Environmental Justice

What is Environmental Justice?

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

Lack of meaningful access to programs and activities can impact health outcomes, especially in communities facing environmental injustice.


Executive Order 12898, entitled Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority and Low-Income Populations (1994), requires each Federal agency to make achieving environmental justice part of its mission. 

The HHS Environmental Justice Strategy and Implementation Plan and annual reports can be found on the Environmental Justice at HHS web page.

OCR’s Involvement in Environmental Justice

Title VI can be used to help ensure that all people can effectively participate in and benefit from federally funded programs and activities. OCR’s Title VI enforcement program is allied with Executive Order 12898 and the HHS Environmental Justice Strategy and Implementation Plan. 

Learn more about your rights under Title VI

Visit the EPA Environmental Justice Page


Content created by Office for Civil Rights (OCR)
Content last reviewed on December 11, 2015