[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents Volume 30, Number 6 (Monday, February 14, 1994)]
[Pages 276-279]
[Online from the Government Printing Office, www.gpo.gov]

<R04>
Executive Order 12898--Federal Actions To Address Environmental Justice 
in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations

February 11, 1994

    By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and 
the laws of the United States of America, it is hereby ordered as 
follows:
    Section 1-1. Implementation.
    1-101. Agency Responsibilities. To the greatest extent practicable 
and permitted by law, and consistent with the principles set forth in 
the report on the National Performance Review, each Federal agency shall 
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.
    1-102. Creation of an Interagency Working Group on Environmental 
Justice. (a) Within 3 months of the date of this order, the 
Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (``Administrator'') 
or the Administrator's designee shall convene an interagency Federal 
Working Group on Environmental Justice (``Working Group''). The Working 
Group shall comprise the heads of the following executive agencies and 
offices, or their designees: (a) Department of Defense; (b) Department 
of Health and Human Services; (c) Department of Housing and Urban 
Development; (d) Department of Labor; (e) Department of Agriculture; (f) 
Department of Transportation; (g) Department of Justice; (h) Department 
of the Interior; (i) Department of Commerce; (j) Department of Energy; 
(k) Environmental Protection Agency; (l) Office of Management and 
Budget; (m) Office of Science and Technology Policy; (n) Office of the 
Deputy Assistant to the President for Environmental Policy; (o) Office 
of the Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy; (p) National 
Economic Council; (q) Council of Economic Advisers; and (r) such other 
Government officials as the President may designate. The Working Group 
shall report to the President through the Deputy Assistant to the 
President for Environmental Policy and the Assistant to the President 
for Domestic Policy.
    (b) The Working Group shall: (1) provide guidance to Federal 
agencies on criteria for identifying disproportionately high and adverse 
human health or environmental effects on minority populations and low-
income populations;
    (2) coordinate with, provide guidance to, and serve as a 
clearinghouse for, each Federal agency as it develops an environmental 
justice strategy as required by section 1-103 of this order, in order to 
ensure that the administration, interpretation and enforcement of 
programs, activities and policies are undertaken in a consistent manner;
    (3) assist in coordinating research by, and stimulating cooperation 
among, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Health and 
Human Services, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and 
other agencies conducting research or other activities in accordance 
with section 3-3 of this order;
    (4) assist in coordinating data collection, required by this order;
    (5) examine existing data and studies on environmental justice;
    (6) hold public meetings as required in section 5-502(d) of this 
order; and
    (7) develop interagency model projects on environmental justice that 
evidence cooperation among Federal agencies.

[[Page 277]]

