ENVR Environmental Justice Initiative

ENVR's Environmental Justice Initiative for 2022

Per the ENVR 2021 statement on Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI), ENVR seeks to "
maintain and improve a culture of inclusivity and respect through our efforts in the development, application, and communication of statistical methods in environmental science.
"   As part of this effort, ENVR aims to identify and address JEDI topics and concerns.  ENVR aims to further the conversation on the role of statistics and data science in Environmental Justice.  The ENVR EJ Initiative for 2022 will be to identify and highlight Environmental Justice topics and work across the ENVR community.  Throughout 2022, ENVR will collect information from our members on their work in Environmental Justice.  As the conversation develops, we will look for ways to share this information with the community, possibly through webinars or roundtables, ENVR's discussion board, and/or a special EJ edition of the ENVR newsletter.  If you are conducting work related to Environmental Justice that you would like to see highlighted within the ENVR community, please send ENVR 2023 Past-Chair Elizabeth Mannshardt or another ENVR board member a brief summary of your work.  Further information on Environmental Justice is provided in below.  We welcome additional resources from across the community as well.

What is Environmental Justice?

Environmental justice (EJ): the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations and policies. This goal will be achieved when everyone enjoys the same degree of protection from environmental and health hazards, and equal access to the decision-making process to have a healthy environment in which to live, learn, and work. (Wikipedia).   

Environmental Justice Policy in the US

In 1994, a Presidential Executive Order (EO 12898) was issued stating "each Federal agency shall 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" with the corresponding Presidential Memorandum requiring agencies to "analyze the environmental effects, including human health, economic and social effects, of Federal actions, including effects on minority communities and low-income communities, when such analysis is required by the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969"  EO 12898 established an Interagency Working Group on Environmental Justice tasked with providing guidance "on criteria for identifying disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects on minority populations and low-income populations".  Section 3 of EO 12898 set policy for Research, Data Collection, and Analysis.  This includes guidance on Human Health and Environmental Research and Analysis speaking to "epidemiological and clinical studies, including segments at high risk from environmental hazards" and Environmental human health analyses to "identify multiple and cumulative exposures".  EO 12898 Section 3 also sets forth policy on Human Health and Environmental Data Collection and Analysis to "collect, maintain, and analyze information assessing and comparing environmental and human health risks borne by populations identified by race, national origin, or income" and calling federal agencies to "use this information to determine whether their programs, policies, and activities have disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects on minority populations and low-income populations".  The 1994 EO was further supported by the recent US Presidential Executive Orders seeking to "prioritize" (Jan 2021) and "advance" (Apr 2021) Environmental Justice within the administration's climate and environmental agenda.


Note that ENVR would be very interested in highlighting Environmental Justice topics and implementations both at the state or local government level as well as governments outside the US.  If you have a brief article summarizing governmental EJ policies and efforts as they may related to environmental statistics and data science, please contact ENVR 2023 Past-Chair Elizabeth Mannshardt. Those doing work in industry or non-profit groups are also encouraged to submit a brief summary of their organization's Environmental Justice Mission and/or Agenda.

Southern Regional Conference on Statistics 2023 highlights Environmental Justice

SRCOS was founded in 1989 and since then has been promoting postsecondary education in Statistical Science.  Keynote Speaker Montse Fuentes, President of St. Edwards University, discussed the role of statistical research in Environmental Justice (EJ).  Statistics research transforms data into knowledge providing evidence to design practical solutions to address challenging environmental problems.  Discussant Elizabeth Mannshardt overviewed US federal policy and EJ implementation. St. Edwards student Ethan Tobias highlighted student EJ efforts and the Gen Z perspective on sustainability.