From the Document: "Some Members of Congress and the Biden Administration are exploring how to use the environmental review process under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) to ensure that environmental laws and policies fairly treat and reflect input from all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income. This principle is commonly referred to as 'environmental justice.' Congress enacted NEPA in 1969 to require federal agencies to assess the environmental effects of proposed federal actions prior to making decisions. Currently, NEPA does not require agencies to consider environmental justice, but some agencies do consider it as part of their NEPA processes as a result of Executive Order 12898 [hyperlink], issued in 1994. In its review [hyperlink] of NEPA regulations, the Biden Administration plans to consider how to incorporate environmental justice analyses into the NEPA process. Some Members of Congress have also shown an interest in this topic by holding hearings [hyperlink] or proposing legislation requiring consideration [hyperlink] of environmental justice during agency NEPA process. This Sidebar describes (1) how environmental justice is considered during the NEPA process; (2) how the federal courts have reviewed agency evaluations of the environmental justice effects of proposed projects in their NEPA processes; and (3) considerations for Congress."
CRS Legal Sidebar, LSB10590
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/