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Is Environmental Justice a New Requirement?

No. The recipients of Federal-aid have been required to certify and the U.S. DOT must ensure nondiscrimination under Title VI of the Civil rights Act of 1964 and many other laws, regulations, and policies.

Who does Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Environmental Justice address?

Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, and national origin. Executive Order 12898 address persons belonging to any of the following groups:

  • Black: a person having origins in any of the black racial groups of Africa.
  • Hispanic: a person of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Central or South American, or other Spanish culture or origin, regardless of race.
  • Asian American: a person having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, the Indian subcontinent, or the Pacific Islands.
  • American Indian and Alaskan Native: person having origins in any of the original people of North America and who maintain cultural identification through tribal affiliation or community recognition.
  • Low-Income: person whose household income (or in the case of a community or a group, whose median household income) is at or below the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services poverty guidelines.

Do Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Environmental Justice apply to all transportation decisions?

Yes. Concern for environmental justice should be integrated into every transportation decision from the first thought about a transportation plan to post-construction operations and maintenance. The U.S. DOT Order applies to all policies, programs, and other activities that are undertaken, funded, or approved by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), or other U.S. DOT components:

  • Policy Decisions.
  • Systems Planning.
  • Metropolitan and Statewide Planning.
  • Project Development and Environmental Review under NEPA.
  • Preliminary Design.
  • Final Design Engineering.
  • Right-of-Way.
  • Construction.
  • Operations and Maintenance.
Last updated: Monday, April 26, 2021