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CMMPO Environmental Justice (EJ) Thresholds

What is Environmental Justice?

Environmental Justice (EJ) is defined 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.

  • Fair Treatment means: No group of people should bear a disproportionate share of the negative environmental consequences resulting from industrial, governmental and commercial operations or policies.
  • Meaningful Involvement means: People have an opportunity to participate in decisions about activities that may affect their environment and/or health. Their contribution can influence the regulatory agency’s decision. Their concerns will be considered. The decision makers seek out and facilitate the involvement of those potentially affected.

Environmental Justice Populations

Minority Populations includes who are American Indian and Alaska Native, Asian, Black or African American, Hispanic or Latino, and Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander. Minority populations are any readily identifiable group or groups of minority persons who live in
geographic proximity and if circumstances warrant, geographically dispersed/transient persons.

Low Income is defined as a person whose median household income is at or below the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) poverty guidelines. Low-income populations are any readily identifiable group or groups of low-income persons who live in a geographic proximity, and if circumstances warrant, geographically dispersed/transient persons (such as migrant workers).

Massachusetts Environmental Justice Thresholds

In Massachusetts, an environmental justice population is a neighborhood where one or more of the following criteria are true:

  1. The annual median household income is 65% or less of the statewide annual median household income.
  2. Minorities make up 40% or more of the population.
  3. 25% or more of households identify as speaking English less than “very well“.
  4. Minorities make up 25% or more of the population and the annual median household income of the municipality in which the neighborhood is located doesn’t exceed 150 percent of the statewide annual median household income.

CMMPO Environmental Justice Thresholds

Each Metropolitan Planning Organization has its own regional thresholds. CMMPO uses the regional thresholds as part of the evaluation of the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) scoring process, scenario planning, and equity analysis. The Regional Collaboration and Community Planning division uses the EOEEA thresholds for grants and assessments.

Municipalities and governmental entities are allowed to contract directly with CMRPC in accordance with MGL Chapter 30B Sections 1 (b) (3) and (b) (9). Contract with CMRPC, contact CMRPC’s Executive Director, Janet Pierce at jpierce@cmrpc.org

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