

 Some Workers are More  Equal than  Others

      All communities, neighborhoods, residents, and workers are not
 created equal.  All environmental  policies and protection measures
 are not applied uniformly across  class and racial groups.   People
 of  color have  had to wait longer  than the general population for
 the same  protection  others   take  for  granted.    The   case  of
 farmworkers  is  a classic  example of  the  double  standards  in
 environmental  and health protection.

      The protection (or lack of) accorded farmworkers	who handle
 dangerous pesticides—is a classic example, of this problem.  These
workers have been waiting since 1979 for treatment as "first-class"
workers.  The  ethnic composition  of this segment of the  workforce
 represents a classic case of occupational segregation.   More  than
 90  percent of  farmworkers are persons of color  (African  American,
Afro-Caribbean,  Latino, and Asian).
 , !!„     ,   ,  ซ', :„:',        '    ,   , '      ,   '      , • ' i ', ,            ''.
      The Equity Report glosses over the pesticide problem faced  by
workers  and  those who  live in nearby migrant labor camps.
 The report emphasizes  the agency's  "risk-based" decision making.
However, the report fails to explain (using its own  "science") its
actions  on  the  chemical  Alar "scare"  and its  action  on the
pesticide _Parathion.   Action  on  Alar  came  in  about  three week,
while  action on  Parathion was  delayed  for  five years after the
agency  reached  the conclusion that it should cancel its use.

 !    The  literature  cited in  the farmworker section  is grossly
 <•' ,    • '  ,• ' -! • •  ' " ••  ' •• .V  ' ' '••••'. • i""  • '112 " ' '  	  '    '    • "  '    :"

     ' -  •        •                8       •         -      '•

inadequate.   For  example,  not a single piece of  research by Dr.
Marion  Moses  (who  head the  Pesticide Project  and has  written
extensively on pesticides and farmworkers) is cited in the report.
The Equity Report falsely assumes that environmental equity means
that it is "acceptable" for the majority of farmworkers (people of
color)  to be  poisoned as  long  as ,a. few white  farmworkers are
poisoned along with them.  Environmental justice advocates are not
calling for  white farmworkers to be have  equal  opportunity to be
poisoned.  That is not  equity. However, equity demands that the EPA
begin to address the differential value assigned to the health of
farmworkers  and those  act equitably toward farmworkers who may be
exposed to pesticides in the field and white-collar office workers
who may be at  risk  from  chemicals in a  "sick" building.

     It is  unfortunate that  the  Equity Report  uses "intuition,"
 (rather than a systematic review of the literature) to assess the
state of the pesticide exposure problem.  For example, the report
states:  "Intuitively, one would expect that ethnic minorities who
make  up a  large part of  the  documented and  undocumented, farm
workforce might experience  higher pesticide exposures" (page 19).
It should not take  an  eighteen-month  study to figure out that the
general population  runs  fewer risks than farmworkers  and  their
families  from being  exposed - to  malathion spraying and   other
dangerous pesticides.

The Sacredness of Local  Land 'Use  Planning              .

     EPA's   current  position  of relegating  facility  siting  to
private industry  and  states creates and perpetuates,  environmental
inequities.   The Equity Report failed to -address inequitable and
discriminatory state  and local government institutions.  Some of
the siting inequities  result from past "discriminatory practices of
local governments and private industry.

    - The   EPA  sanctions  many  of . these  discriminatory   local
government  and private  industry  decisions  by  granting operating
permits.  The agency  has done little  to encourage local and state
governments  to adopt equitable facility siting plans.  Defining the
problem as a "local"  land-use issue will  not make it disappear.
      The use of risk assessment/management procedures in siting and
 permitting incinerator  plants justify and  favor projects  being
 pushed  by  both  industry  and  policy-makers.    Even   William
 Ruckelshaus  (a  two-time  chief  of  the EPA  and current. CEO  of
 Browning-Ferris Industries)  described risk analysis as "a kind of
 pretense."    >

