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Committee Detail



Committee NameNational Environmental Justice Advisory CouncilAgency NameEnvironmental Protection Agency
Fiscal Year2019Committee Number1717
Original Establishment Date7/23/1993Committee StatusChartered
Actual Termination Date Committee URL
New Committee This FYNoPresidential Appointments*No
Terminated This FYNoMax Number of Members*25-30
Current Charter Date9/12/2018Designated Fed Officer Position Title*DFO
Date Of Renewal Charter9/12/2020Designated Federal Officer PrefixMr.
Projected Termination Date Designated Federal Officer First Name*Matthew
Exempt From Renewal*NoDesignated Federal Officer Middle Name
Specific Termination AuthorityDesignated Federal Officer Last Name*Tejada
Establishment Authority*Agency AuthorityDesignated Federal Officer Suffix
Specific Establishment Authority*Request for ApprovalDesignated Federal Officer Phone*(202) 564-8047
Effective Date Of Authority*7/23/1993Designated Federal Officer Fax*202-564-1624
Committee Type*ContinuingDesignated Federal Officer Email*
Committee Function*Non Scientific Program Advisory Board


Agency Recommendation*Continue
Legislation to Terminate RequiredNo
Legislation StatusNot Applicable
How does cmte accomplish its purpose?*The purpose of the NEJAC is to advise, consult with, and make recommendations to the EPA Administrator about broad, cross-cutting issues relating to environmental justice. The NEJAC holds meetings; evaluates a broad range of strategic, scientific, technological, regulatory, community engagement, and economic public policy issues related to environmental justice; produces reports, and prepares recommendations. At the request of the Agency, the NEJAC has, since 1999, focused its meetings on broad public policy issues to provide independent, cogent, timely, and relevant advice to the Agency. During FY 2018, NEJAC held one public face-to-face meeting with teleconference option, two public teleconferences, and produced one full report. The NEJAC received briefings on the following topics: EPA Leadership Updates; Environmental Justice Inter Agency Working Group; Proactive Efforts of EPA Region 1 to Advance Environmental Justice; Environmental Justice Concerns from Childhood Lead Project, Chelsea GreenRoots, Alternatives for Community & Environment, and Youth on Board; Boston Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program; Youth Perspectives on Climate Change; and Water Infrastructure Finance and Capacity. During FY2018, the NEJAC worked on two charges requested from various EPA offices. These charges focused on water infrastructure finance and capacity and youth perspectives on climate change. At its May 21, 2018 meeting, the NEJAC completed its efforts on Youth Perspectives on Climate Change: Best Practices for Youth Engagement and Addressing Health Impacts of Climate Change. The NEJAC believes successful youth engagement on climate change can be supported by efforts that mentor and train youth leaders and engage youth in decision-making, build capacity by allocating resources for youth development and develop and implement principles for engaging youth on climate justice. Because of information shared with NEJAC during briefings and open public comment periods over the last several meetings, the NEJAC began working at the end of FY2018 on letter reports that will provide advice and recommendations on four emerging issues that the NEJAC believes the EPA needs to take action on to protect our most vulnerable communities. These emerging issues include changes to Worker Protection Standards, the Chemical Safety Rule, concerns over the future of the National Environmental Policy Act, and continuing threats faced by environmental justice communities from the presence of above-ground storage tanks.
How is membership balanced?*NEJAC membership is comprised of individuals who are appointed from a broad spectrum of stakeholders representing the following categories: community-based groups; industry and business; academic and educational institutions; State and local governments; Federally-recognized Tribes and indigenous groups; and non-governmental environmental groups. Within each of these categories, technical perspectives (such as public health, state/tribal environmental programs, socio-economic analysis, etc.) are sought that reflect the issues and subjects being evaluated by the Council. In addition, geographic balance also is considered, as well as ensuring that representatives of affected communities participate. This approach ensures that the Agency considers a cross-section of those directly affected by, interested in, and qualified to discuss creative and collaborative strategies to better address the human health and environmental protection needs of disadvantaged and underserved communities.
How frequent & relevant are cmte mtgs?*In FY 2018, NEJAC held one public face-to-face meeting with teleconference option and two public teleconference meetings. It is from its deliberations during these meetings and workgroup meetings, that the NEJAC produces consensus reports that contain independent, cogent, timely, and relevant advice and recommendations to the Agency to develop strategies to better address the human health and environmental protection of communities disproportionately impacted by environmental risks and hazards. The Council offers recommendations to ensure that environmental justice considerations are being integrated into the Agency’s decision-making processes in all policies, programs, and activities.
