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                                                      Calendar No. 1056
110th Congress                                                   Report
                                 SENATE
 2d Session                                                     110-485

======================================================================



 
                   ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE ACT OF 2008

                                _______
                                

  September 24 (legislative day, September 17), 2008.--Ordered to be 
                                printed

                                _______
                                

    Mrs. Boxer, from the Committee on Environment and Public Works, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                             together with

                             MINORITY VIEWS

                         [To accompany S. 642]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Environment and Public Works, to which was 
referred the bill (S. 642) to codify Executive Order 12898, 
relating to environmental justice, and to require the 
Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency to fully 
implement the recommendations of the Inspector General of the 
Agency and the Comptroller General of the United States, and 
for other purposes, having considered the same, reports 
favorably thereon and recommends the bill do pass.

                 PURPOSE AND SUMMARY OF THE LEGISLATION

    The purpose of S. 642, The Environmental Justice Act of 
2008 is to require the Administrator of the Environmental 
Protection Agency to fully implement the recommendations of the 
Inspector General of the Agency and the Comptroller General of 
the United States, and for other purposes.
    S. 642 would codify Executive Order 12898, titled, 
``Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority 
Populations and Low-Income Populations'', and eliminate the 
Executive Order's limitation on judicial review. S. 642 would 
also require the Administrator of the Environmental Protection 
Agency (EPA) to fully implement the recommendations of the 
Inspector General of the Agency and the Comptroller General of 
the United States. S. 642 also contains a reporting requirement 
for the Agency to ensure that it implemented the bill in a 
timely and complete fashion.

                BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR THE LEGISLATION

Background

    Environmental justice focuses on the disparate impact of 
environmental contamination on minorities and low income 
people. Concerns over environmental justice were first raised 
over 35 years ago. In 1971 the Council on Environmental 
Quality's Second Annual Report to the President discussed 
studies that documented the geographic relationship between 
environmental pollution and minorities.
    In 1982 Congress asked the Government Accountability Office 
(GAO) to conduct a study to determine if there was a 
correlation between the location of hazardous waste landfills 
and the racial and economic status of the surrounding 
communities. GAO found that in southeastern states, three of 
four commercial hazardous waste landfills were in communities 
with more African Americans than whites. Also in 1982, protests 
and lawsuits against the sitting of a toxic waste dump in 
Warren County, NC helped to spur an environmental justice 
movement.
    A 1987 United Church of Christ Commission for Racial 
Justice study, titled ``Toxic Wastes and Race,'' also found 
that toxic dumps were often located near minority communities, 
rather than just economically depressed areas. The study 
defined ``environmental justice'' as 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.'' In 2007, the United Church of 
Christ updated their seminal study with the report, ``Toxic 
Wastes and Race at Twenty: 1987-2007.'' This report finds that 
there is an even higher likelihood that racial minorities 
comprise the majority of individuals living in neighborhoods 
within 1.8 miles of the nation's hazardous waste facilities.
    By 1990, in response to the concerns of environmental 
justice advocates, the George H.W. Bush Administration 
established the Environmental Equity Work Group, which 
eventually determined that ``racial minority and low-income 
populations experience higher than average exposures to 
selected air pollutants, hazardous waste facilities, 
contaminated fish and agricultural pesticides in the 
workplace.'' In 1992, the George H.W. Bush Administration 
established the Office of Environmental Equity, now known as 
the Office of Environmental Justice, at the EPA.
    Legal remedies have been sought, using Section 601 of Title 
VI of the Civil Rights Act, which prohibits government actions 
that disparately impact one group of people, and section 602, 
which requires federal agencies to implement regulations to 
protect these rights. The Supreme Court's decision in Alexander 
vs. Sandoval (2001) construed the law to not allow private 
individuals and organizations to file suits alleging 
``disparate impact'' discrimination under Section 602 of Title 
VI. Disparate impact discrimination is unintentional 
discrimination that adversely affects racial groups or other 
protected classes. Now one must demonstrate intentional 
discrimination, to prove a Civil Rights violation under Title 
VI.
    In 1994, President Clinton issued Executive Order 12898: 
``Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority 
Populations and Low-income Populations.'' (E.O.) The E.O. 
requires federal agencies with public health and environment 
programs to comply with Title VI's requirements prohibiting 
discrimination of race, color or national origin. States that 
receive federal funds from covered agencies must use that money 
in compliance with the E.O.
    Independent bodies have criticized the EPA's failure to 
fully implement the E.O. In 2004, EPA's Inspector General (IG) 
issued a report that found the following:
     In 2001, EPA restated its commitment to 
environmental justice by directing the agency to conduct its 
programs, policies, and activities that substantially affect 
human health and the environment in a manner that ensures the 
fair treatment of all people, including minority and low-income 
populations.
     EPA has not fully implemented the E.O. nor 
consistently integrated environmental justice into its day-to-
day operations.
     In the absence of established environmental 
justice definitions, criteria, or standards, regional and 
program offices have taken inconsistent steps to implement 
environmental justice policies, resulting in inconsistent 
impacts.
    The EPA disagreed with the IG findings and stood by its 
interpretation of the E.O., which reiterated EPA's existing 
responsibility to protect the public, and eliminated the 
mandate to protect minority communities with a disproportionate 
amount of environmental pollution.
    In 2005, the GAO studied EPA's development of the Clean Air 
Rules. In its report, it found that EPA devoted little 
attention to environmental justice. It found the following:
     Initial reports to senior staff that should have 
been used to ``flag'' environmental justice issues did not do 
so;
     It was unclear if environmental justice provisions 
were including in the early rule making process; and
     Reviews for the proposed gasoline and diesel rules 
generally devoted little attention to environmental justice.
    In 2006, the Inspector General of the EPA produced a report 
indicating that the agency had failed to fully implement E.O. 
12898, and had not sufficiently directed programs and regional 
offices to conduct environmental reviews in accordance with the 
E.O. The EPA is currently developing and piloting environmental 
justice review protocols.
    In 2005, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator 
Stephen Johnson released a memo entitled: ``Reaffirming the 
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Commitment to 
Environmental Justice.'' In this memo, Administrator Johnson 
defined ``environmental justice'' as ``justice for all people, 
regardless of race, color, national origin, or income.'' He 
also argued that the Agency's efforts to focus on everyone, not 
just those members of a minority group, are in line with 
environmental justice.

