Role of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Environmental Justice [Updated January 21, 2021] [open pdf - 479KB]
From the Document: "The role of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in environmental justice is rooted in Executive Order (E.O.) 12898, 'Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations', signed by President Bill Clinton on February 11, 1994. E.O. 12898 directs each executive department, EPA, and certain other agencies to 'make achieving environmental justice part of its mission.' The consideration of environmental justice across federal programs and activities is not mandated in statute. E.O. 12898 more generally directs executive departments and agencies to integrate environmental justice into their respective missions to 'the greatest extent practicable and permitted by law.' Some departments and agencies have incorporated the consideration of environmental justice into their respective regulations to carry out E.O. 12898. E.O. 12898 itself does not establish federal law but is a presidential directive for the management of executive departments and agencies that instructs the implementation of existing law. [...] E.O. 12898 directed the establishment of the Federal Interagency Working Group on Environmental Justice (EJ IWG) to facilitate collaboration among federal departments and agencies. Chaired by EPA, the EJ IWG has established several standing committees and may create others as needed to carry out various aspects of E.O. 12898."
CRS In Focus, IF10529
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/