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Environmental Justice and NEPA in the Transportation Arena Project Highlights January 2013.

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Presentation on theme: "Environmental Justice and NEPA in the Transportation Arena Project Highlights January 2013."— Presentation transcript:

1 Environmental Justice and NEPA in the Transportation Arena Project Highlights January 2013

2 Purpose and Agenda  Provide an overview of EJ and recent FHWA guidance  Introduce 10 recent transportation projects addressing EJ in NEPA  Present effective practices in EJ analysis

3 Supporting Reference Materials  Visit FHWA’s EJ Website for:  Detailed case studies  Project report  Presentation slides  Extensive reference material

4 What is Environmental Justice?  Populations addressed by EJ:  Black or African American, Hispanic or Latino, Asian, American Indian or Alaskan Native, Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander  Low-income

5 What is Environmental Justice?  Three principles of US DOT’s EJ strategy:  Avoid, minimize, or mitigate disproportionately high and adverse effects  Ensure full and fair participation in transportation decision- making  Prevent the denial of, reduction in, or significant delay of benefits

6 Guidance on Addressing EJ in NEPA from FHWA  FHWA’s 2011 “Guidance on Environmental Justice in NEPA” addresses: Effective practices from the featured projects focus on #1, #2, and #3 Identifying existing minority and low-income populations Explaining coordination, access to information, and participation Identifying disproportionately high and adverse effects Judicial review Proceeding when there are disproportionately high and adverse effects 12345

7 Identifying Existing Minority and Low-Income Populations  Gather data, identify groups or clusters of minority or low-income persons  Provide demographic information on the general population  ▪ No minority or low-income populations in the study area  no EJ analysis ▪ Minority or low-income populations in the study area  EJ analysis  ▪ No adverse effects on EJ populations  document determination ▪ Potential adverse effects on EJ populations  further analysis

8 Coordination, Access to Information, and Participation  Document efforts to ensure meaningful opportunities for public participation  Document the degree of involvement  Include views about the project and mitigation  Describe steps to resolve any controversy

9 Identifying Disproportionately High and Adverse Effects  The adverse effect is predominantly borne by an EJ population or is appreciably more severe or greater in magnitude on the EJ population than on other populations.  Summarize EJ considerations, including beneficial and adverse effects  Compare the impacts on the EJ populations to impacts on the overall population  For impacts, consider mitigation, following protocol and enhancing communities  No disproportionately high and adverse effects considering mitigation and benefits  document  Adverse effects remain after mitigation  Determine if they are disproportionately high and adverse  follow guidance

10 Featured Projects and Effective Practices  10 projects  Brief summary and context  Description of effective practices

11 Project Profile  Study: EA of a 1-mile corridor widening project in Durham, NC  Community: Black/African American, growing Hispanic/Latino population, low-income, with high numbers of car-less households  Key issue: Potential loss of the Los Primos Supermarket  Outcome: Preferred alternative minimized impacts on the community by avoiding the Los Primos Supermarket Case #1: Removal of Los Primos Supermarket Analyzing Impacts and Identifying Alternatives: Alston Avenue Project, Durham, North Carolina

12 Effective Practices  Update information throughout the study  Ensure that all perspectives are heard  Work closely with other jurisdictional agencies and partners  Base the determination of impacts on complete analysis  Have the staff working closely with the community make a recommendation regarding impacts and next steps

13 Case #2: Balancing the Environment and Economic Development: Middle Harbor Redevelopment Project, Port of Long Beach, California Project Profile:  Study: EIS for the combination and upgrade of two marine container terminals at the Port of Long Beach, CA  Community: Most Census block groups in the study area exceeded 80-percent minority, and 10-percent low income  Key issues: Construction noise and cumulative impacts on air quality and health risk  Outcome: Mitigation grant program for cumulative impacts, broad public support

14 Case #2: Balancing the Environment and Economic Development: Middle Harbor Redevelopment Project, Port of Long Beach, California Effective Practices  Communicate project benefits to gain public support  Closely coordinate with jurisdictional agencies and knowledgeable organizations on difficult issues  Address cumulative impacts