    1-103. Development of Agency Strategies. (a) Except as provided in 
section 6-605 of this order, each Federal agency shall develop an 
agency-wide environmental justice strategy, as set forth in subsections 
(b)-(e) of this section that identifies and addresses disproportionately 
high and adverse human health or environmental effects of its programs, 
policies, and activities on minority populations and low-income 
populations. The environmental justice strategy shall list programs, 
policies, planning and public participation processes, enforcement, and/
or rulemakings related to human health or the environment that should be 
revised to, at a minimum: (1) promote enforcement of all health and 
environmental statutes in areas with minority populations and low-income 
populations; (2) ensure greater public participation; (3) improve 
research and data collection relating to the health of and environment 
of minority populations and low-income populations; and (4) identify 
differential patterns of consumption of natural resources among minority 
populations and low-income populations. In addition, the environmental 
justice strategy shall include, where appropriate, a timetable for 
undertaking identified revisions and consideration of economic and 
social implications of the revisions.
    (b) Within 4 months of the date of this order, each Federal agency 
shall identify an internal administrative process for developing its 
environmental justice strategy, and shall inform the Working Group of 
the process.
    (c) Within 6 months of the date of this order, each Federal agency 
shall provide the Working Group with an outline of its proposed 
environmental justice strategy.
    (d) Within 10 months of the date of this order, each Federal agency 
shall provide the Working Group with its proposed environmental justice 
strategy.
    (e) Within 12 months of the date of this order, each Federal agency 
shall finalize its environmental justice strategy and provide a copy and 
written description of its strategy to the Working Group. During the 12 
month period from the date of this order, each Federal agency, as part 
of its environmental justice strategy, shall identify several specific 
projects that can be promptly undertaken to address particular concerns 
identified during the development of the proposed environmental justice 
strategy, and a schedule for implementing those projects.
    (f) Within 24 months of the date of this order, each Federal agency 
shall report to the Working Group on its progress in implementing its 
agency-wide environmental justice strategy.
    (g) Federal agencies shall provide additional periodic reports to 
the Working Group as requested by the Working Group.
    1-104. Reports to the President. Within 14 months of the date of 
this order, the Working Group shall submit to the President, through the 
Office of the Deputy Assistant to the President for Environmental Policy 
and the Office of the Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy, a 
report that describes the implementation of this order, and includes the 
final environmental justice strategies described in section 1-103(e) of 
this order.
    Sec. 2-2. Federal Agency Responsibilities for Federal Programs. Each 
Federal agency shall conduct its programs, policies, and activities that 
substantially affect human health or the environment, in a manner that 
ensures that such programs, policies, and activities do not have the 
effect of excluding persons (including populations) from participation 
in, denying persons (including populations) the benefits of, or 
subjecting persons (including populations) to discrimination under, such 
programs, policies, and activities, because of their race, color, or 
national origin.
    Sec. 3-3. Research, Data Collection, and Analysis.
    3-301. Human Health and Environmental Research and Analysis. (a) 
Environmental human health research, whenever practicable and 
appropriate, shall include diverse segments of the population in 
epidemiological and clinical studies, including segments at high risk 
from environmental hazards, such as minority populations, low-income 
populations and workers who may be exposed to substantial environmental 
hazards.
    (b) Environmental human health analyses, whenever practicable and 
appropriate, shall identify multiple and cumulative exposures.
    (c) Federal agencies shall provide minority populations and low-
income populations the

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opportunity to comment on the development and design of research 
strategies undertaken pursuant to this order.
    3-302. Human Health and Environmental Data Collection and Analysis. 
To the extent permitted by existing law, including the Privacy Act, as 
amended (5 U.S.C. section 552a): (a) each Federal agency, whenever 
practicable and appropriate, shall collect, maintain, and analyze 
information assessing and comparing environmental and human health risks 
borne by populations identified by race, national origin, or income. To 
the extent practical and appropriate, Federal agencies shall use this 
information to determine whether their programs, policies, and 
activities have disproportionately high and adverse human health or 
environmental effects on minority populations and low-income 
populations;
    (b) In connection with the development and implementation of agency 
strategies in section 1-103 of this order, each Federal agency, whenever 
practicable and appropriate, shall collect, maintain and analyze 
information on the race, national origin, income level, and other 
readily accessible and appropriate information for areas surrounding 
facilities or sites expected to have a substantial environmental, human 
health, or economic effect on the surrounding populations, when such 
facilities or sites become the subject of a substantial Federal 
environmental administrative or judicial action. Such information shall 
be made available to the public, unless prohibited by law; and
    (c) Each Federal agency, whenever practicable and appropriate, shall 
collect, maintain, and analyze information on the race, national origin, 
income level, and other readily accessible and appropriate information 
for areas surrounding Federal facilities that are: (1) subject to the 
reporting requirements under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-
to-Know Act, 42 U.S.C. section 11001-11050 as mandated in Executive 
Order No. 12856; and (2) expected to have a substantial environmental, 
human health, or economic effect on surrounding populations. Such 
information shall be made available to the public, unless prohibited by 
law.
    (d) In carrying out the responsibilities in this section, each 
Federal agency, whenever practicable and appropriate, shall share 
information and eliminate unnecessary duplication of efforts through the 
use of existing data systems and cooperative agreements among Federal 
agencies and with States, local, and tribal governments.
    Sec. 4-4. Subsistence Consumption of Fish and Wildlife.
    4-401. Consumption Patterns. In order to assist in identifying the 
need for ensuring protection of populations with differential patterns 
of subsistence consumption of fish and wildlife, Federal agencies, 
whenever practicable and appropriate, shall collect, maintain, and 
analyze information on the consumption patterns of populations who 
principally rely on fish and/or wildlife for subsistence. Federal 
agencies shall communicate to the public the risks of those consumption 
patterns.
    4-402. Guidance. Federal agencies, whenever practicable and 
appropriate, shall work in a coordinated manner to publish guidance 
reflecting the latest scientific information available concerning 
methods for evaluating the human health risks associated with the 
consumption of pollutant-bearing fish or wildlife. Agencies shall 
consider such guidance in developing their policies and rules.
    Sec. 5-5. Public Participation and Access to Information. (a) The 
public may submit recommendations to Federal agencies relating to the 
incorporation of environmental justice principles into Federal agency 
programs or policies. Each Federal agency shall convey such 
recommendations to the Working Group.
    (b) Each Federal agency may, whenever practicable and appropriate, 
translate crucial public documents, notices, and hearings relating to 
human health or the environment for limited English speaking 
populations.
    (c) Each Federal agency shall work to ensure that public documents, 
notices, and hearings relating to human health or the environment are 
concise, understandable, and readily accessible to the public.
    (d) The Working Group shall hold public meetings, as appropriate, 
for the purpose of fact-finding, receiving public comments, and 
conducting inquiries concerning environmental justice. The Working Group 
shall prepare for public review a summary of the com- 

