Environmental Justice Guidelines
WHY:
It adheres to the Department’s philosophy regarding Context Sensitive Design (CSD) and
it’s a condition of federal funding. The Environmental Justice Guideline (EJG) should be
followed for all DPPD planning and scoping projects. Project planning and development
are probably the two most important phase of the project pipeline process that can
contribute to whether a transportation project successfully achieves environmental justice.
These are the phase where the project purpose and need is identified and the transportation
solutions are proposed. At the earliest stages of project planning and development we
should be inquiring whether the project purpose and need have adequately taken into
account community needs as we would with all the engineering needs (i.e. capacity, safety,
corridor, etc.). There should be a clear connection between the identified needs of the
community and proposed solutions.
Project feasibility studies can provide a critical early opportunity to identify potential
environmental justice issues associated with proposed transportation project. The
feasibility study is an appropriate time to identify whether the project would be located in
or near low-income and minority communities, whether it would be likely to impose
adverse environmental effects or really meet their needs. While this process may present
some challenges to explain a project conceptually to EJ communities, such early
involvement is a vital element of building trust with said communities. During this
process DPPD staff can begin to consider early EJ community feedback as an important
measure of whether project alternatives are feasible.
HOW
Early identification of EJ communities (e.g. GIS mapping,) and ensure that Civil
Rights and Community Relations representatives are assisting in the process.
Ensure that Civil Rights and Community Relations are providing assistance in
identifying EJ community leaders and holding preliminary public outreach efforts.
Include EJ community representatives as members of the decision making process
(Community Advisory Committee) and use EJ considerations to develop and
assess project alternatives.
Identify disproportionately high and adverse impacts as well as prior transportation
adverse impacts in the environmental document. A separate EJ analysis should be
identified in all FA’s, CE’s, EA’s and EIS’s. Alternatives should include
mitigation measures that avoid, minimize adverse impacts or provide some
benefits to the EJ community.
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Environmental Justice Guidelines