New Report | Local Policies for Environmental Justice: A National Scan

The Tishman Environment and Design Center (TEDC) in partnership with NRDC and other critical partners released a report this week prepared by Ana Baptista, Chair of the Environmental Policy and Sustainability Management (EPSM) program at Milano and Associate Director of TEDC. Milano EPSM student Amanda Sachs was a research assistant on the project. This report details how community advocates and their allies transformed local zoning and local land use policies – historically tools for segregation and concentrating pollution in low-income communities and communities of color – into means for addressing the cumulative burdens borne by environmental justice communities. The report provides detailed information on the processes that led to the implementation of these diverse policies and the key features of the policies themselves. This national scan serves as a resource for environmental justice advocates and policymakers interested in proposing similar policies or in learning from and building on these experiences.

The national scan compiles 40 policies from over 20 cities, three counties and two utility service areas across the U.S., categorizing the policies into six groups:

  1. Bans on specific types of polluting facilities typically sited in environmental justice communities
  2. Broad environmental justice policies that incorporate environmental justice goals and considerations into a range of municipal activities
  3. Environmental review processes applied to new or expanded developments
  4. Proactive planning targeted at future development to address environmental justice via comprehensive plans, overlay zones, or green zones
  5. Targeted land use measures that address existing sources of pollution, like amortization policies
  6. Enhanced public health codes that reach both existing and new sources of pollution that impact public health

You can read the report here

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