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ments and recommendations discussed at the public meetings.
    Sec. 6-6. General Provisions.
    6-601. Responsibility for Agency Implementation. The head of each 
Federal agency shall be responsible for ensuring compliance with this 
order. Each Federal agency shall conduct internal reviews and take such 
other steps as may be necessary to monitor compliance with this order.
    6-602. Executive Order No. 12250. This Executive order is intended 
to supplement but not supersede Executive Order No. 12250, which 
requires consistent and effective implementation of various laws 
prohibiting discriminatory practices in programs receiving Federal 
financial assistance. Nothing herein shall limit the effect or mandate 
of Executive Order No. 12250.
    6-603. Executive Order No. 12875. This Executive order is not 
intended to limit the effect or mandate of Executive Order No. 12875.
    6-604. Scope. For purposes of this order, Federal agency means any 
agency on the Working Group, and such other agencies as may be 
designated by the President, that conducts any Federal program or 
activity that substantially affects human health or the environment. 
Independent agencies are requested to comply with the provisions of this 
order.
    6-605. Petitions for Exemptions. The head of a Federal agency may 
petition the President for an exemption from the requirements of this 
order on the grounds that all or some of the petitioning agency's 
programs or activities should not be subject to the requirements of this 
order.
    6-606. Native American Programs. Each Federal agency responsibility 
set forth under this order shall apply equally to Native American 
programs. In addition, the Department of the Interior, in coordination 
with the Working Group, and, after consultation with tribal leaders, 
shall coordinate steps to be taken pursuant to this order that address 
Federally-recognized Indian Tribes.
    6-607. Costs. Unless otherwise provided by law, Federal agencies 
shall assume the financial costs of complying with this order.
    6-608. General. Federal agencies shall implement this order 
consistent with, and to the extent permitted by, existing law.
    6-609. Judicial Review. This order is intended only to improve the 
internal management of the executive branch and is not intended to, nor 
does it create any right, benefit, or trust responsibility, substantive 
or procedural, enforceable at law or equity by a party against the 
United States, its agencies, its officers, or any person. This order 
shall not be construed to create any right to judicial review involving 
the compliance or noncompliance of the United States, its agencies, its 
officers, or any other person with this order.
                                            William J. Clinton
The White House,
February 11, 1994.

[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 3:07 p.m., February 14, 
1994]

Note: This Executive order was published in the Federal Register on 
February 16.