Why advice can't be obtained elsewhere?*EPA maintains an ongoing commitment to ensure environmental justice for all people, regardless of race, color, national origin or income. NEJAC provides independent advice and recommendations to the Agency on matters related to environmental justice and focuses on key areas that include evaluation of a broad range of strategic, scientific, technological, regulatory, community engagement, and economic policy issues related to environmental justice. Low-income, minority and tribal communities throughout the United States see the NEJAC as an impactful forum where they can come together to speak directly to their government. Citizens see the NEJAC as one of the most powerful means for lifting up their voices in hopes that our government will hear and be responsive to those voices. There are very few if any forums regularly available to vulnerable populations in our county, and the EPA has benefitted tremendously in both concrete and intangible ways from its commitment to supporting the NEJAC as a critical means of maintaining such a direct channel to what is happening throughout the United States. It is important to note that neither the Agency nor another advisory committee, can perform the functions of the NEJAC as outlined in its charter. Despite the outreach aspects that are naturally intertwined with addressing environmental justice concerns, the Agency needs independent, formal consensus advice that derives from deliberation. The NEJAC, as a federal advisory committee, brings together a diverse set of stakeholders who engage in a systematic and comprehensive review of the issues before it formulates recommendations. Such advice is very different from individual comments received during regular outreach. Independent consensus advice from the NEJAC: (1) provides EPA with consensus recommendations about often controversial issues that encompass divergent viewpoints and interests; (2) assembles a unique set of appropriately experienced, knowledgeable, and sensitive multi-stakeholder representatives committed to consensus deliberations about environmental justice issues; (3) enables environmental justice considerations to be clearly and consistently articulated and appropriately visible within the Agency’s decision-making process; and (4) provides the Agency with an existing mechanism by which to obtain advice from external stakeholders about environmental justice issues in emergencies and other special situations.
Why close or partially close meetings?No meetings were closed or partially closed during FY 2018
Recommendation RemarksAll members are Tier 1 (parent committee members). There are no Tier 2 (subcommittee) members serving.


Outcome Improvement To Health Or Safety*YesAction Reorganize Priorities*Yes
Outcome Trust In GovernmentYesAction Reallocate ResourcesYes
Outcome Major Policy ChangesYesAction Issued New RegulationsNo
Outcome Advance In Scientific ResearchNoAction Proposed LegislationNo
Outcome Effective Grant MakingNoAction Approved Grants Or Other PaymentsNo
Outcome Improved Service DeliveryYesAction OtherNo
Outcome Increased Customer SatisfactionYesAction CommentIn the 25 years since its creation, the NEJAC, through its deliberations, has brought to EPA decision making an outside perspective from diverse stakeholders that EPA managers and staff otherwise would not have access to. It has helped bring together a group of diverse stakeholders and the Agency in constructive ways to address environmental justice issues. In addition, the NEJAC has played a significant role in educating and sensitizing EPA managers and staff about Environmental Justice. NEJAC recommendations have called for a collaborative problem-solving approach to address environmental justice issues and have enabled EPA program and regional offices to become more aware of, and better informed about, community concerns to devise proactive approaches to addressing these concerns. NEJAC recommendations have played a role in the creation of EPA's CARE Program, the Diesel Retrofit Program, various environmental justice Grant programs, the multi-agency Brownfields and Superfund Job Training Initiatives, and other EPA Initiatives. The NEJAC also has helped to sensitize EPA to the needs of Tribal government and indigenous communities.
Outcome Implement Laws/Reg RequirementsYesGrants Review*No
Outcome OtherNoNumber Of Grants Reviewed0
Outcome CommentN/ANumber Of Grants Recommended0
Cost Savings*Unable to DetermineDollar Value Of Grants Recommended$0.00
Cost Savings CommentN/AGrants Review CommentN/A
Number Of Recommendations*820Access Contact Designated Fed. Officer*Yes
Number Of Recommendations CommentIn the 25 years since the NEJAC was chartered, it has issued 49 formal reports of recommendations and letters of advice, as well as nearly 40 resolutions to the Agency.Access Agency WebsiteYes
% of Recs Fully Implemented*35.00%Access Committee WebsiteYes
% of Recs Fully Implemented CommentThe exact percentage of recommendations above that have or will be fully implemented is difficult to estimate because the nature of policy recommendations are such that it often takes a long time to implement new policy due to changing agency priorities and resources. However, a number of extremely significant recommendations from previous years have been implemented. For example, a significant number of the major recommendations presented in the NEJAC's 2006 Gulf Coast Hurricanes, 2003 Pollution Prevention, 2002 Inter-Agency Strategies, 2000 Waste Transfer Station, 2000 Permitting, and 1996 Brownfields, 1996 Relocation Roundtable reports have been implemented. To our best estimate, approximately a third of the NEJAC's recommendations are currently being implemented. Furthermore, all regional and program offices, as well as many other federal and state government agencies, have sought to address the site-specific issues raised during the NEJAC's deliberations and the public comment periods. Finally, the NEJAC's recommendations and meetings have been instrumental in the widespread education of EPA senior managers and staff regarding the environmental and public health concerns of disadvantaged, under-served, and environmentally overburdened communities and tribes. This education has brought about significant behavioral change within the Agency and a commensurate increase in the public's trust in and goodwill toward the Agency.Access GSA FACA WebsiteYes
