What is Environmental Justice?
Environmental Justice is about equal and fair access to a healthy environment, with the goal of protecting underrepresented and poorer communities from incurring disproportionate environmental impacts. The SCAG region is demographically and economically diverse, and displays the extremes in household income. The region includes heavily urban and entirely rural areas, as well as terrain that in some instances make achieving air quality goals challenging.
Considerations of Environmental Justice are both good planning practices as well as to meet the federal and state requirements. The federal requirements originated from Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VI). Title VI establishes the need for transportation agencies to disclose to the public the benefits and burdens of proposed projects on minority populations. The understanding of civil rights has then been expanded to include low-income communities, in addition to minority populations. In addition to federal requirements, SCAG must comply with California requirements for Environmental Justice.