Environmental Justice (EJ) refers to the implementation of Executive Order 12898, Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations, which directs procedures to be put in place to identify and address any disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects on minority and low-income population groups.
The fundamental principles of EJ can be defined as:
- To avoid, minimize, or mitigate disproportionately high and adverse human health and environmental effects, including social and economic effects, on minority and low-income populations;
- To ensure the full and fair participation by all potentially affected communities in the transportation decision-making process; and
- To prevent the denial of, reduction in, or significant delay in the receipt of benefits by minority and low-income populations.
PennDOT recognizes that the identification of traditionally underserved, low-income, minority, and otherwise vulnerable populations is important because these populations often have specific and unique transportation needs to be considered,
planned for, built, and maintained. Underserved populations may be found in urban, suburban, and rural areas.