% of Recs Partially Implemented*30.00%Access PublicationsYes
% of Recs Partially Implemented CommentSee the previous comment.Access OtherNo
Agency Feedback*YesAccess CommentN/A
Agency Feedback CommentIn addition to feedback to Council members at meetings of the Council, the Agency uses a more systematic process for reviewing and reporting back to the Administrator about the recommendations of the NEJAC. The Office of Environmental Justice (OEJ) works in consultation with the relevant program offices to respond to the recommendations within three to four months. The process focuses on the development of a review plan through which program offices will review and describe to the Office of the Administrator how the Agency will respond to recommendations, including actions taken and future commitments. The intent of the process is to provide maximum flexibility for the Agency to respond to the intent, spirit, and the specific content of a set of recommendations, both as a whole and/or individually. This review results in a Summary Response Document and subsequently is distributed to the committee. This Response Document also is posted to the NEJAC website.Narrative Description*During FY 2018, NEJAC held one public face-to-face meeting with teleconference option, two public teleconferences, and produced one full report. During these meetings and workgroup meetings NEJAC worked on two charges requested from various EPA offices. These charges focused on water infrastructure finance and capacity and youth perspectives on climate justice and climate change. NEJAC provides independent advice and recommendations to the Agency on matters related to environmental justice and focuses on key areas that include evaluation of a broad range of strategic, scientific, technological, regulatory, community engagement, and economic policy issues related to environmental justice. This includes EPA priorities to build on the Agency’s core mission work, address the needs of our partners through cooperative federalism and attend to both the rule of law and the process. Engaging stakeholders through the NEJAC supports several goals of EPA’s FY 2018-2022 Strategic Plan: [goal 1] Deliver real results to provide Americans with clean air, land, water, and ensure chemical safety and [goal 2] Rebalance the power between Washington and the states to create tangible environmental results for the American people. EPA will continue to communicate and partner with key stakeholders including those who have been underrepresented, to achieve more innovative and sustainable outcomes. EPA recognizes that minority and/or low-income communities may be more frequently and disproportionately exposed to environmental harms and risks. Moreover, EPA believes that ensuring environmental justice means that all people are given the opportunity to participate meaningfully in the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies. Integrating environmental justice considerations into the Agency’s outreach activities, public policies, science, data collection, regulatory development, and enforcement and compliance decisions is difficult. To address this difficult task, the Agency has sought input from the various multi-stakeholder entities that comprise the NEJAC. Hence, an external advisory group with the experience and sensitivity to environmental justice issues is critical to the Agency’s goal of integrating environmental justice considerations into its policies, programs, and activities. As a committee consisting of representatives of academia, community-based organizations, business and industry, state and local government, non-governmental organizations, and tribal governments and indigenous organizations, the NEJAC has provided consensus advice to the Agency for creative strategies to better address the human health and environmental protection needs of all people, including minority and low-income communities, as well as tribal populations and indigenous groups and organizations, and to ensure that the goal of environmental justice is being integrated in Agency policies, programs, and priorities. The NEJAC continues to serve as a valuable resource to Agency program and regional offices, several of which sponsor NEJAC work groups. NEJAC meetings also serve as a forum for public dialogue on ways that other federal agencies, state, local, tribal governments and business and industry can better address environmental justice concerns.
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Data from Previous Years

ActionCommittee System IDCommittee NameFiscal Year
 COM-001483National Environmental Justice Advisory Council2017
 COM-002537National Environmental Justice Advisory Council2016
 COM-003612National Environmental Justice Advisory Council2015
 COM-004657National Environmental Justice Advisory Council2014
 COM-005999National Environmental Justice Advisory Council2013
 COM-006803National Environmental Justice Advisory Council2012
 COM-008069National Environmental Justice Advisory Council2011
 COM-008961National Environmental Justice Advisory Council2010
 COM-009983National Environmental Justice Advisory Council2009
 COM-011143National Environmental Justice Advisory Council2008
 COM-012018National Environmental Justice Advisory Council2007
 COM-012965National Environmental Justice Advisory Council2006
 COM-013880National Environmental Justice Advisory Council2005
 COM-014638National Environmental Justice Advisory Council2004
 COM-015801National Environmental Justice Advisory Council2003
 COM-016823National Environmental Justice Advisory Council2002
 COM-017731National Environmental Justice Advisory Council2001
 COM-018590National Environmental Justice Advisory Council2000
 COM-019610National Environmental Justice Advisory Council1999
 COM-020688National Environmental Justice Advisory Council1998
 COM-021635National Environmental Justice Advisory Council1997
 COM-032762National Environmental Justice Advisory Council2018