15 Case #3: Effective Outreach and Analysis Strategies for a Regional Study Area: North I-25 Project, Denver to Fort Collins Area, Colorado Project Profile:  Study: EIS for multi-modal improvements to an interstate corridor  Community: Regional area with pockets of minority (Hispanic/Latino and Hmong) and low-income groups  Key issues: Very large, regional study area with a widespread affected population, political debate on the immigration policy  Outcome: Equal distribution of impacts and benefits across EJ and non-EJ groups

16 Case #3: Effective Outreach and Analysis Strategies for a Regional Study Area: North I-25 Project, Denver to Fort Collins Area, Colorado Effective Practices  Use extensive public outreach to garner support  Look beyond traditional data sources  Communicate impacts and benefits and gather feedback  Be sensitive to local and political issues  Consider context when determining adverse impacts  Consider benefits and mitigation in the overall harm assessment  Consider community facilities in mobility needs and impact assessment  Speak the local languages  Go to the people

17 Case #4: Bagley Pedestrian Bridge – "Connecting Neighbors": Ambassador Bridge Gateway Project, Detroit, Michigan Project Profile:  Study: EA for an interstate bridge project that included a pedestrian bridge component in Detroit, MI  Community: largely Hispanic/Latino Mexicantown community  Key issues: Mitigating impacts to Mexicantown from original interstate construction  Outcome: Bagley Pedestrian Bridge and associated enhancement projects mitigate past impacts and bring the Mexicantown community together

18 Case #4: Bagley Pedestrian Bridge - "Connecting Neighbors": Ambassador Bridge Gateway Project, Detroit, Michigan Effective Practices  Engage the affected community early and on an ongoing basis  Maintain consistent project staff  Consider the use of an ombudsman  Integrate enhancement projects to engage and benefit the community

19 Case #5: Regional Tolling Analysis Informs NEPA Assessment of Cumulative Impacts on Low-Income Populations: Long-Range Transportation Plan, Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas Project Profile  Study: Cumulative impacts of tolling on a regional basis in a long range plan, Dallas-Fort Worth, TX  Community: Regional community with a mix of EJ and non-EJ areas  Key issues: Cumulative impacts of tolling on low-income individuals  Outcome: Results of the regional analysis supplement the cumulative impacts assessment in NEPA

20 Case #5: Regional Tolling Analysis Informs NEPA Assessment of Cumulative Impacts on Low-Income Populations: Long-Range Transportation Plan, Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas Effective Practices  Combine Census and travel demand data for regional analysis  Use analysis from long range planning to inform cumulative EJ impacts in NEPA

21 Case #6: Building a Foundation for Meaningful and Active Participation: I-70 East Project, Denver Area, Colorado Project Profile  Study: EIS for improvements to an interstate corridor near Denver, CO  Community: 40 percent Hispanic/Latino, 30 percent Black/African American, 5 percent other minority populations, 21 percent of households were low-income  Key issues: Legacy of distrust for the DOT and potential impacts related to noise, air quality, relocations, health  Outcome: Meaningful participation and renewed trust

22 Case #6: Building a Foundation for Meaningful and Active Participation: I-70 East Project, Denver Area, Colorado Effective Practices  Use a “micro to macro” outreach strategy  Use a high-touch/low-touch approach to understand your audience  Conduct meetings for maximum participation  Maintain a consistent face for the project  Build trust through a consistent message

23 Case #6: Building a Foundation for Meaningful and Active Participation: I-70 East Project, Denver Area, Colorado Effective Practices  Educate communities about EJ and the environmental process  Educate staff about EJ and the community  Establish a community-outreach process feedback loop  Be responsive to addressing impact-areas of concern

