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Environmental Justice

Recent Developments

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Listed below are recent developments pertinent to environmental justice from the past six months.  If you would like to suggest a recent development on this topic, please submit a short description to AASHTO (including any pertinent links) on the Share Info with AASHTO form.

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Webinar Recording: Meaningful Community Engagement

A recording of AASHTO's Environmental Justice Community of Practice (CoP) Nov. 17 webinar, Meaningful Community Engagement. The webinar discussed examples of resources, case studies, and successful processes used to increase the quantity and quality of community engagement from DOTs, MPOs, and FHWA. To access the recording and more information on the CoP, link here. (11-28-17)

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AASHTO CoP Hosts Call to Recap EJ Sessions at AMPO Meeting

AASHTO's Environmental Justice Community of Practice (CoP) held conference call on Oct. 31 to provide a recap and follow up to the Environmental Justice sessions at the Association of Metropolitan Planning Organizations’ annual meeting. Speakers provided an overview of their presentations, summarized the tabletop discussions with MPO’s, and discussed key takeaways for the CoP. For more information, link to the summary and to the CoP web page here. (10-17-17)

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Environmental Justice Community of Practice Webinar Now Available

The Center for Environmental Excellence by AASHTO, in partnership with the National Conference of State Legislators, has launched a series of six webinars on environmental justice in transportation. The first webinar, held Sept. 14, included a federal oversight summary, review of the Center’s past EJ work, as well as a discussion on EJ analysis, especially in the planning phase. DOTs and MPOs shared their view of good EJ analysis, as well as lessons learned and best practices. The webinar recording and presentations may be accessed here. (9-22-17)

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EPA Updates EJSCREEN Tool with New Features

The Environmental Protection Agency has updated its EJSCREEN tool with new features and functionality. The tool helps users identify areas that may have higher environmental burdens and vulnerable populations. The latest version includes a revised water indicator to screen for potential surface water pollution, ability to look at municipalities as identified areas, and new map layers including schools, public housing, and prisons. The new features were described in a series of webinars in August and September 2017. For more information, link to the EJSCREEN website and to the Sept. 7 webinar presentation. (9-7-17)

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Online Training Available Regarding Environmental Justice in Transportation

The integration of environmental justice principles in all levels of transportation decision making is available from the Federal Highway Administration and the National Highway Institute. The training is intended for transportation professionals in state departments of transportation, metropolitan planning organizations, local agencies, and consulting firms. Participants will learn to describe environmental justice (EJ) as it relates to transportation, the principles and benefits related to EJ, the importance of public involvement in the transportation decision making process, and EJ considerations in all phases of transportation including planning, environmental review, design, right-of-way, construction, and operations and maintenance. To register for the four-hour course, which is available online and on demand from the National Highway Institute, link here. (8-9-17)

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TransForm Reports Address Equity in Mobility Options

TransForm has released two reports to provide solutions for making mobility equitable and accessible for all. The first report, A Framework for Equity in New Mobility, addresses the impacts of bike share, car share and ride-hailing services on low-income communities. The report finds that public transportation must be at the center of any such system to increase accessibility. The second report, OakMob 101: A Case Study in Expanding Access to Shared Mobility, highlights the development of Oakland Mobility 101 to understand resident perceptions of bike and car share programs in Oakland, Calif. The initiative has helped the city to respond to community needs and increase transportation options for those who lack access to bike share and care share options. For more information, link to the framework and OakMob 101 reports. (7-11-17)

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AASHTO CEE Requests Proposals for Environmental Justice Community of Practice

The Center for Environmental Excellence by AASHTO is requesting proposals for consultant support for its Environmental Justice Community of Practice. The Environmental Justice CoP will focus on a range of topics across disciplines including planning, design, construction, maintenance, and operation of highway and transit systems. It is expected that deliverables under this task will include products such as webinars, conference calls, case studies or white papers. The members of the CoP, in collaboration with the Center for Environmental Excellence Technical Working Group, will identify the deliverables to be completed within the project timeframe and budget constraints. Proposals are due on June 1, 2017, by 4 P.M. EDT. For more information, link to the RFP. (5-19-17)

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USDOT Symposium to Address Transportation, Civil Rights

The U.S. Department of Transportation is conducting a symposium to facilitate discussion around the transportation civil rights community. The symposium will include a series of web conference sessions to address development and implementation of Title VI best practices; provide tools for participants to effectively communicate and engage with diverse limited-English-proficient communities; and discussion of technological changes that are reshaping how transportation is provided. The sessions will also include discussion of regulatory requirements concerning service animals in air travel and the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program. The symposium is scheduled for May 17-18, 2017. Link here to register. For more information, link to the announcement. (4-27-17)

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Q and A Guidance on Title VI Complaints Updated by FHWA

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has updated question-and-answer guidance concerning handling of alleged violations of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act. The document addresses complaint-filing procedures, complaint processing and potential outcomes. The document also addresses investigation timeframes and how agencies gather information. FHWA regulations direct state departments of transportation to develop procedures for processing Title VI complaints filed with state DOTs against their federal-aid highway subrecipients. For more information link to the document. (3-27-17)

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FHWA Webinar to Discuss Use of EJ, Context Sensitive Solutions to Enhance Livability

The use of context sensitive solutions (CSS) and environmental justice (EJ) to enhance livability will be addressed in an April 12 webinar sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration. The webinar will include discussion of strategies such as stakeholder engagement, identification of adverse impacts and implementation of CSS to improve livability in disadvantaged communities. The webinar also will include discussion of how CSS and EJ principles can be incorporated into the transportation decisionmaking process. For more information, link to the registration page. (3-27-17)

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Featured Case Study

  • Case Study Photo

    Pennsylvania DOT has developed its Every Voice Counts planning-level environmental justice guidance as well as separate project-level guidance.

    Read Case Study >Photo: Pennsylvania DOT

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New - items posted in the last 7 days

AASHTO (American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials)
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