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‚ÄčDivision of Planning
Office of Environmental Services
Environmental Policy

People in a metro train stationEnvironmental Justice

1994 Presidential Executive Order directed every Federal agency to make environmental justice part of its mission by identifying and addressing the effects of all programs, policies, and activities on "minority populations and low-income populations." The DOT's environmental justice initiatives accomplish this goal by involving the potentially affected public in developing transportation projects that fit harmoniously within their communities without sacrificing safety or mobility.

Environmental justice and Title VI are not new concerns. Today, because of the evolution of the transportation planning process, they are receiving greater emphasis. Effective transportation decision making depends upon understanding and properly addressing the unique needs of different socioeconomic groups. This is more than a desktop exercise; it requires involving the public. The U.S. DOT is committed to this more comprehensive, inclusive approach. These changes make sure that every transportation project nationwide considers the human environment.


 Frequently Asked Questions


Environmental Justice encompasses a lot of information. The need to consider environmental justice is already embodied in many laws, regulations and policies, such as:

  • Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
  • National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA)
  • Section 109( h) of Title 23
  • The Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act of 1970 (URA), as amended
  • The Transportation Equity Act for the 21 st Century (TEA-21)
  • Other U.S. DOT statutes and regulations

To learn more about Environmental Justice, visit the FAQs page.




 Related Links


Environmental Justice is the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies.