Title VI and Environmental Justice in the transportation planning process stem from Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act (42 U.S.C. 2000d-1), the President's Executive Order on Environmental Justice, the related US DOT Order, and the FHWA Order. Title VI states that "No person in the United States shall, on the ground of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance." Title VI bars intentional discrimination as well as disparate impact discrimination (i.e., a neutral policy or practice that has a disparate impact on protected groups).
There are three fundamental environmental justice principles:
- To avoid, minimize, or mitigate disproportionately high and adverse human health and environmental effects, including social and economic effects, on minority populations and low-income populations.
- To ensure the full and fair participation by all potentially affected communities in the transportation decision-making process.
- To prevent the denial of, reduction in, or significant delay in the receipt of benefits by minority and low-income populations.
The benefits of environmental justice to transportation decision making are:
- Better transportation decisions that meet the needs of all people.
- Transportation facilities that fit more harmoniously into communities.
- Enhancements to the public-involvement process, strengthen community-based partnerships, and provide minority and low-income populations with opportunities to learn about and improve the quality and usefulness of transportation in their lives.
- Improved data collection, monitoring, and analysis tools that assess the needs of, and analyze the potential impacts on minority and low-income populations.
- Partnering with other public and private programs to leverage transportation-agency resources to achieve a common vision for communities.
- Avoid disproportionately high and adverse impacts on minority and low-income populations.
- Minimize and/ or mitigate unavoidable impacts by identifying concerns early in the planning phase and providing offsetting initiatives and enhancement measures to benefit affected communities and neighborhoods.
Federal Highway Administration link to Title VI/Environmental Justice: https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/environmental_justice/ej_at_dot/
Federal Transit Administration link to Title VI/Environmental Justice: http://www.fta.dot.gov/12347_2238.html
CVADD Title VI and Environmental Justice Related Documents