Memorandum for the Heads of All Departments and Agencies
Subject: Executive Order on Federal Actions To Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations
Today I have issued an Executive order on Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations. That order is designed to focus Federal attention on the environmental and human health conditions in minority communities and low-income communities with the goal of achieving environmental justice. That order is also intended to promote nondiscrimination in Federal programs substantially affecting human health and the environment, and to provide minority communities and low-income communities access to public information on, and an opportunity for public participation in, matters relating to human health or the environment.
The purpose of this separate memorandum is to underscore certain provision of existing law that can help ensure that all communities and persons across this Nation live in a safe and healthful environment. Environmental and civil rights statutes provide many opportunities to address environmental hazards in minority communities and low-income communities. Application of these existing statutory provisions is an important part of this Administration's efforts to prevent those minority communities and low-income communities from being subject to disproportionately high and adverse environmental effects.
I am therefore today directing that all department and agency heads take appropriate and necessary steps to ensure that the following specific directives are implemented immediately:
In accordance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, each Federal agency shall ensure that all programs or activities receiving Federal financial assistance that affect human health or the environment do not directly, or through contractual or other arrangements, use criteria, methods, or practices that discriminate on the basis of race, color, or national origin.
Each Federal agency shall analyze the environmental effects, including human health, economic and social effects, of Federal actions, including effects on minority communities and low-income communities, when such analysis is required by the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), 42 U.S.C. section 4321 et seq. Mitigation measures outlined or analyzed in an environmental assessment, environmental impact statement, or record of decision, whenever feasible, should address significant and adverse environmental effects of proposed Federal actions on minority communities and low-income communities.
Each Federal agency shall provide opportunities for community input in the NEPA process, including identifying potential effects and mitigation measures in consultation with affected communities and improving the accessibility of meetings, crucial documents, and notices.
The Environmental Protection Agency, when reviewing environmental effects of proposed action of other Federal agencies under section 309 of the Clean Air Act, 42 U.S.C. section 7609, shall ensure that the involved agency has fully analyzed environmental effects on minority communities and low-income communities, including human health, social, and economic effects.
Each Federal agency shall ensure that the public, including minority communities and low-income communities, has adequate access to public information relating to human health or environmental planning, regulations, and enforcement when required under the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. section 552, the Sunshine Act, 5 U.S.C. section 552b, and the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act, 42 U.S.C. section 11044.
This memorandum is intended only to improve the internal management of the Executive Branch and is not intended to nor does it create, any right, benefit, or trust responsibility, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or equity by a party against the United States, its agencies, its officers, or any person.
WILLIAM J. CLINTON