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                        DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
                     Environmental Justice Strategy
 I.   "INTRODUCTION

      President Clinton signed Executive Order No. 12898, Federal Actions tn
 Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-lncni^
 Populations, on February 11,  1994. 59 Fed. Reg. 7629 (Feb. 16  1994)   The
 Order instructs each Federal agency to "make achieving environmental justice part
 of its mission." Id-   1-101. The Order also sets forth procedural and substantive
 requirements each agency must satisfy by specified dates.  See id.  ; 1-103(b)-(f).

      The Executive Order directs the Department of Justice, as well as all other
 agencies, to develop agency-wide environmental justice strategies as a core part of
 this obligation,  id.  1-103{a)-{g). The Attorney General has determined that the
 Office of the Associate Attorney General shall be responsible for ensuring that the
 Department of Justice meets its obligations to develop and implement an
 environmental justice strategy. The Order requires that the Department of
 Justice's strategy address, "as appropriate, disproportionately high and adverse
 human health or environmental effects of its programs, policies, and activities" on
 minority and low-income communities, id.  1-101, by promoting the equal
 enforcement of civil rights, health, and environmental statutes; by ensuring greater
 public participation in decisions affecting human health and the environment- by
 improving research and data collection involving human health and the
environment; and, by identifying differential patterns of consumption of natural
resources, id-  1-103(a)(1)-(4).
      This environmental justice strategy is submitted in fulfillment o1
Executive Order's directive.
the

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II.
 THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE'S STRATEGY AT A at
      A.   LAW ENFORCEMENT

           The Department of Justice will:

           1 -    Develop an enforcement strategy to help ensure that all
                 communities and persons across this nation live in a safe and
                 healthful environment and that law enforcement responds as
                 fully as possible to the real risks to human health and the
                 environment that they face. This "effort will be carried out in
                 conjunction with client agencies and will involve the filing of
                 environmental, civil rights, and criminal cases by the
                 Environment and Natural Resources, the Civil Rights, and the
                 Civil Divisions, and the United  States Attorneys' Offices.
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           2.    Promote the use of Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act by
                 continuing to review agency oversight of compliance and to
                 cooperate with the Environmental Protection Agency's Office of
                 Civil Rights in efforts to expedite investigations arid
                 enforcement of civil rights claims.

           MEDIATION, ADVICE, COUNSEL,  AND OUTREACH

           The Department of Justice will:
B.
           1.
          2.
            Mediate disputes related to environmental justice matters
            through the Community Relations Service.  Where appropriate,
            the Department's litigating components and the United States'
            Attorneys' Offices will develop mediated  resolutions to
            environmental disputes.
           Advise client agencies of their obligations in light of the
           Executive Order.                               i
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                           .
           Counsel and assist state and local governments to coordinate
           their actions with those of the Federal government to further
           the goals of the Executive Order.                ;

           Work with communities so that enforcement actions and other
           programs, activities, and policies respond as directly as possible
           to actual environmental risks and concerns.       '

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       C.    EDUCATION AND TRAINING                       i
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            The Department will continue to provide Department-wide education
            and training on environmental justice issues, and has:

            1.    Drafted  Attorney General Guidance on environmental justice.

            2.    Begun to produce an instructional environmental justice video.

            3.    Provided Department-wide briefings.           j
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 Hl-   SPECIFIC  COMPONENTS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE PLAN

      A.    OPERATING STRUCTURE

            The Department of Justice has established an Environmental Justice
            Working Group comprised of attorneys and professional staff drawn
            from throughout the Department and coordinated by a Director of
            Environmental Justice in the Office of the Associate Attorney
            General.1 The  Director coordinates issues which arise in the ongoing
            work of Justice components responsible for cases that raise
            environmental justice issues. This coordination allows the Department
            to ensure consistency in policy, maximize limited resources, and better
            use  expertise and experience.                       i

            Responsibility for virtually all substantive work remains in the
            Divisions, and Working Group members continue to answer to their
            Divisions. The Working Group members meet periodically to discuss
            environmental justice issues, including those which may involve more
            than one component.                               |

            In addition, the Working Group  receives input from line attorneys
            within the Department's components. For example, the Environment
            and  Natural  Resources Division  has organized a group of attorneys
            who meet regularly to discuss environmental justice issues.  Similar
      1 The EJ Working Group consists of attorneys and other personnel from the
Offices of the Deputy Attorney General and Associate Attorney General; the Civil
Rights, Environment and Natural Resources, and Civil Divisions; the Offices of the
United States Attorneys; the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Federal Bureau of
Prisons; and the Community Relations Service.