24 Case #7: Mitigating Impacts on the Pleasant Hill Neighborhood: I-16/I-75 Interchange Project, Macon, Georgia Project Profile  Study: EA for an interchange project in Macon, GA  Community: Pleasant Hill, predominantly Black/African American, historic  Key issues: Pleasant Hill was bisected by I-75, has declined, and could be impacted again  Outcome: Community-supported Community Mitigation Plan addresses direct and cumulative impacts

25 Case #7: Mitigating Impacts on the Pleasant Hill Neighborhood: I-16/I-75 Interchange Project, Macon, Georgia Effective Practices  Use a variety of information sources and types  Strong community leadership can foster the public-involvement process  FHWA collaboration and involvement can support innovation  Work with the State DOT and the community to identify and ensure implementation of appropriate mitigation  Identify strategies to address all impacts

26 Case #8: Preserving Community Cohesion through Southend Park Neighborhood Redevelopment: Newtown Pike Extension Project, Lexington, Kentucky Project Profile  Study: EIS for the extension of a major artery in the Lexington, Kentucky area  Community: Davistown – one of the oldest Black/African-American communities in the Lexington, Kentucky area  Key issues: Anticipated indirect impacts of increased land value and redevelopment pressures were expected to force out residents  Outcome: Community participation leads to a Community Land Trust

27 Case #8: Preserving Community Cohesion through Southend Park Neighborhood Redevelopment: Newtown Pike Extension Project, Lexington, Kentucky Effective Practices  Use multiple and varied methods for collecting community data  Build trust to truly engage the affected community  Use community service providers to help engage the community  Overcome obstacles with help from project “Champions”  Properly identify and characterize social ties  Mitigate adverse impacts through tailored solutions

28 Case #9: Extraordinary Outreach Guides Project Decisions and Avoids Environmental Justice Issues: Business 40 project, Winston-Salem, North Carolina Project Profile  Study: Early stages of an EIS to widen a 1-mile section of Business 40 through a Central Business District  Community: Mix of affluent and largely White areas, Black/African American areas, and low-income areas  Key issues: Community input on a partial closure of Business 40 for 2 years or full closure for 6 years  Outcome: Unexpected support for a 2-year full closure

29 Case #9: Extraordinary Outreach Guides Project Decisions and Avoids Environmental Justice Issues: Business 40 project, Winston-Salem, North Carolina Effective Practices  Seek and apply information from similar situations  Use experienced public involvement professionals  Train and prepare all staff who will interact with the public  Do the leg-work to understand a community’s values, perspective, and preferences

30 Case #9: Extraordinary Outreach Guides Project Decisions and Avoids Environmental Justice Issues: Business 40 project, Winston-Salem, North Carolina Effective Practices  Make the public comfortable and willing to provide input  Establish and check lines of communication within the agency  Assign a dedicated project manager  Consider details like contract vehicles

31 Case #10: Building a Safer, More Reliable Bridge and Roadway while Avoiding Environmental Justice Impacts: SR-520: I-5 to Medina, Seattle Area, Washington Project Profile  Study: EIS for the SR 520 corridor across Lake Washington, including the Evergreen Point Bridge  Community: Small areas of low-income populations and Native American tribes  Key issues: Impacts of tolling, impacts to cultural and natural resources of importance to Native American tribes  Outcome: Extensive tolling analysis with mitigation, government-to-government coordination with tribes to understand and avoid, minimize, and mitigate impacts

32 Case #10: Building a Safer, More Reliable Bridge and Roadway while Avoiding Environmental Justice Impacts: SR-520: I-5 to Medina, Seattle Area, Washington Effective Practices  Expand the study area as needed to include a travelshed  Address issues and concerns identified during public outreach  Use early findings to inform ongoing work  Government-to-government coordination with Native American tribes is critical to understanding potential project impacts and appropriate mitigation

33 Conclusions  What the highlighted projects confirm:  There is no uniform approach to addressing EJ in NEPA  The depth and breadth of analysis is context-specific  Meaningful participation of EJ populations is always essential  Visit FHWA’s EJ Website for further information (http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/environmental_justice/)


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