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Climate Change and Environmental Justice: Considerations for Transportation Decision-making

June 2016

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) produced this overview describing how the impacts of climate change in the transportation sector can disproportionately affect environmental justice (EJ) communities.  The report recommends considerations for transportation providers to ensure that climate adaptation measures do not exacerbate these impacts. The US Department of Transportation (USDOT) policy statement on climate change previously specified that USDOT will address inequalities and EJ issues related to climate change and adaptation efforts.

Related Organizations: Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Identification and Engagement of Socially Vulnerable Populations in the USACE Decision Making Process

From the U. S. Army Corp of Engineers (USACE) Institute for Water Resources, this primer provides guidance on better identifying and engaging with individuals and groups of people who are more vulnerable to floods based on socioeconomic factors such as lack of access to education, adequate housing, economic resources, health care, and strong social networks. The report provides strategies, tools, and examples of how to work with these vulnerable populations, stressing how active community engagement can actually lead to better decision making around water resources.

Related Organizations: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)

Authors or Affiliated Users: Chris Baker, Seth Cohen, Gigi Coulson, Susan Durden, Ed Rossman

Resource Category: Planning

 

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California Coastal Commission Environmental Justice Policy

March 8, 2019

Established in 1972, the California Coastal Commission has a mandate “to protect and enhance California’s coast and ocean for current and future generations" by regulating development with local government. In 2016, AB 2616 was enacted to amend the state’s Coastal Act, giving the Commission authority to specifically consider environmental justice when making coastal permit decisions. While providing the public and the Commission with guidance on how the agency will implement its authority under AB 2616 - the 2019 environmental justice policy is intended to integrate the principles of environmental justice, equality, and social equity into all aspects of the Commission’s program and operations.

Related Organizations: California Coastal Commission

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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California Heat Assessment Tool (CHAT)

2019

The California Heat Assessment Tool (CHAT) was developed to help state and local public health officials understand how heat vulnerability will change with increasing temperatures due to climate change. The tool helps users identify heat vulnerable areas based upon changes in high heat days under different climate scenarios and social, health and environmental vulnerability factors. The study defines "Heat Health Events" (HHEs) as heat events that cause negative public health impacts - and the study found that vulnerable groups may be more sensitive to high-heat days by as much as 6 to 8 degrees Fahrenheit as compared to the general population.

Related Organizations: Four Twenty Seven, California Natural Resources Agency

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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Strong, Prosperous, And Resilient Communities Challenge - SPARCC

The Strong, Prosperous, And Resilient Communities Challenge (SPARCC) is an initiative of Enterprise Community Partners, the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, the Low Income Investment Fund, and the Natural Resources Defense Council that supports equitable and resilient regional development policies and investments. SPARCC supports innovative, local efforts in six major cities throughout the country (Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, Memphis, and the San Francisco Bay Area) to help change the way metropolitan regions grow, invest, build, and prepare for climate change.

Related Organizations: Enterprise Community Partners, Inc., Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, Low Income Investment Fund, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Newark, New Jersey Environmental Justice and Cumulative Impact Ordinance

July 7, 2016

The Newark Municipal Council passed the Environmental Justice and Cumulative Impacts Ordinance to address long standing health disparities among Newark’s poorest communities. While the ordinance is not specifically about climate change, it does provide a mechanism to address cumulative environmental impacts that lead to the disproportionate climate risks on low-income residents and people of color. This ordinance requires industrial and commercial development proposals to include information about cumulative environmental impacts that will allow decisionmakers and the public to make an informed decision if the development meets the city’s sustainability goals.

Related Organizations: City of Newark, New Jersey

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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