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Environmental Justice at the MPCA Presenters: Kristie Ellickson and Monika Vadali The MPCA EJ Framework Workgroups 2014 Point Source work related to EJ.

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Presentation on theme: "Environmental Justice at the MPCA Presenters: Kristie Ellickson and Monika Vadali The MPCA EJ Framework Workgroups 2014 Point Source work related to EJ."— Presentation transcript:

1 Environmental Justice at the MPCA Presenters: Kristie Ellickson and Monika Vadali The MPCA EJ Framework Workgroups 2014 Point Source work related to EJ concerns EPA Sensor Proposal

2 A Short and Incomplete History of the MPCA and Environmental Justice MPCA adopted an EJ policy in 1999 through the Office of Environmental Assistance which sought to ensure no disproportionate burden equal access to benefits opportunities for meaningful input development of EJ programs in appropriate MPCA programs The policy was updated and or renewed in 2008 and again in 2012.

3 MPCA EJ Policy Updated October 2012 The MPCA will, within its authority, strive for 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.”

4 Fair Treatment …no group of people, including a racial, ethnic or a socioeconomic group, should bear a disproportionate share of the negative environmental consequences resulting from industrial, municipal, and commercial operations or the execution of federal, state, local, and tribal programs and policies.

5 Meaningful Involvement Potentially affected community residents have an appropriate opportunity to participate in decisions; The public’s contribution can influence the regulatory agency’s decision; The concerns of all participants involved will be considered in the decision making process; and The decision makers seek out and facilitate the involvement of those potentially affected.

6 Meaningful Public Participation Understand community and barriers to involvement Communicate early and often through sources trusted/used by the community Plain and understandable language Meetings and events in community Public notification, more than just required Regulated Party actions Tiered approach scaled to level of concern


8 Themes called out in the letter Transparency Disparities Cumulative impacts Meaningful involvement Tribal Nations/Communities Plan EJ 2014

9 Teams were formed to developed EJ 2014 Framework at MPCA Consideration of Cumulative Impacts EJ Areas Analysis Enhanced Outreach Regulatory Services Stakeholder Engagement Human Resources support to diversify our work force

10 Action Step: Stakeholder Engagement Develop and document strategies for establishing and maintaining relationships and building trust with stakeholders – Deliverable: Document identifying key stakeholder groups, tactics, roles, and responsibilities – Examples: Quarterly stakeholder meetings Participation and presence in communities

11 Action Step: Enhanced Outreach Identify steps to be taken during MPCA actions to ensure meaningful involvement – Deliverable: guidance related to public meetings, public notices, community participation – Key programs: permitting, rulemaking, emergency response, remediation – Possible Examples: Procedures for evaluating community language proficiencies, strategies for better meetings

12 Action Step: Permitting, Compliance and Enforcement Develop guidance for all agency permitting programs on procedures and tools for addressing disproportionate impacts and ensuring meaningful involvement – Deliverable: Written procedures, specific plans and tools Possible Examples: Checklists, sample language, etc.

13 Action Step: EJ Area Analysis Establish screening parameters to identify geographical areas of potential EJ concern – No more than 2 to 4 Possible Examples: % below poverty level, % non-white – Deliverable: Maps of areas that meet these parameters Determine other tools and information to be used in those areas to understand the community – Possible examples: % rental housing, % non-English speakers, asthma incidence

14 Buffer is program specific. Blocks within buffer are considered in context to surrounding block groups. A marginal block group should be examined if adjacent block groups meet criteria. Buffer site to create Study Area Area with >50% non-white populations OR areas with >40% under 200% of poverty level. Proceed to Environmental Review if Study Area meets Population criteria Review Population Variables/Index If any environmental variable is over 80th percentile for a block group OR if the single index percentile is over 70%, proceed to supplemental population characteristics. If no environmental variable is over the 80th or single index is not over 70th percentile, the review is complete. Review Environmental Variables Review the supplemental population characteristics If an area meets the population criteria and any environmental criteria is met. Supplemental variables include age, linguistic isolation, and education. Review supplemental variables IF Study Area meets Population AND Environmental Criteria.

15 Action Step: Cumulative Impacts Develop a process for analyzing cumulative risks and impacts from multiple pollution sources – Use to inform MPCA decisions Possible Examples: – Ambient air pollution levels – Health endpoints impacted by pollution – Discussion of community stressors

16 By the end of 2014, all the work products will be pulled together into an EJ Framework Plan is for a draft for stakeholder comment in fall 2014 A steering team is supporting decision making for the team work products

17 Possible Approaches in Areas of Concern for Environmental Justice “Proactive” Actions – Targeted technical assistance, grants – Facility reviews, encourage facility actions “Reactive” Actions – Responding to proposals for new and expanding facility – Permit renewal Tiered Approach – Employ communication, mitigations strategies commensurate with concern

18 Minneapolis clean air pilot project Facilities within Hennepin county Criteria pollutants : based of high volumes Air Toxics : based on high health risk numbers Total of 12 facilities 2 meetings One more scheduled in November

19 Shared emissions information with facilities Facilities volunteered to give more accurate emissions Discussion centered around changing public perspective What can facilities do to help?

20 STAR Grant: Engaging youth in communities Key Partners – Minnesota Pollution Control Agency – Science museum of Minnesota, youth science center – State University of Mankato

21 Design a low cost PM 2.5 and NO 2 sensor Coach youth to build 80 of these sensors Deploy for 18 months Have some sensors near existing state monitors for comparison Install 4 platform monitors collocated with state monitors for comparison

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