Need for Legislation

    The Committee believes that the Administrator of the 
Environmental Protection Agency should fully and quickly 
implement Executive Order 12898: ``Federal Actions to Address 
Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-income 
Populations.'' The Committee also believes that, given the 
Administrator's repeated failure to fully implement the 
Executive Order over a number of years, more accountability is 
needed to ensure that the Administrator acts quickly and 
decisively to address environmental justice problems.
    The findings and recommendations of the independent bodies 
that reported on the Agency's failure to appropriately 
implement the Executive Order are extremely valuable. The U.S. 
Government Accountability Office is an independent, nonpartisan 
agency that works for Congress. The GAO supports Congress in 
meeting its constitutional responsibilities and to help improve 
the performance and ensure the accountability of the federal 
government for the benefit of the American people. The GAO 
accomplishes these activities by promoting accountability, 
integrity, and reliability. Their findings demonstrate a need 
for the Administrator to integrate environmental justice 
concerns early on and throughout the Agency's rulemaking 
process.
    The Agency's Inspector General independent office within 
EPA that helps the Agency protect the environment and human 
health. The Inspector General's report, which acts as the 
Agency's watchdog, shows serious failure in the Agency's effort 
to consistently implement the Environmental Justice Executive 
Order. The Agency clearly needs more directions and 
accountability to ensure that it quickly and completely 
implements the Executive Order.

                SUMMARY OF MAJOR PROVISIONS OF THE BILL

    S. 642 would codify Executive Order 12898: ``Federal 
Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority 
Populations and Low-income Populations.'' The bill also defines 
key terms associated with this Order, and would eliminate the 
Executive Order's limitation on judicial review.
    The bill would require the Administrator of the 
Environmental Protection Agency to implement various 
recommendations from the Agency's Inspector General and the 
Comptroller General of the United States. The independent 
bodies' reports discussed the Agency's failure to appropriately 
implement the Environmental Justice Executive Order in the 
Agency's regulatory activities and programs. S. 642 also 
contains a reporting requirement for the Agency to ensure that 
it implemented the bill in a timely and complete fashion.

                      SECTION-BY-SECTION ANALYSIS

Section 1. Short title

    Section 1 establishes the short title of the Act as the 
``Environmental Justice Act of 2008''.

Section 2. Codification of Executive Order 12898

    Section 2 codifies Executive Order 12898: ``Federal Actions 
to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and 
Low-income Populations.'' It also defines the terms 
``environmental justice'' and ``fair treatment'', and 
eliminates the Executive Order's limitation on judicial review.