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             groups have been established in the Civil and Civil Rights Divisions
             and through the Executive Office of United States Attorneys. These
             component-based groups provide comments from line attorneys
             experienced in the day-to-day litigation of environmental claims which
             are transmitted to the Working Group through each component's
             representatives.                                    ]
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             In addition to staff, the environmental justice coordination in the
             Department includes a Senior Advisory Council consisting of
             component heads or their designees who have staff members on the
             Working Group.2  The purpose of the Council is to advise the Director
             and to recommend Department policy and Department-wide initiatives
             on environmental justice to the Attorney General, the Deputy Attorney
             General, and the Associate Attorney General.         ,
                                         
       B.     PROGRAMMATIC COMPONENTS                    |
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             1.    Guidance
                  The Department has issued Department of Justice Guidance
                  Concerning Environments/Justice for Department personnel,
                  which  includes  provisions for identifying, tracking, and
                  addressing  environmental justice matters.

            2.    Investigations
                  In addition, the  Department will work with  the Environmental
                  Protection Agency and in conjunction with  United States
                  Attorneys to develop a list of environmental justice enforcement
                  priorities and an enforcement strategy for addressing these
                  priorities.                                     ,
            3.    Referral Guidance
                  The Department will draft referral guidelines to a;
                  agencies in referring environmental justice cases.

            4-    Assess Cases and Available Legal Resources
sist client
       The components represented on the Senior Advisory Council are the
Environment and Natural Resources, Civil  Rights, and Civil Divisions; the Federal
Bureau of Investigation; the Bureau of Prisons; the Executive Office of United
States Attorneys through the Environmental Subcommittee of the Attorney
General's Advisory Council; and the Community Relations Service. The Deputy
Attorney General and the Associate Attorney General may choose to be members
of the Senior Advisory Council.

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                   The Department has been performing a review of cases,
                   programs, and policies that may raise environmental justice
                   issues. In addition, the Department is assessing the law
                   applicable in cases that raise environmental justice concerns,
                   including environmental, criminal, and civil rights statutes and
                   constitutional  provisions.  This review will be ongoing.

             5.    Litigation Activities                           .!
                   The Department of Justice can assist in achieving
                   environmental justice as it brings and defends cases that raise
                   environmental justice matters.                  i
                    :                             *               !
                                                   
                   The Department's  litigating components and United States
                   Attorneys' Offices are currently conducting investigations with
                   other agencies that may result in cases raising environmental
                   justice issues.
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                   The Department will consider intervening in pending litigation or
                   filing amicus curiae briefs to serve the interests of client
                   agencies and the purposes of the Executive Order.
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                   Where  environmental justice questions arise in cases that the
                   Department is  defending, attorneys will consult their
                   environmental justice coordinators3 who will be responsible for
                   coordinating with other Divisions on appropriate action.

                   The Department will use the Community Relations Service to
                   act as a liaison between government, regulated industry,
                   community groups, and other  affected interests, and to provide
                   mediation and alternative dispute resolution services, where
                   appropriate, to  further the goals of the Executive Order.

            6.     Federal Bureau  of Investigation ("FBI")           I
                   The  FBI is committed to developing high-quality investigations
                   of environmental crimes without regard to the socio-economic
                   status of the victims or perpetrators.  Because the Bureau's
                   resources are limited, the FBI will continue to develop
                   Environmental Crimes Task Forces which  combine the
        Divisions, Bureaus, and Offices have appointed environmental justice
coordinators who are responsible for coordinating environmental justice litigation
activities within their respective components.  Assistant Attorneys General have
appointed additional coordinators within each section as deemed appropriate

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       investigative resources of federal, state, and municipal
       governments and target the most significant threats to our
       nation's health and natural resources, which are:

       a-     Knowing Endangerment                  J
             Any individual or business that knowingly handles
             hazardous waste and pollutants in ways that put the
             health of their workers and/or neighbors at unreasonable
             risk is the FBI's highest priority.           \
                                                    |
       b.     Repeat Offenders        ^               ,
          ,   Subjects who have a pattern of flagrant violations
             suggesting that they have made an economic decision
             that it is cheaper to pay the civil fines associated with
             violations of the law rather than make the Smprovements
             necessary to  conform to the law will be targeted for
             criminal investigation.                    i

      c.     Federal Facilities/Public Lands
             Investigations involving government agencies or
            environmental crimes occurring on government facilities
            or public lands are  uniquely federal in  nature and also will
            be a priority.                             i

      d.    Organized Crime
            Organized crime elements have exerted control over the
            waste hauling and treatment industries in several areas of
            the country. Any criminal activity  involving organized
            crime continues to  be  an FBI priority.
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      e.    Catastrophic Events
            Avoidable environmental incidents that have a
            devastating impact on an entire community also receive
            FBI attention.                            ,
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7.    Education                                     ;
      The Department will provide general training and education
      about what environmental justice means, the contexts in which
      environmental justice problems may arise,  and the ways in
      which recognition of potential environmental justice matters
      may affect the work of Justice Department employees and
      clients.                                       ;