      The Equity Report failed to recognize the importance of siting
 and permitting  decisions on  equity.   All  communities  are . not
 treated the same  when it come  to  facility  siting.  For  example,
 Houston from the early 1920s to the late 1970s located 100 percent

 of  its  city-owned municipal landfills and six out of eight of the
 garbage incinerators in black neighborhoods.  From 1970-1978, three
 but of  four of the privately-owned landfills  'were located in black
 i,,;  ':••  .  	 "• ' • 'it'll .„•• . ' "  v '•'•. '.*>.   ;	, ;iji'  i :  . • :. i :','.'• ••!', 	i'l;,:/."!'.  " "i '  . .. "• :  • '...•.  i.. t '...'::.• , :.ti.
      Althqugh   African  Americans  made  up   only  one-fourth  of
 Houston's  population,  82 percent of  the municipal  landfill sites
  (public and private)  were located  in black  neighborhoods.   White
 Houstpnians  used  t:heir "NIlffiY"  (not in my back yard) institutions
 to  keep waste  facilities out of their neighborhoods.  Conversely,
 public  officials  and private industry  responded  by employing the
 "PIBBY" principle	"Place in Blacks  Back Yard."

      The decision to  target black communities  was made by an all-
 white Houston  City Council.  No black .was .elected . tp. that office
 until  1972.    Nevertheless, Black  Houstonians had  been  fighting
 since   the   mid-sixties   to  keep  garbage  dumps  put  of  their
 neighborhoods.    The Kerner Commission  reported  that  a riot took
 place on the "predominately black Texas Southern.University in 1967
 after an eight year old black girl drowned at a garbage dump in the
 inpstly  black Sunnyside neighborhood.

      Black and white communities are  still^separate and unequal.
 Some city councils, county.board of  supervisors, and federal judges
 still see black Communities (but not  their white counterparts)  as
, compatible   land   use  with   garbage   dumps,   landfills,   and
 'Incinerators.  The Equity Report failed to cite a single case study
 documenting  the  targeting  of  African  American  communities  for
 jnunicipal landfills.   However,  numerous cases  exist.
          	. ill•:
 •ft; ..'..;• As,( regpnt; .asr	.June, 1991, the Board of Supervisors in King and
 Queen County, Virginia  selected a  420-acre site in a mostly black
 community  for a regional solid waste landfill.   The supervisors
 from 1969 to 1991 located all three of., the ...county-owned solid waste
 landfills in black communities in the county.  It seems that county
 leaders rate black communities as more compatible than their white
 counterparts  for facilities  where household  garbage is  dumped.
 County leaders  see nothing  inequitable  or unjust about siting all
 of its landfills in black communities.
      The  EPA has taken  the position of  not involving itself  in
 local land use and siting decisions.  By backing away from federal
 equity requirements,  the agency seems perfectly willing  to allow
 the Houston's and the King and Queen County's  of the nation  to
 selectively  dump on communities  of  color.   These decisions mirror
 those  made  by  local and  state  government  under  "Jim  Crow:"
 everybody gets their garbage picked up,  but only black communities
 get the landfills and incinerators.

      EPA's  regulations  impact  and  influence  local  land  use  and
 facility siting  in  its power to grant permits.  However,  the  EPA
 has "yet to meet a .hazardous waste  facility it didn't like."  The
     ,  •  .  , ,:	,' '    '  '  '" :  ;     .114     "  ' '  •

                                10              ,

Equity  Report  does  not go  far  enough  in  calling  for mandated
permitting  requirements  that  would  force,  states   and ,private
industry  to address  siting equity.

      In addition,  the EPA should examine aggregate  risks in  the
.permitting  process.   For example,  a neighborhood like  Chicago's
Southeast side is "saturated" with abandoned toxic waste dumps,
steel mills,  municipal  landfills,  hazardous waste  incinerators,'
salvage yards, grain elevators,  and oil refineries.  The EPA should
have responsibility  for protecting  the  Southeast  side Chicago
community from further risks that would result from siting another
waste facility in the area?  Current EPA policies do  not calculate
aggregate,  cumulative,  and synergistic risks posed by the various
polluting industries in a specific neighborhood.  The end result is
a "sacrifice  zone."