Section 3. Implementation of recommendations by Environmental 
        Protection Agency

    Section 3 requires the Administrator of the Environmental 
Protection Agency to, as promptly as practicable, carry out 
each of the recommendations of the EPA Inspector General report 
number 2006-P-00034, entitled ``EPA Need to Conduct 
Environmental Justice Reviews of its Programs, Policies, and 
Activities.''
    The section requires the Administrator to, as promptly as 
practicable, carry out each of the recommendations of the 
Comptroller General of the United States contained in report 
number GAO-05-289, entitled ``EPA Should Devote More Attention 
to Environmental Justice when Developing Clean Air Rules.''
    The section requires the Administrator to, as promptly as 
practicable, carry out each of the recommendations of the EPA 
Inspector General report number 2004-P-00007, entitled ``EPA 
Needs to Consistently Implement the Intent of the Executive 
Order on Environmental Justice.''
    The section also requires the Administrator to submit a 
report to Congress within six months of enactment of this act 
on the Administrator's strategy for implementing each of the 
recommendations in the three reports described above. 
Thereafter, the Administrator is required to provide Congress 
with a semi-annual report on EPA's progress in implementing 
each recommendation, and on the EPA's progress on incorporating 
environmental justice in the Agency's Incident Command 
Structure.

             Legislative History, Committee Views and Votes


                                 VOTES

    On July 31, 2008, the Environment and Public Works held a 
business meeting where it considered S. 642. Senator Inhofe 
offered an amendment to modify the bill's definition of ``fair 
treatment.'' The Committee voted down the amendment 10-9, with 
Senators Baucus, Cardin, Carper, Clinton, Klobuchar, 
Lautenberg, Lieberman, Sanders, Whitehouse and Boxer voting 
against adopting the amendment. Senators Alexander, Barrasso, 
Bond, Craig, Isakson, Vitter, Voinovich, Warner and Inhofe 
voted for the amendment.
    On July 25, 2007, the Environment and Public Work's 
Subcommittee on Superfund and Environmental Health held an 
oversight hearing on EPA's Environmental Justice Program.

                      REGULATORY IMPACT STATEMENT

    In compliance with section 11(b) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the committee notes that the 
Congressional Budget Office has found that ``according to EPA, 
many of the activities required under this legislation are 
already underway. . . . S. 642 contains no intergovernmental or 
private-sector mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates 
Reform Act and would impose no costs on state, local, or tribal 
governments.''

                          MANDATES ASSESSMENT

    In compliance with the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 
(Public Law 104-4), the Committee notes that the Congressional 
Budget Office has said that the bill ``contains no 
intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as defined in the 
Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and would impose no costs on 
state, local, or tribal governments.''

                  CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE ESTIMATE

S. 642--Environmental Justice Act of 2007

    S. 642 would require the Environmental Protection Agency 
(EPA) to fully implement certain recommendations made by EPA's 
Inspector General and the Comptroller General of the United 
States in various reports. Those recommendations include 
requiring EPA to consider how its programs and policies affect 
low-income and minority communities and to identify those 
programs and policies that have a disproportionately large and 
adverse health or environmental impact on such communities.
    According to EPA, many of the activities required under 
this legislation are already underway. CBO estimates, based on 
information from EPA, that implementing this legislation would 
increase costs by less than $500,000 annually over the 2009-
2013 period, subject to the availability of appropriated funds. 
Enacting the legislation would not affect direct spending or 
revenues.
    S. 642 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and 
would impose no costs on state, local, or tribal governments.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Susanne S. 
Mehlman. This estimate was approved by Theresa Gullo, Deputy 
Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.

