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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(6), 2366-2385; doi:10.3390/ijerph8062366
Article

A Framework for Integrating Environmental Justice in Regulatory Analysis

Office of Environmental Justice, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, MC 2201A, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20460, USA
Received: 2 June 2011 / Accepted: 16 June 2011 / Published: 22 June 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Environmental Justice)
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Abstract

With increased interest in integrating environmental justice into the process for developing environmental regulations in the United States, analysts and decision makers are confronted with the question of what methods and data can be used to assess disproportionate environmental health impacts. However, as a first step to identifying data and methods, it is important that analysts understand what information on equity impacts is needed for decision making. Such knowledge originates from clearly stated equity objectives and the reflection of those objectives throughout the analytical activities that characterize Regulatory Impact Analysis (RIA), a process that is traditionally used to inform decision making. The framework proposed in this paper advocates structuring analyses to explicitly provide pre-defined output on equity impacts. Specifically, the proposed framework emphasizes: (a) defining equity objectives for the proposed regulatory action at the onset of the regulatory process, (b) identifying specific and related sub-objectives for key analytical steps in the RIA process, and (c) developing explicit analytical/research questions to assure that stated sub-objectives and objectives are met. In proposing this framework, it is envisioned that information on equity impacts informs decision-making in regulatory development, and that this is achieved through a systematic and consistent approach that assures linkages between stated equity objectives, regulatory analyses, selection of policy options, and the design of compliance and enforcement activities.
Keywords: regulatory impact analysis; environmental justice; inequality; equity; regulatory development; inequity; disproportionate impacts regulatory impact analysis; environmental justice; inequality; equity; regulatory development; inequity; disproportionate impacts
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Nweke, O.C. A Framework for Integrating Environmental Justice in Regulatory Analysis. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8, 2366-2385.

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