EPA Releases Equity Action Plan

The agency is taking a more holistic approach to addressing environmental justice concerns.

1 minute read

March 6, 2024, 9:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Close-up of bronze plaque on building with "United States Environmental Protection Agency" text.

Tada Images / Adobe Stock

The Environmental Protection Agency’s 2023 Equity Action Plan outlines the agency’s efforts to “imbed equity, civil rights, and environmental justice” into its work, writes Kristie Ellickson in The Equation. “Part of this plan discusses the agency’s priorities on cumulative impacts, which it defines as ‘the totality of exposures to combinations of chemical and nonchemical stressors and their effects on health, well-being, and quality of life outcomes.’” 

Ellickson takes a closer look at the plan and the history of the environmental justice movement. “Interestingly, the new plan moves from describing a series of priority actions to describing a series of priority strategies. Priority actions might set governmental action in motion, but priority strategies outline a plan and reasoning for moving toward achieving a longer-term goal.”

The EPA says it will prioritize getting funding and assistance to communities facing environmental injustice. “Where the 2022 plan focused on developing and implementing a cumulative impacts framework, the 2023 plan focuses on actions to actually reduce cumulative environmental and health impacts in communities, again particularly those with EJ concerns.”

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