                             MINORITY VIEWS

                               Background

    S. 642 would codify Executive Order 12898, and for the 
first time in any federal law define the term ``environmental 
justice''. Included within this overall definition of 
environmental justice is the use of the word ``fair 
treatment'', referring to the impacts on minorities and low 
income communities. The bill fails to adequately define this 
term, yet makes this highly interpretive term law, while 
ignoring the cumulative factors of what is ``fair''. One of the 
major problems with this legislation is that it attempts to 
define the broad term of environmental justice with equally 
broad terminology that requires its own definitions, such as 
the use of ``fair treatment'' and ``disproportionate impacts''. 
This bill fails to clearly define the meaning of these terms 
which will undoubtedly cause inconsistent application and will 
continue to ignore the cumulative factors and net socio-
economic benefits that should be considered in environmental 
justice considerations.
    The ambiguous use of the term ``environmental justice'' and 
``fair treatment'' within this legislation and the unspecified 
legal ramifications of codifying Executive Order 12898 will 
lead to a proliferation of lawsuits on environmental justice 
grounds, disrupt plans to revitalize economically depressed 
areas, and deny communities the right to decide what is in its 
own best interest. ``Community leaders should be concerned 
about the health and safety of those who reside near 
environmental hazards. Current federal civil rights law rightly 
forbids policy-makers and other recipients of federal funds 
from considering the ethnic or racial composition of a 
neighborhood when making sitting, permitting or environmental 
enforcement decisions. Environmental justice activists, 
however, seek to create a federal civil rights claim every time 
an environmental or public health problem impacts 
minorities.''\1\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\Of United States Commission on Civil Rights study: Not in My 
Backyard, Executive Order 12898 and Title VI as Tools for Achieving 
Environmental Justice, October 2003, Dissenting Views.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Concerns about the erroneous assumptions and duplication of 
existing bureaucracy within S. 2549 prompted this September 22, 
2008 letter to Chairman Boxer and Ranking Member Inhofe of the 
Environment and Public Works Committee, from Peter Kirsanow, a 
Commissioner on the United States Commission on Civil Rights:

          Aside from the unnecessary duplication of existing 
        programs and increased bureaucracy created by this 
        legislation, S. 642 and S. 2549 are particularly 
        troubling because they use civil rights 
        antidiscrimination law and policies as a vehicle for 
        resolving complex environmental and public health 
        issues. This legislation makes the same mistake of many 
        environmental activists in assuming that disparate 
        impact on a local population is evidence of intentional 
        discrimination by government agencies. Results of 
        studies on this issue inevitably depend upon numerous 
        variables, including the size of the study, the 
        definition of ``minority community,'' the aggregation 
        or disaggregation of urban and rural communities, and 
        control for income levels. The evidence of any 
        correlation between environmental hazards and race is 
        mixed at best, and there are a series of studies that 
        show, for example, no disproportionate racial impact in 
        environmental facility citing decisions.
          This legislation is based on entirely erroneous 
        assumptions that also fail to recognize that many 
        minority communities have developed around existing 
        environmental sites because of lower housing costs, 
        increased employment opportunities, or both. Yet, the 
        background of these legislative proposals leave the 
        reader with the impression that environmental 
        ``hazards'' have been thrust upon minority communities 
        specifically because they are minority communities--
        that is a false presumption that lacks merit.
          . . . The real concern in adopting S. 2549 and S. 642 
        is the elimination of limitations on judicial review. 
        Under Title VI, individuals are protected from 
        intentional discrimination. In the landmark case 
        Alexander v. Sandoval,\2\ the U.S. Supreme Court held 
        that Title VI provides no private right of action for 
        claims of disparate impact. In S. 2549, section 4(a) 
        directs the federal agencies involved to conduct every 
        program and evaluate every decision in the context of 
        disparate impact on an individual. This effectively 
        overturns Sandoval and will increase lawsuits, thwart 
        the revitalization of economically depressed areas and 
        deny communities the right to decide what is in their 
        own best interests.

    \2\532 U.S. 275 (2001).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Concerns about the consequences of codifying Executive 
Order 12898 are not only shared by the legal and civil rights 
community, but also shared by many groups. Below is an excerpt 
from a letter sent to Members of Congress on September 19, 2008 
from the United States Chamber of Commerce:

