[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 73 (Friday, April 15, 2016)]
[Pages 22303-22304]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-08671]



Office of the Secretary

[167D0102DM DS61100000 DLSN00000.000000 DX61101]

Draft 2016-2020 Environmental Justice Strategic Plan

AGENCY: Office of the Secretary, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability and request for comments.


SUMMARY: This notice announces the availability of the Department of 
the Interior's (Department) draft 2016-2020 Environmental Justice 
Strategic Plan (Strategic Plan). This draft Strategic Plan builds on 
the Department's 2012-2017 Environmental Justice Strategic Plan and 
will guide the Department's actions regarding environmental justice for 
the upcoming years. Updates to Federal agencies' environmental justice 
strategic plans are conducted periodically to increase interagency 
cooperation and participation opportunities for minority, low-income, 
American Indian and Alaska Native Communities, and Tribal governments.

DATES: Consideration will be given to all comments received or 
postmarked by May 16, 2016.

ADDRESSES: You may submit written comments by one of the following 
    1. By email to: [email protected].
    2. By hard-copy to: Environmental Justice, U.S. Department of the 
Interior, Office of Environmental Policy and Compliance (MS-2462), 1849 
C Street NW., Washington, DC 20240

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Cheryl L. Kelly at the above 
street address (see ADDRESSES), phone 202-208-7565, or by email at 
[email protected].


I. Background

    In 1994, President Clinton signed Executive Order 12898, Federal 
Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and 
Low-income Populations, which outlined a mandate for Federal agencies 
to ``make achieving environmental justice part of its mission by 
identifying and addressing, as appropriate, disproportionately high and 
adverse human health or environmental effects of its programs, 
policies, and activities on minority populations and low-income 
populations in the United States and its territories and possessions, 
the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the 
Commonwealth of the Mariana Islands.'' Environmental justice is often 
defined as meeting the needs of underserved communities by reducing 
disparate environmental burdens, removing barriers to participation in 
decision making, and increasing access to environmental benefits that 
help make all communities safe, vibrant, and healthy places to live and 
    In August 2011, the Department joined with other Federal agencies 
in the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on Environmental 
Justice and Executive Order 12898 (MOU). This MOU reaffirmed the 
Federal government's commitment to environmental justice. Provisions of 
the MOU call on each Federal agency to review and update existing 
environmental justice strategic plans where applicable and as 
appropriate. At that time, the Department published a 2012-2017 
Environmental Strategic Plan to meet this provision to update Federal 
agency strategic plans.
    The Department's 2012-2017 Environmental Justice Strategic Plan set 
forth five major goals that continue to guide the Department in its 
pursuit of environmental justice:
    (1) Ensure responsible officials are aware of the provisions of EO 
12898 and are able to identify and amend programs, policies, and 
activities under their purview that may have disproportionately high 
and adverse human health or environmental effects on minority, low-
income, or tribal populations;
    (2) Ensure minority, low-income, and tribal populations are 
provided with the opportunity to engage in meaningful involvement in 
the Department's decision making processes;
    (3) The Department will, on its own or in collaboration with 
partners, identify and address environmental impacts that may result in 
disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental 
effects on minority, low-income, or tribal populations;
    (4) Use existing grant programs, training, and educational 
opportunities as available to aid and empower minority, low-income, and 
tribal populations in their efforts to build and sustain 
environmentally and economically sound communities; and
    (5) Integrate the Department's environmental justice strategies 
with its Title VI of the Civil Rights Act enforcement responsibilities 
to improve efficiencies while preserving the integrity of Title VI and 
environmental justice activities.
    In 2015, the Department began the process to update the 
Department's 2012-2017 Environmental Justice Strategic Plan by 
evaluating actions the Department could implement to meet the five 
goals. The update to the strategic plan is based on input and review by 
the Department's bureaus and offices and meets the goal of the 2011 MOU 
to periodically evaluate and update strategic plans.

II. General Information

    You may access the Department's draft 2016-2020 Environmental 
Justice Strategic Plan at the Department's Environmental Justice Web 
site at: https://www.doi.gov/oepc/resources/environmental-justice. 
Please let us

[[Page 22304]]

know if you are unable to access the document through the Web site; the 
document can be provided via email or hard copy.
    It is our policy to make all comments available to the public for 
review. Before including Personally Identifiable Information (PII), 
such as your address, phone number, email address, or other personal 
information in your comment(s), you should be aware that your entire 
comment (including PII) might be made available to the public at any 
time. While you might ask us in your comment to withhold PII from 
public view, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

Mary Josie Blanchard,
Acting Director, Office of Environmental Policy and Compliance.
[FR Doc. 2016-08671 Filed 4-14-16; 8:45 am]