      Here is  where  the agency  might, expand its  use of  "social
impacts"  in making permitting decisions.  Surely, the agency  can
begin developing - methodologies  to address  multiple  exposure  in
 "saturated"  communities.

States Rights as Civil  Rights    •'-...
      States  are  now talking  about  "fair share" plans for  the
interstate  transport of municipal and hazardous  wastes.  No  state
wants to  become the dumping grounds for another state's garbage or
hazardous waste.   Some  states  have resorted  to outright, bans
 (though  illegal) and  restrictions on out-of-state  waste.   Many
states are now borrowing the jargon of the civil rights movement in
defining fairness, ,equity,  and  justice  in  the  interstate  waste
crisis.  However, few states have  begun,to  seriously address  the
problem of intrastate equity,  especially  as  it  pertains to  waste
 facility siting and low-income  and communities  of color.

      The federal government needs  to take the leadership  role in
assuring that both interstate and intrastate  equity plans are given
 equal consideration.   Many local  and  state governments are  the
 chief culprits in disenfranchising low-income,  working-class,  and
minority  communities   and   should  not  be  given   the   chief
 responsibility  for  assuring  that  environmental  equity (facility
 siting) is achieved.

 Equal Opportunity Polluters

      African Americans  are hot the only group hit by environmental
 injustice.   'Latinos and Native  Americans  are also affected.  For
 example,  the  small,  rural  town  of  Kettleman  City, California  has
 drawn national  attention.   Chemical Waste  Management,  Inc.,  the
 world  largest  waste  disposal   company,  selected  this   small
 farmworker community of 1,100 residents  as  a site for a proposed
 hazardous  waste, incinerator.    The  company already operates  a
 hazardous waste landfill in Kettleman City.

           j,i, i Jin i ", .' '
      .A1]- of, the public hearing and written material in Kings County
  was in English,  although 40  percent  of Kettleman City residents
  speak^only English.  In 1991,  local residents  filed a class action
  lawsHit  El Pueblo Para  el Aire v Acrua Limoio (People  for Clean air
  and Water) v. County of Kings"  The lawsuit challenged the impact
  report,  the  use  of  English-only  to  communicate  risks  to local
  residents, and operating hazardous waste  incinerators  in mostlv
  minority communities.
i'ii". , " V   :- •  \Li <•''•'•• •': ;!:',i,;: '"'V'" ",::•".  ,',' '.'•  • '•  ''. , '•• '•-,'.. :t, "•,, '••  •;* ;  , •,:••'",  ••' ' !:;;  .. ,  ('  ..,.,; ''•;,..ซ i ,''!;i
       In January,  1992,  a Superior Court  judge overturned the Kings
  County Board of Supervisor's  approval of the incinerator, citing
.Lijs, impact on air quality in the agriculture-rich Central Valley
  The judge ruled that the county's environmental impact report was
  inadequate and that the county failed to  involve local residents in
  the decision by  not providing  Spanish  translations of material
  about  the project.  EPA should require translations in heavy non-
  English speaking  (i.e.,  Spanish)  areas where waste facilities are

      This _is an important  point  given the location  of  hazardous
  waste  incinerators.    For  example,  the  nation's largest  waste
  disposal  company,  Chemical Waste Management, operates or has under
  development  five  hazardous   waste incinerators.    All  of  the
  company's  incinerators  are  located  in communities which  have high
  concentrations of minorities.  The company operates an incinerator
  in Chicago's. Southeast  side    (72  percent black and 11  percent
,,Jjata.no),.  Sauget,   Illinois  (73 percent  black),  and  Port  Arthtir,
 Texas  (40 percent black and  6 percent Latino)..   The company  has
 incinerators  under  development in Emelle, Alabama   (90  percent
 black) and Kettleman City,  California  (95 percent Latino).

