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Office of Equal Opportunity - Title VI Overview

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Title VI / Environmental Justice

Program Overview

Title VI of the Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color or national origin in programs or activities receiving federal financial assistance. Presidential Executive Order 12898 addresses Environmental Justice in minority and low-income populations. Presidential Executive Order 13166 addresses providing equal access to services and benefits to those individuals with Limited English Proficiency (LEP). The rights of women, the elderly and the disabled are protected under related statutes. These Presidential Executive Orders and the related statutes fall under the umbrella of Title VI.

The Title VI Program and related statutes are responsible for providing leadership, direction and policy to ensure compliance with Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and Environmental Justice principles. SHA is proud of its longstanding policy to ensure that social impacts to communities and people are recognized early and continually throughout the transportation decision-making process.

Executive Order 12898 requires each Federal agency (and recipients), to the greatest extent practicable by law, to achieve environmental justice as part of its mission by identifying and addressing disproportionately high and adverse effects, of its program, policies and activities on minority populations and low-income populations in the United States.

Environmental Protection Act defines Environmental Justice (EJ) as the "fair treatment for people of all races, cultures, and incomes, regarding the development of environmental laws, regulations, and policies." Over the last decade, attention to the impact of environmental pollution on particular segments of our society has been steadily growing. Concerns that minority populations and/or low-income populations bear a disproportionate amount of adverse health and environmental effects led President Clinton to issue Executive Order 12898 in 1994, focusing Federal agency attention on these issues. EPA responded by developing the Environmental Justice Strategy which focuses on the Agency's efforts in addressing these concerns.

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