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  • How Can Community Campaigns Leverage Regulatory Comments & Complaints?

    Carefully orchestrated comment and complaint campaigns can be a powerful, low-risk tool at communities’ disposal, and the organizers and lawyers convened by the Critical Legal Empowerment conference provide important insight into how to get the most out of them.

  • Two Steps Toward Clean Transit Equity

    As the Federal Transit Administration and its partners roll out electric transit across the country, the agency should ensure that its Title VI guidelines for funding recipients explicitly require nondiscrimination in the distribution and routing of such clean vehicles. FTA should also implement the appropriate reporting requirements to effectively monitor the distribution of electric vehicles and their air quality benefits. These recommendations are discussed in more detail in our comments to the agency.

  • What the Nuclear Regulatory Commission Can Do to Address Environmental Justice

    Policy Integrity’s comments make two categories of recommendations: (1) improving public participation, and (2) improving analysis.

  • How EPA Can Take a Step Forward on Environmental Justice

    But what would serious distributional analysis look like? As we explained in our recent comments on EPA’s Draft Strategic Plan for 2022–2026, serious distributional analysis requires that an agency consider the distributional consequences of multiple regulatory alternatives.

  • Agencies Seek Early Mitigation For Disparate Impacts In NEPA Reviews

    In a report issued late last month, the Institute for Policy Integrity (IPI) at New York University urged agencies to prioritize equity consideration across federal regulations. The Sept. 30 report, “Making Regulations Fair: How Cost-Benefit Analysis Can Promote Equity and Advance [EJ],” recommends rigorous guidance on assessing and weighing the distributional impacts of regulations. “This insufficient analysis is an enormous obstacle in the effort to make policies, environmental and otherwise, fair for all communities,” IPI says in a release on the report.

  • In First, EPA Asks State To Weigh New Plant Site To Avoid Disparate Impacts

    EPA is urging Michigan regulators to consider asking an asphalt company to move its planned facility to a different location rather than building it in an already-overburdened community, a first-time request in an air permit review that underscores agency efforts to address civil rights and other environmental justice (EJ) concerns. Max Sarinsky of the Institute for Policy Integrity at New York University praises EPA for “wisely recommend[ing] consideration of alternatives that would avoid causing disparate impacts on environmental justice communities.”

  • Environmentalists Urge OMB to Use Civil Rights Enforcement in EJ Strategy

    The Institute for Policy Integrity, a regulatory think tank based at New York University, says in July 6 comments that OMB should “detail sustainable methodologies and procedures that agencies can implement,” and identifies four principles to guide such action.

  • Building Power in the Environmental Movement

    The environmental law field has been slow to diversify and there is widespread agreement that diversity is critical to providing high quality work that has a deep and lasting impact. So this winter and spring, in partnership with Green 2.0 and the New York City Bar’s Environmental Law Committee, we set about to explore the best strategies for proactively addressing the disparity.

  • The Father of Environmental Justice Isn’t Done Yet

    In 1994, environmental justice advocates finally won a victory at the federal level. 27 years later, Executive Order 12898 has fallen short. Because federal agencies have leeway in how they implement executive orders, it is virtually unenforceable. A report from New York University’s Institute for Policy Integrity concluded that federal agencies have either outright ignored Clinton’s environmental justice order or failed to recognize whom it is intended to protect.

  • The Citizen Regulators Taking on Big Polluters When the EPA Won’t

    Environmental attorneys and activists around the country are increasingly holding industry and regulators accountable when environmental agencies fail to protect residents, becoming, in effect, “citizen regulators.” Regulatory apparatuses suffer “longstanding problems” like underfunding, understaffing and under-enforcement, said Richard Revesz, an environmental law professor and dean emeritus at New York University School of Law. But since 2016, the overall problem grew to be much more acute “when combined with the shocking disregard for environmental enforcement that we saw during the Trump administration.”