 Targeting  Native Lands

      Thei  EPA Equity report  gives the  impression that communities
 are  actively recruiting noxious facilities.    For example,  the
 report states:  "[TJhere are numerous examples of poor communities
 seeking a  waste site. or industrial facility  to increase  the  tax
 Pase and create jobs"  (page 24).  The report fails  to cite any of
 these  "numerous  examples"   and does  not  differentiate  who  is
 actually  doing  the  inviting.   More often than not, it  is  the
 business and political "elites" (not the  ordinary residents of  the
 community)   who   have   sought  waste   facilities  as  economic
      Native American lands  pose a special case for environmental
 protection.    As  environmental  regulations  have  become  more
 stringent in recent years, Native American reservations have become
 prime targets  of waste disposal  firms.   Because  of  the  special
 quasi-sovereign status of Indian nations, disposal companies have
 attempted to skirt  state regulations which  are  tougher than the
 federal  regulations.   The threat to Native  lands exists from New
 York to  California.   .


     More than  three dozen reservations  have been  targeted for
landfills and incinerators.  Nearly all of the proposals have been
defeated.   In  1991,  the Choctaws  in Philadelphia,  Mississippi
defeated a plan to locate a 466-eicre  hazardous  waste landfill in
their midst.  In the same year, a Connecticut company proposed to
build a 6,000-acre municipal landfill on the Rosebud reservation in
South Dakota.  The giant landfill was proposed by a firm that had
never operated a municipal landfill.   The project was later dubbed
"Dances  with  Garbage."   The  Good Road  Coalition,  a  grassroots
groups, using a recall election of the Tribal Council government,
blocked the proposal  to build the giant municipal landfill on Sioux

Outreach vs Spin Control

          The Equity -Report's "outreach"  strategy to more akin to
a public relations  campaign  or  "spin control" rather  than any
substantive  efforts   to  address environmental   problems  that
disproportionately   impact   people   of   color   and . low-income

     It  is unlikely  that the  EPA can build an effective outreach
program in communities of color without addressing the question of
environmental justice and trust.  For example, it is not uncommon
for  residents  in  communities  such   as  Northeast Houston,  West
Dallas, Texarkana,  Kettleman City, East Los Angeles, and Chicago's
southeast side-to view the  EPA (and  waste disposal companies) as
the  "enemy."  -Quite often residents-in these communities perceive
the" EPA  as protecting  industry not local citizens.

     People of color groups have begun to build a national movement
against  environmental  injustice.   In October 1991,   the First
National People of Color Environmental Leadership Summit was held
in  Washington,  DC.    This  Summit demonstrated  that  white middle
class suburbanites do not have a monopoly on environmental concern.
Environmental activism was  shown to  be alive and well in African
American, Latino, Asian, and Native American communities-

     The four-day  Summit was attended  by  650   grassroots and
national environmental leaders  (representing over  300 people of
color environmental groups).  Delegates came from  all fifty states
including Hawaii and Alaska,  Puerto  Rico> Chile,  Mexico, and the
Marshall Islands  to share their  action  strategies,  redefine, the
environmental  movement,  and develop  common  plans for addressing
environmental  problems affecting people  of color  in  the United
States  and aro'und the  world.

     The Equity Report  demonstrates  the unevenness and lack of
awareness of equity among EPA's Regional offices.   The  report does
not list "equity  initiatives"  from all ten of EPA's regions.,  Is
this indicative of the lack of  equity problems,  in the  regions not
reporting or the lack of initiatives?  The report failed to explain


';;,;; •;. .  ,  ,, ,  / • '	: , ; ".  , ,  ', ,.:  13	,. '  ' ,;,,;  ' , ..' .   ,; . !	  ,,	,'	,

  these regional disparities.  Will the'agency's environmental equity
  thrust  rely solely on voluntary actions of regional staff or  will
  it be mandated across regions? Environmental equity is too imporant
  an issues to be left for voluntary action within the  EPA.   Equity
  goals must be integrated throughout the agency's programs.

