February 11th, 2014 marks the 20th Anniversary of the signing of Executive Order 12898 (6 pp, 140K, About PDF), “Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations.”
In recognition of this milestone, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy has declared the month of February”Environmental Justice Month” for all EPA employees and staff. During this month, we will kick off activities throughout 2014 to celebrate the successes of many collaborative efforts across the country.
We will highlight successful projects and events, and we will launch our new environmental justice training for EPA employees. We will also publish our 2014 Progress Report on Plan EJ 2014 in February.
This Executive Order directs federal agencies to make environmental justice part of their missions by identifying and addressing disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects of their programs, policies, and activities on minority, low-income populations. The Order is intended to promote nondiscrimination in federal programs substantially affecting human health and the environment. The Order also provides minority and low-income communities access to public information and an opportunity to participate in matters relating to human health or the environment. The Presidential Memorandum accompanying the Order underscores certain provisions of existing law that can help ensure that all communities and people across this nation live in a safe and healthy environment.