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Making Regulations Fair

How Cost-Benefit Analysis Can Promote Equity and Advance Environmental Justice

To achieve ambitious environmental justice goals such as those set by the Biden administration, agencies will need a toolkit for assessing and weighing the distributional effects of policy options. Focusing on environmental justice, this report outlines procedures and methodologies that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) could apply to account for equity in the regulatory review process. The report recommends that OMB: instruct agencies to conduct more granular analysis of impacts; provide guidance on how to conduct such assessments; direct agencies on how to incorporate the results of such analysis into decisionmaking; and facilitate a whole-of-government pursuit of equity to transcend individual agencies' narrow mandates and cumulatively assess the distributional effects of policies enacted by many agencies.