                       ENVIRONMENT CENTER
                                                      February 13,1992
Memo To:   Doretta Mitchum, EPA

From:      Sharon Benjamin, Executive Director, Human Environment Center

RE:        Comments on the draft report on "environmental equity"

      First let me commend EPA on its efforts in beginning the hard work of dealin j
with "environmental equity" issues. As you may know, the Human Environment Cen
(HEC) has been active on these issues for well over 15 years and we know, from
experience, that there no easy answers to these issues.

      EPA's report to the Administrator, Environmental Equity;  Reducing Risk Fo
	          states that "environmental equity is important to the goal of achieving
more just society."  We think that this is the only possible premise and we share this
commitment, as HEC was founded in the belief that "sustained resource conservatio
simply cannot be achieved amid intolerable flagrant social and economic inequities."

      In light of the Center's particular" interests, I would like to comment on a nun ber
of topics related to the report.

Adults, Children and Environmental Equity:

      As the report states, "Environmental equity is important to those who might ttear
disproportionately high risks" Unfortunately, the population that we believe to be n ost
at risk is not even explicitly considered in the report.

      .The report makes no  distinction between adults and children in the area of ri gk.
assessment. Although the report refers to the special needs of children relative to i
risk of lead poisoning, you make no systemic statements regarding the disproportion ite
risks that children bear.  There are at least four good reasons for developing  better
mechanisms for dealing with this:

       *  Children are more sensitive to toxins as they eat, breathe, and drink
       more per unit of person than adults or the "average" person used in EPA's
       current risk models;

       *  Very few federal laws specifically protect children, yet we know that in
       light of the above, children need more protection not less. EPA must
      v remedy this situation;

          By protecting children from undue risk we will be raising the threshold
          • a# exposure rates, thus reducing the risks faced by whole communities,
       arid JH"M"
       * As a moral society we have a responsibffily to protect our children.

 Geographic Breakout:
             r? we were disappointed that the report apparently didn't break inform* tioit
Plf on a geographic basis. While it addressed the problems of inequitable risks cum ntJy
being borne by low-income and minority communities, far too little attention, in the < raft,
was paid to the special needs of urban communities.  In 1972, HEC published Inner 2tv
Cancer Rates, which along with Ben Goldman's recent book, The Truth About Whet i
        • .  i i T  — T — -- --ป •-*ป** ^-*ป ^_ w*v*uAMu 0 J.WWWAII. 1/WW&9 AXit> 4.1UIII fYLAJUi WIIC: 3
        , clearfy demonstrates that urban dwellers bear disproportionate shares of tl e
environmental burden and have fewer resources for dealing with these problems.

      Although Goldman's work has just been released, it should serve to inform E! A's
wqjrking group on many of the issues raised in the report.  One additional considerat an:
          , work fereafcs data out on a county level bv states.  EPA could do a much
be^er job of addressing inequitable environmental problems by using newly develope I
dฃ$* bases which analyze neighborhood composition by race and income level and th iป
allows for more informed decisipns.                                             r
  jit';'1'" • 'i ' "' 'i1 •'      in      - "''• !i ,  1,:,.1'11 ••!  , •'''

      Another area that wasn't touched on in your report (in the Public Communica ion
  _	ป#"-  *J  	           -vซ •*ป ^ *ป*!•• *,*rjH*ซ^Av ^*A* •ปAA*^ A U.h^A4V ^g^V^llllIflVlllVfl  AW*
of Risk Section) is the information EPA collects through the Community-Right-to-Kn  iw
Act ~ the Toxic Release Inventory, This is an incredible wealth of information. Yet,  in
talking with local activists, it is clear that this effort is under-funded at the federal lev  &
It |s faster by eight to nine months to get this information from states. K EPA is sen  ms
about cornmunica|ing risk, you must put more resources into this effort.  Democracy
buSt on the premise that citizens can make informed judgements when given good
im?rmation' E^A must make a bigger commitment  to getting Toxic Release Inventoiy
information into f|e hands of the public.

