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View Diary: DAMNING Congressional Record: Cries for Help Ignored By The Federal Government [updated] (150 comments)

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  •  Even worse FEMA violated its EJ policy (none)
    Copy of FEMA's policy on Environmental Justice and EO 12898

    FEMA EJ Policy


    Implementation of E.O. 12898 Concerning Environmental Justice

    On February 11, l994 President Clinton signed E.O. 12898, entitled, "Federal Actions to Address
    Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations."  

    The Executive Order directs Federal agencies "to make achieving environmental justice part of its mission by identifying and addressing, as appropriate, disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects of its programs, policies, and activities on minority populations and low-income populations in the United States . . .."

    A preliminary assessment of FEMA programs indicates that some of the hazard mitigation projects proposed in the floodplain may potentially fall within the scope of agency
    actions which have a greater impact on minority and low-income populations.

    "As individual fingers we can easily be broken, but all together, we make a mighty fist" Watanka Tatanka (Sitting Bull)

    by wild salmon on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 10:31:02 AM PDT

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    •  you must have been up past your bedtime last night (none)
      that's your diary i linked & posted, darlin'

      : p

      •  heh (none)
        Yeah- was up very late....

        actually I found the FEMA EJ policy this AM which is what I added to your message.

        I had actually thought that maybe FEMA didn't have an official EJ policy, but they do. It makes it even harder to justify their piss poor reaction to Katrina- both before she hit and afterwards. They even explicity identify that agency actions in the floodplain are their biggest EJ issue.

        Thanks for putting it out there- it is important that we all hold their feet to the fire on this one.

        "As individual fingers we can easily be broken, but all together, we make a mighty fist" Watanka Tatanka (Sitting Bull)

        by wild salmon on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 10:46:55 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  aaahh...gotcha (none)
          i just wish i understood the damn thing better...can this stick?
          •  Google for EO 12898 and EJ (none)
            That will get you some background on EJ.

            Can it stick? Well, there are two tracks: legal and political.

            The most effective EJ battles are fought in the political realm.

            EO 12898 has no enforcement mechanism, it was an order to all federal agencies to address environmental justice (ie: impacts on low-income and minority populations) in their own agency policies. So you can nail FEMA for failing to follow its own EJ policy.

            Politically speaking, FEMA cannot claim it was not aware that there was an EJ issue in its disaster response planning and implementation because it is clearly recognized in the agency's EJ policy.

            EO 12898 is the best response to those in the Bush Admin and GOP that will claim

            1. they had no idea that these minority and low-income communities would be at greatest risk,

            2. that FEMA did not know its own planning and implementation needed to  address the impacts on low income and minority populations,

            3. that the biggest risk to these populations was in the floodplain areas of the US.

            Furthermore under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), EO 12898 must be followed by all federal agencies undertaking a federal action. This will be critical to the post-Katrina restoration and environmental work that is done in coming months and years.

            EO 12898 and Environmental Justice issues related to Katrina WILL stick if people have the political will to make them stick. Heads of federal agencies, the WH, and Congress are obligated under EO 12898 to address the very issue of agency actions on these populations. They didn't and they can't claim they didn't know or didn't have to.

            So yes, it can stick- if we beat them over the head with it. The WH and FEMA have NO political cover in light of EO 12898 and FEMA's EJ Policy.
            None whatsoever.

            Sure, Bush had no use for this EO (it was signed by Clinton) and recent acts by the WH and Congress have severely cut funding for agencies to fully address these issues, but that is their responsibility.

            There is NO deniability here for Bush and the GOP. None whatsoever. EO 12898 and the FEMA EJ policy have been on the books since 1994. No excuses.

            "As individual fingers we can easily be broken, but all together, we make a mighty fist" Watanka Tatanka (Sitting Bull)

            by wild salmon on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 12:39:08 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

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