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EE Stakeholder Workgroup Invitation Letter
Una Declaración sobre la Justícia Ambiental!
Environmental Equity Progress Report
Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management
The Department is developing implementation guidelines and tasks to carry out this policy effectively. Currently, we are working on the following interim implementation tasks:
By law, all Rhode Islanders have a right to enjoy a clean and healthy environment. The Department must, therefore, be affirmative in guarding against environmental discrimination and working towards environmental equity. For purposes of this policy, environmental equity means that no person or particular group of persons suffers disproportionately from environmental degradation or intentional discrimination, or is denied enjoyment of a fair share of environmental improvements.
Equity does not mean that it is possible to guarantee all people and communities an identical environmental experience or identical shares of environmental benefits and burdens. Rather, equity requires that benefits and burdens in general be distributed fairly. As the Department develops, implements and evaluates its policies, programs and actions, it must strive to achieve, restore or maintain a fair distribution. In pursuing this goal, the Department must be particularly sensitive to the interests of groups of people who are afforded special protection under federal and state anti-discrimination laws.
An effective environmental equity policy requires meaningful opportunities for affected or potentially affected parties to have input into policy development, programmatic planning and decision-making by the Department. The Department's objective is to provide for proactive consideration of environmental equity concerns, in early stages, before case-specific decisions such as regulatory approvals are made. This policy presumes that after-the-fact challenges to specific decisions are not an effective way to promote environmental equity.