NASA's Mission To Planet Earth:

      Finally, no mention is made of NASA's Mission to Planet Earth or Landsat, y  it
the information being developed by the program has been used to:

      *     prove that a large pulp and paper company in the United States was
      responsible for the toxic sludge deposited at the bottom of Lake
      Champlaii).  Landsat "photographed" the exact location of the source of the
      sludge, and tracked its movement through the large lake to its point of rest
      on the other side. The company had denied responsibility, asserting that
      no one could prove the company was the source of the pollution.

      *     prove that asbestos-related tailings (tremolite and actinolite)
      released into Lake Superior from an iron recycling facility on the shore
      moved across the lake into the drinking water intake pipes on the lake at
      Duluth, Minnesota.  Landsat imagery & aerial photographs played a vital
      role in confirming the flow of Lake currents, which carried the pollutants
      across the lake.

      *     prove that a plume of pollution drifted hundreds of miles through
      Lake Michigan into  the drinking water supplies of Chicago. The plume
      contained phenols, ammonia and other dangerous substances, requiring
      frequent shut-off of Chicago's water intake valves. As a result, the proper
      steel plant was blamed for creating the plume and forced to correct its
      behavior.  Skylab and aerial photography tracked the heated water in which
      the pollution was carried.

      Cleariy this diagnostic tool will be of great use to EPA staff in identifying
environmental inequities.                       '   -  . •

      We recognize that frameworks and paradigms for allocating scarce environmental
resources must be developed. Risk assessment is one  way of dealing with these diffic
trade-offs.  It is,  however, an imperfect tool at best, and EPA must continue the process
of improving both the science of risk assessment and the process of discussing the val IBS
inherent in implementing any science. As you know, these are life and death issues for

      We look forward to working with you in the future.

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Communities: A Short Guide for Government Risk Communication, New Jersey: New
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Children," NeuroToxicology, 5:3,1984.

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Radon Campaign Evaluated," Radon Bulletin, 1(1):5.

Covello, V.T., and F.W. Allen, 1988. Seven Cardinal Rules of Risk Communication,
EPA, Washington, D.C.

Danforth D.E., 1982. Pica and Nutrition.  Annual Review of Nutrition. 2:303-322.

Department of Commerce (DOC), 1983.  Bureau of the Census. 1980 Census of the
Population, Volume 1: Characteristics of the Population, Chapter A, Part 1, April.

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the United States (1990), 110th Edition, Washington, D.C.

Department of Energy (DOE), 1982. Progress Report, Contract No. DE-AC02-
77EVo4552, NTIS: DE 82014678.

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Department of Health and Human Services, 1991.  Strategic Plan for the Elimination
of Childhood Lead Poisoning.  Centers for Disease' Control, Public Health Service, US
Department of Health and Human Services.  February 1991.

Derr, P., R. Goble, R.E. Kasperson, and R.W. Kates, 1983. "Responding to the
Double Standard  of Worker/Public Protection," Environment, Vol. 25, No. 6.

Doll, R., and R. Peto, 1981.  "The Causes of Cancer. Quantitative Estimates of
Avoidable Risks of Cancer in the United States Today," Journal of the National
Cancer Institute, 66:1193-1308.

Dorfman, R., 1977.  "Incidence of the Benefits and costs of Environmental
Programs," Journal of the American Economic Association.

Doyle, J.K. et al. 1989. An Evaluation of Strategies for Solving the Radon Problem,
preliminary Draft), EPA, Washington, D.C.

       ,1984. Carcinogen Assessment of Coke Oven Emissions, Office of Health and
   Environmental Assessment, EPA-600/6-82-003F, Washington, D.C

   EPA, 1986(a). "A Citizen's Guide to Radon: What It Is and What to Dp about It,"
   Office of Policy Analysis, OPA-86-004, August, Washington, D.C.

