Environmental Justice

WHAT IS ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE?

AAs defined by EPA, Environmental Justice is the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies.

WHAT IS MEANT BY FAIR TREATMENT AND MEANINGFUL INVOLVEMENT?

Fair treatment means that no group of people should bear a disproportionate share of the negative environmental consequences resulting from industrial, governmental and commercial operations or policies

Meaningful Involvement means that:

people have an opportunity to participate in decisions about activities that may affect their environment and/or health;

the public’s contribution can influence the regulatory agency’s decision;

their concerns will be considered in the decision making process; and

the decision makers seek out and facilitate the involvement of those potentially affected


NEWS




EPA Launches New Guide for Long-Term Stormwater Planning, Names Five Pilot Communities
Tricia Lynn October 27, 2016

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced a package of tools to help communities plan long-term strategies for managing stormwater pollution. EPA’s tools promote the use of flexible solutions that spur economic growth, stimulate infrastructure investments, and help compliance with environmental requirements.

EPA has released a step-by-step guide to help communities develop long-term stormwater plans, a web-based toolkit for the planning process, and technical assistance for five communities to develop plans as national models. This approach was built on input from states, communities, industry, academia, and nonprofits.

"When communities link the timing and implementation of stormwater projects with broader planning activities, they can reduce costs and support more sustainable local development," says Joel Beauvais, deputy assistant administrator for the Office of Water. “As stormwater increasingly threatens public health and the environment, EPA can help communities integrate stormwater management with broader plans for growing their economies, investing in critical infrastructure and meeting their water quality objectives.”

Initially the draft guide will be utilized by five communities selected for $150,000 each in technical assistance to develop long-term stormwater management plans:

Burlington, Iowa

Chester, Pennsylvania

Hattiesburg, Mississippi

Rochester, New Hampshire

Santa Fe, New Mexico

These communities will also be the beta testers for EPA’s web-based toolkit, which will be refined and released more broadly next year.

Each year billions of gallons of runoff laden with trash, nutrients, metals, and other pollutants flow into waterways. Stormwater runoff is one of the fastest growing sources of pollution across the country and it can overwhelm wastewater systems and overflow sewers. Many cities have utilized green infrastructure as part of a comprehensive, long-term approach to managing stormwater. Communities are finding the benefits from such approaches go well beyond helping to meet regulatory requirements and actually turn hazards into opportunities. Comprehensive, long-term plans can guide smart investments by tying together multiple community objectives like street improvements, outdoor open spaces, greenways or recreation areas, as well as community revitalization.

For more information: https://www.epa.gov/npdes/stormwater-planning


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FOR MORE INFORMATION
OFFICE OF COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT

MELISSA MCGEE-COLLIER, MPPA, CPM
DIRECTOR/SMALL BUSINESS OMBUDSMAN
601-961-5025
MCOLLIER@MDEQ.MS.GOV



CASSANDRA JOHNSON, MPH
PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT COORDINATOR
601-961-4247
CJOHNSON@MDEQ.MS.GOV