      In particular, the Department will:                |

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                                                    I
       a.     Continue to distribute the Department's Guidance and the
             Executive Order to all relevant Department personnel;

       b.     Use an instructional video produced for Department line
             attorneys and relevant units in the Bureau of Prisons and
             the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  The video and the
             Department Guidance provide an overview of the scope
             of environmental justice and detailed procedures for
             identifying and reporting such issues;
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       c.     Continue to encourage employees in the Civil Rights
            .Division, the Environmentand Natural Resources
             Division, and Federal agencies that have responsibilities
             for environmental matters, such as the Environmental
             Protection Agency and the Department of Agriculture, to
             continue to consult with one another regarding
             environmental justice;

       d.     Educate environmental attorneys about criminal, civil, and
             civil rights laws and educate civil, criminal, and civil
             rights attorneys about environmental laws to the extent
             necessary for them to identify and effectively address
            environmental justice problems;           I

       e.     Continue to promote the use of an environimental justice
            e-mail "hotline" which will enable line attorneys and other
            Department staff to seek information and guidance on
            environmental justice issues;
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      f.     Plan joint education and training  actions, wtiere
            appropriate, with state  legal offices;       j

      g.    Work with the Legal Education Institute and the
            Environmental Protection Agency to develop a Continuing
            Legal Education course on environmental justice; and

      h.    Incorporate environmental justice into training programs
            for Honors Graduate attorneys.
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8.    Data Assessment
      The Department will establish a central repository for
      assessment and docketing of cases raising environmental
      justice matters. In  addition, the Department will investigate the

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       possibility of using publicly available computerized information
       systems.                                     i

 9-     Counsel and Advice                      .     |
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       a.     Within the Federal Government           j
             Department of Justice attorneys will continue to counsel
             agencies, in conjunction with the agencies' general
             counsels' offices,  on environmental justice concerns that
             may arise in the development and implementation of
             programs and policies.
                                      <              i     .
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             In particular, the Department will  coordinate with other
             agencies in evaluating agency enforcement of Title VI
             within their own statutory and regulatory frameworks.
            For example, the Department has detailed a senior Civil
            Rights Division attorney experienced in Title VI law to the
            EPA's Office of Civil Rights to work with EPA attorneys
            on developing Title VI enforcement cases in the
            environmental justice content.

      b.    Outside the Federal Government          j
            The Department will assist state and local governments
            and federally recognized tribes in their efforts to achieve
            environmental justice. The Community Relations Service,
            in appropriate situations, will help facilitate a working
            relationship between parties involved in environmental
            justice issues,  including regulated  industry, tribal, state,
            and local decisionmakers, and minority or low-income
            communities.
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10.   Conference on Environmental Justice            j
      The Department of Justice will co-sponsor an environmental
      justice conference in  late April or May, 1995, for federal
      employees working on civil rights and environmental  issues
      relating to environmental justice.                 |

11.   Promote Participation                           j
      Each relevant component of the Department  will consider ways
      to promote participation by all segments of the community, in
      decisionmaking processes that affect health and the
      environment. Approaches for promoting participation include
      developing an environmental justice internship fon law students
      or college students, and publishing this Department strategy

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       document in Spanish.  The Department will ensure that such
       efforts serve important and permissible governmental goals,
       consistent with applicable legal standards.      i
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 12.   Outreach
       On May 19, 1994, Department representatives met with
       approximately forty individuals with grassroots, business, legal,
       economic, and  scientific interests in environmental justice. The
       group discussed the range of opportunities available to the
       Department for achieving compliance with the  President's
       Executive Order.  In addition, on^February 8, 1995,
       Department representatives met'with representatives from the
       Business Network for Environmental Justice to discuss the
       members' views and questions on environmental ijustice.

       The Department will continue to work with the EPA and the
       White House to inform  Congress about the details  of the
       Executive Order and the actions of the Department of Justice to
       comply with it.
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       The Department recognizes that communications between the
       Federal government and communities must be simple and
      direct. The Department will design its communication efforts
      with the goal of maximizing community understanding of, and
      participation in, environmental justice matters.

      The Department will work with EPA to develop a pilot program
      to promote communication between communities and federal
      officials about lawsuits  filed in those communities.

13.   Federal Bureau of Prisons                      [
      The Bureau is working to ensure that its activities; are
      consistent with  the President's mandate.  For example, the
      Bureau has revised its siting procedures to include consideration
      of environmental justice in its  environmental impact statements
      under NEPA.                                  i

14.   The Community Relations Service               '
      The Community Relations Service has designated environmental
      justice contacts in each of its  Regions and has directed those
      coordinators to work with EPA and other federal agencies on
      environmental justice  matters  when appropriate, f
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15.   Office of Legal Counsel                         i

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      The Office of Legal Counsel will provide legal advice, as
      requested, to ensure that the Department's environmental
      justice actions are undertaken in a manner consistent with
      constitutional and statutory provisions. The Office of Legal
      Counsel also will provide drafting assistance to the Department
      should the Department seek additional legislative authorization
      to support its efforts to enhance environmental justice.
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16.   Monitor Legislation
      The Department will continue to monitor proposed legislation
      for environmental justice implications.           j
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