   EPA, 1986(b). The Risk Assessment Guidelines of 1986, Office of Health and
   Environmental Assessment, Office of Research and Development, EPA-600/8-
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   EPA, 1987(a)  Baltimore Integrated Environmental Management Project:  Phase I Report,
   Office of Regulatory Integration, Office of Policy Analysis, Office of Policy,
   Planning and Evaluation, Washington, D.C.

   EPA, 1987(b)  Baltimore Integrated Environmental Management Project:  Phase II,
   Underground Storage Tank Study, Office of Regulatory Integration, Office of Policy
   Analysis, Office of Policy, Planning and Evaluation, Washington, D.C.

   EPA,1987(c)  Baltimore Integrated  Environmental Management Project: Phase II,
   Baltimore Harbor, Office of Regulatory Integration, Office of Policy Analysis, Office
   of Policy, Planning and Evaluation, Washington, D.C.

   EPA, 1987(d) Baltimore Integrated Environmental Management Project: Phase II,
   Reducing the Hazards from the Abatement of Lead Paint, Office of Regulatory
   Integration, Office of Policy Analysis, Office of Policy, Planning and Evaluation,
   \Vashingtpn, D.C.

     fA, 1987(e) Baltimore Integrated Environmental Management Project: Phase II,  Indoor
     ; Office of Regulatory Integration, Office of Policy Analysis, Office of Policy,
  Planning and Evaluation, Washington, D.C.

'  EPA, 1987(f) Baltimore Integrated Environmental Management Project: Phase II, Air
  Tjpdcii, (Draft), Office of Regulatory Integration, Office of Policy Analysis, Office of
  Policy, Planning and Evaluation, Washington, D.C.
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   jh'ii.'i V;1 •,, .v .; J3! •;;-;'	v.\':	'.	v:i ,>•••• .•   .':,.;, <  • •  ;,   v^ .,;•; '  - i,p,:   • ••   ••   ,
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  ProbTems, Office of Policy Analysis, Office of Policy, Planning and Evaluation,
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  EPA, 1989(b). Radon Reduction Methods: A Homeowner's Guide, Washington, D.C.

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EPA, 1990(c). Health Effects of Passive Smoking: Assessment of Lung Cancer in Adults
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EPA, 1990(d). Exposure Factoi-s Handbook, EPA/600/8-89/043, Washington, D.C

EPA, 1990(e). EPA's Pesticide Programs, Office of Pesticides and Toxic Substances,
Washington, D.C.                                               .

EPA, 1990(f). Technical Support Document for the 1990 Citizen Guide to Radon, (draft),
Washington, D.C

EPA, 1990(g). The Report of the Human Health Subcommittee Relative Risk Reduction
Project Reducing Risk Appendix B, Science Advisory Board, SAB-EC-90-021B,
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Chemically Contaminated Fish, (external review draft final), Office of Policy, Planning
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Washington, D.C.

EPA, 1991(b). Guidelines for Exposure Assessment, (external review draft), Office of
Health and Environmental Assessment, Office of Research and Development,
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EPA. 1991(c). Air Pollution and.the Public: A Risk  Communication Guide for State and
Local Agencies.  EPA450/3-90/025, Research Triangle Park, N.C.

EPA. 1991(d). "Air Pollution and Heal&t Risk."  EPA450/3-90/022, Research Triangle
Park, N.C

EPA. 1991(e).  "Evaluating Exposures to Toxic Air Pollutants: A Citizen's Guide.", EPA
450/3-90/023, Research Triangle Park, N.C.

EPA. 1991(f). "Risk Assessment for Toxic Air Pollutants: A Citizen's Guide." EPA
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Correlation with Racial and Economic Status of Surrounding Communities.

                                                             Ill  '
   Gianessi, L.P., H.M. Peskin, 1980.  "The Distribution of Federal Water Pollution
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   Gianessi, L.P., H.M. Peskin, and E. Wolff, 1979. "The Distributional Effects of
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 process can lead to frustration and anger on the part of the public.
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                                                *n.S. Government Printing office : 1992 -312-014/40184