The Office of Environmental Justice (OEJ) released the annual Environmental Justice Progress Report for FY2017.
The report commemorates the 25th anniversary of OEJ and highlights the Agency’s progress towards advancing environmental justice. An overarching focus of the report is demonstrating tangible results in minority, low-income, tribal and indigenous communities. View the Executive Summary here.
The report details the measures EPA developed for addressing national environmental justice (EJ) challenges, as well as national results for enforcement actions and the environmental benefits of such actions in areas with potential EJ concerns. In FY2017, the percentage of low-income people living in areas meeting the PM2.5 National Ambient Air Quality Standards increased from 43% during the baseline period of 2006-2008 to 92% in 2014-2016. Also, in FY2017, 35% of the 217 million pounds of pollutants estimated to be reduced, treated or eliminated from EPA enforcement actions were in areas with potential EJ concerns.
The report describes collaborations with federal, state, tribal and local government entities to address the needs of vulnerable communities. It highlights practices that can be used to engage more effectively to address disproportionate environmental impacts, health disparities, and economic distress in communities with EJ concerns. The report also highlights the various ways EPA supports and empowers vulnerable communities through grants, trainings, technical support and the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council.
These results are but a few of the many accomplishments highlighted in this year’s progress report. Many of the examples required decades of effort, and are a testament to the long-standing commitment, innovation and hard work of the EPA staff who do this work on a day-to-day basis.
To read a full copy of EPA’s FY2017 Environmental Justice Progress Report, click here.