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Failed PromisesEvaluating the Federal Government's Response to Environmental Justice$
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David M. Konisky

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780262028837

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262028837.001.0001

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Public Participation and Environmental Justice

Public Participation and Environmental Justice

Access to Federal Decision Making

(p.143) 6 Public Participation and Environmental Justice
Failed Promises

Dorothy M. Daley

Tony G. Reames

The MIT Press

This chapter examines public participation in federal environmental decision-making from an environmental justice perspective. The authors begin with a broad overview of past research on public participation and environmental decision-making, and then discuss the opportunities and challenges that arise in the specific context of environmental justice. The chapter describes and analyzes the way that federal agencies have involved the public – particularly, low-income and minority individuals, and the groups that represent them – in environmental decision-making, which is an important part of government efforts to achieve procedural justice. The analysis compares efforts of the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Energy, and the Department of Transportation. Among the key findings are that there is significant variation in how public participatory processes are used to address environmental justice concerns across the three agencies examined, and that, while opportunities for public involvement have increased since the signing of Executive Order 12898, actual participation from low-income and minority communities has been uneven.

Keywords:   Environmental justice, Public participation, Environmental decision-making, Procedural justice, Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Energy, Department of Transportation

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