          The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the world's largest 
        business federation representing more than three 
        million businesses and organizations of every size, 
        sector, and region, strongly opposes S. 642, the 
        ``Environmental Justice Act of 2007,'' and S. 2549, the 
        ``Environmental Justice Renewal Act'' which may be 
        offered as amendments to must-pass legislation during 
        the remaining days of the 110th Congress.
          . . . In the years since President Clinton signed 
        Executive Order 12898, titled ``Federal Actions to 
        Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations 
        and Low-Income Populations,'' misguided environmental 
        justice activism has delayed or permanently derailed 
        countless projects and facilities that would have 
        brought significant economic development to minority 
        and low-income neighborhoods. The environmental justice 
        movement has been used to drive businesses from those 
        areas most in need of economic stimulus and, in the 
        process, operated as a disincentive for businesses to 
        locate in these needy areas. The grim reality is that 
        environmental justice, intended to sensitize policy-
        makers to equitable environmental considerations, has 
        been used to harass businesses, prevent job creation, 
        and stifle economic development in the minority and 
        low-income areas.
          S. 642 and S. 2549 would exacerbate the fundamental 
        problems inherent in environmental justice. For 
        example, Senator Durbin's bill would overturn the U.S. 
        Supreme Court's decision in Sandoval\3\ and codify 
        Executive Order 12898 except for the ban on judicial 
        review, which would create a private right of action 
        for environmental activists to sue government and 
        effectively block businesses from bringing economic 
        development to blighted regions. This outcome would be 
        particularly perverse in light of our current energy 
        crisis, as it would promote endless litigation on the 
        permitting of new energy facilities, such as nuclear 
        plants, oil refineries, and coal-fired power plants. . 
        . .
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \3\In Alexander v. Sandoval, 523 U.S. 275 (2001), the Supreme Court 
considered held that there exists no private right of action to enforce 
disparate-impact regulations under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 
1964.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
          . . . Both S. 642 and S. 2549 advance the failed 
        policies of the environmental justice movement. Rather 
        than injecting the benefits of economic development 
        into our national environmental policy discourse, these 
        bills offer activists the opportunity to prevent 
        businesses and communities from bringing jobs and 
        economic stimulus into the poorest communities in the 
        nation.
          These complex and far-reaching bills deserve to be 
        carefully deliberated by Congress, not rushed through 
        the legislative process. Therefore, the U.S. Chamber 
        urges you to oppose any attempt to offer these bills as 
        amendments to important legislation.

There is insufficient evidence of disparate impact as negative

    Studies on the demographic impact of industrial and 
environmental decisions are mixed. They are based upon many 
variables such as study size, minority community definitions 
and varying income levels. Advocates of this legislation assume 
findings which indicate racially disproportionate impacts are 
correct without creating a consistent decision-making process. 
This will lead to a single claim of the presence of 
disproportionate impacts as proof-positive of discriminatory 
intent. In addition, environmental justice claims will fail to 
incorporate cost-benefit analysis and risk assessment; 
sometimes the location of environmental hazards can be very 
beneficial to the local communities. For example, ``increased 
employment opportunities, increased social services made 
possible by a larger tax base, and lower housing costs and real 
estate prices'' are quite possible due to the selection of a 
community for a project.\4\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \4\Dissenting Views of Commissioners of United States Commission on 
Civil Rights study: Not in My Backyard, Executive Order 12,898 and 
Title VI as Tools for Achieving Environmental Justice, October 2003.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Environmental and public health programs in minority communities are 
        generally not the result of racist-decision making

    Health problems in minority communities are often the 
result of a ``multitude of factors, including poverty, 
substance abuse, family instability, poor nutrition, and low 
participation rates in preventative care programs.'' The focus 
on environmental justice detracts from the real public policy 
solution: improving the health and safety of all communities, 
while consistently enforcing existing environmental laws.

Antidiscrimination law is an improper legal application for addressing 
        environmental justice issues: Overturning Alexander v. Sandoval 
        (2001) is the wrong approach

    Title VI of the Civil Rights Act appropriately forbids 
intentional discrimination but S. 642 would go one step further 
and utilize federal antidiscrimination law incorrectly as a 
method of solving complex environmental problems. When 
evaluating environmental justice claims using disparate impact 
analysis, motive is irrelevant--policies are considered 
``discriminatory'' simply because they have a disproportionate 
adverse impact on a protected group.\5\ Although the disparate 
impact model may provide a useful mode of analysis in some 
areas of the law, the Supreme Court has cautioned that 
disparate impact should not be applied reflexively to all areas 
of antidiscrimination law.''\6\ Environmental justice activists 
do not explain this model as meaningful in the public health 
and environmental context, which needlessly forces 
disadvantaged communities into a zero-sum game: deciding 
between health and economic well-being.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \5\Dissenting Views of Commissioners of United States Commission on 
Civil Rights study: Not in My Backyard, Executive Order 12,898 and 
Title VI as Tools for Achieving Environmental Justice, October 2003.
    \6\See Washington v. Davis, 426 U.S. 229, 246-48 (1976); see also 
Jennifer C. Braceras, Killing the Messenger: The Misuse of Disparate 
Impact Theory to Challenge High-stakes Educational Tests, 55 Vand. L. 
Rev. 1111, 1142 (2002).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Environmental justice actions at the Environmental Protection Agency

    In the Fiscal Year 2008 House Appropriations Committee 
Report 110-187, EPA was directed to address and implement where 
needed the recommendations of the 2004 and 2006 EPA Inspector 
General and 2005 GAO reports. In this, July 18, 2008 report EPA 
states in part:

