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U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Office of Inspector General
At a Glance
September 18, 2006
Why We Did This Review
We conducted this review to
determine whether the U.S.
Environmental Protection
Agency's (EPA's) program and
regional offices performed
environmental justice reviews of
their programs, policies, and
activities as required by
Executive Order 12898, and
whether they needed additional
Environmental justice reviews
seek to identify and address
disproportionately high and
adverse human health or
environmental effects on minority
and low-income populations.
The 1994 Executive Order 12898,
Federal Action to Address
Environmental Justice in
Minority Popidations and Low-
Income Populations, directs
agencies to make environmental
justice part of their mission by
reviewing the effects of their
programs on minority and low-
income populations.
For further information,
contact our Office of
Congressional and Public
Liaison at (202) 566-2391.
To view the full report, click on
the following link:
Catalyst for Improving the Environment
EPA Needs to Conduct Environmental Justice
Reviews of Its Programs, Policies, and Activities
What We Found
Our survey results showed that EPA senior management has not sufficiently
directed program and regional offices to conduct environment justice reviews
in accordance with Executive Order 12898. Consequently, the majority of
respondents reported their programs or offices have not performed
environmental justice reviews. Though some offices may not be subject to an
environmental justice review, the respondents expressed a need for further
guidance to conduct reviews, including protocols, a framework, or additional
directions. Until these program and regional offices perform environmental
justice reviews, the Agency cannot determine whether its programs cause
disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects on
minority and low-income populations.
What We Recommend
We recommended that the Deputy Administrator:
(1)	Require the Agency's program and regional offices to identify which
programs, policies, and activities need environmental justice reviews and
require these offices to establish a plan to complete the necessary reviews.
(2)	Ensure that environmental justice reviews determine whether the
programs, policies, and activities may have a disproportionately high and
adverse health or environmental impact on minority and low-income
(3)	Require each program and regional office to develop, with the assistance
of the Office of Environmental Justice, specific environmental justice
review guidance, which includes protocols, a framework, or directions for
conducting environmental justice reviews.
(4)	Designate a responsible office to (a) compile the results of environmental
justice reviews, and (b) recommend appropriate actions to review findings
and make recommendations to the decisionmaking office's senior
The Agency accepted our recommendations.