          . . . As a result of strategic efforts and lessons 
        learned since the program began in 1992, the Agency has 
        made steady progress towards developing coherency and 
        cohesion in its environmental justice visions, goals, 
        expectations, performance measurement, and 
        comprehensive integration into Agency strategic 
        planning. In recent years, efforts to incorporate 
        environmental justice considerations into EPA's core 
        functions have accelerated partly in response to 
        recommendations in the Inspector General's (IG) 
        evaluation reports in 2004 and 2006, and the General 
        Accounting Office (GAO) report in 2005.
          EPA has made tremendous strides to understand and to 
        integrate environmental justice into EPA's daily work. 
        Efforts extend across the Agency's core functions, as 
        reflected in EPA's Strategic Plan, National Program 
        Manager's (NPM) Guidance, Environmental Justice Action 
        Plans, program evaluation activities, and rulemaking 
        activities, as well as to training, collaborative 
        problem-solving efforts and disaster preparation and 
        response activities.
          EPA is learning how to measure the EJ Program's 
        progress in a way that is accurate, meaningful, and 
        cognizant of the unique and complex issues of 
        environmental justice. EPA recognizes that it takes 
        time to build a community's capacity and to identify 
        the shared responsibilities of many levels of 
        government. By continuously improving the EJ Program, 
        the Agency can achieve the tangible results that make a 
        positive impact in the health of communities 
        disproportionately burdened by environmental hazards. . 
        . .

    Since, 1992 The EPA has made a consistent, long-term, 
agency-wide commitment to integrate environmental justice, 
promote environmental justice to external stakeholders, and 
provide financial assistance to address local environmental 
and/or public health issues.
    The EPA has identified eight priorities in this area:
          1. Reduction in number of asthma attacks;
          2. Reduce exposure to air toxics;
          3. Safe fish/shellfish;
          4. Clean and safe drinking water;
          5. Revitalization of brownfields and contaminated 
        sites;
          6. Reducing elevated blood lead levels;
          7. Ensuring compliance;
          8. Collaborative problem-solving to address 
        environmental justice issues.
    Environmental justice is evidenced in each of the EPA's 
strategic goals. For example, in Goal 1: Clean Air and Global 
Climate Change, EPA set a target to reduce exposure to indoor 
asthma triggers with a special emphasis on children and other 
disproportionately impacted populations.
    In Goal 2: Clean and Safe Water, EPA commits to providing 
small community drinking water systems serving low-income 
populations training and assistance in using cost-effective 
treatment technologies, properly disposing of waste, and 
complying with standards for high-priority contaminants.
    In Goal 3: Land Preservation and Restoration, EPA 
encourages broader use of improved sample collection 
techniques, analytical tools, and indicators to better address 
environmental justice concerns and identify areas that may 
suffer disproportionate impacts.
    In Goal 4: Healthy Communities and Ecosystems, EPA has 
developed transparent, measurable, and accountable 
environmental justice targets, such as reducing blood lead 
levels in low-income children 1-5 years old, and achieving 
significant environmental and public health improvement in 
communities through collaborative problem-solving strategies. 
The goals for the community collaborative problem solving 
grants are measured in terms of the actions taken within areas 
disproportionately and adversely burdened by environmental 
risks and harms, and the improvements in environmental and 
public health resulting from grants funded by EPA.
    In Goal 5: Compliance and Environmental Stewardship, EPA 
emphasizes achieving results in all areas including those with 
potential environmental justice concerns through compliance 
assistance, compliance incentives, and monitoring and 
enforcement.
    These efforts have been enhanced by the creation of the 
Environmental Justice Executive Steering Committee, which 
directed each national program manager and Regional Office to 
develop and maintain EJ Action Plans. In addition, an EJ review 
process was established to improve the effectiveness of the EJ 
programs. A training program was also created in order ensure 
EPA staff take environmental justice concerns into 
consideration when executing their tasks.

                               Conclusion

    This bill would create a complex new process within all 
Federal Agencies that will have far reaching negative legal 
ramifications. The Minority would strongly oppose moving 
forward with this bill, without the opportunity on the Senate 
floor to offer amendments that address the problems with this 
legislation. We strongly oppose attempts to move forward with 
this legislation, as it makes complex changes to existing 
environmental laws, absent the rigor of the full parliamentary 
process.

                                                   James M. Inhofe.
                        CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW

    Section 12 of rule XXVI of the Standing Rules of the Senate 
requires the committee to publish changes in existing law made 
by the bill as reported. Passage of this bill will make no 
changes to existing law.