The Environmental Justice, or EJ, subcommittee has a mission to “explore how SBEAPs/SBOs can address EJ concerns in their states through small business assistance.” The subcommittee meets virtually on the second Tuesday of each month at 2 p.m. ET. Interested in getting involved? Contact Lisa Ashenbrenner Hunt, subcommittee chair, for more information.
The U.S. EPA defines 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.”
SBEAPs/SBOs provide on-the-ground assistance to small businesses, many of which may be located in communities with EJ concerns and may be owned by and employ members of those communities. It is essential that small businesses understand and comply with environmental regulations and reduce pollution, especially in overburdened communities. This subcommittee looks for ways that small business assistance providers can integrate a focus on EJ into their everyday work to reduce the environmental burden on disadvantaged communities and engage impacted populations in environmental conversations.
Learn about environmental justice
- 2022 EPA Roots Practice of EJ for Small Business with a Nail Salon presentation (PDF)
- New Hampshire SBDC Inclusivity Project / Community Navigator presentation
- 2022 National SBEAP Annual Training: Environmental Justice session
- 2022 National SBEAP Annual Training: EPA Enforcement and Compliance Initiatives
- Environmental Justice in Enforcement and Compliance Assurance
Environmental justice subcommittee meeting records
- 2023 Environmental Justice Subcommittee Meeting minutes
- 2022 Environmental Justice Subcommittee Meeting minutes
- 2021 Environmental Justice Subcommittee Meeting minutes
National Environmental Justice Advisory Council (NEJAC) involvement
EPA is not currently accepting nominations for the council. They anticipate listing vacancies in fall 2023.
Environmental justice resources for SBEAPs/SBOs
Community assessment tools
- EJScreen - Environmental Justice Screening and Mapping Tool | US EPA
Shows maps and reports of national data on environmental and demographic indicators to help EPA meet its responsibilities to environmental justice.
- Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool
Interactive map and uses datasets that are indicators of burdens in eight categories: climate change, energy, health, housing, legacy pollution, transportation, water and wastewater, and workforce development.
- Additional Resources and Tools Related to EJScreen | US EPA
Lists a variety of mapping tools that complement EJScreen with different areas of emphasis that could also be helpful in addressing environmental justice concerns.
Environmental justice and compliance assurance
- Environmental Justice in Enforcement and Compliance Assurance | US EPA
Explains how OECA is incorporating environmental justice concerns into enforcement and compliance assurance actions.
- Enforcement and Compliance History Online | US EPA
Use ECHO to learn about environmental compliance at facilities in a community, investigate pollution sources, search for EPA enforcement cases, examine and create enforcement-related maps and analyze trends in compliance and enforcement data.
- ECHO Notify | ECHO | US EPA
Sign up to receive email notifications regarding changes to enforcement and compliance data in specific geographic locations or specific facilities.
- Environmental Justice Grants, Funding and Technical Assistance | US EPA
Provides information on a wide variety of financial and technical assistance available from EPA to advance environmental justice.
Other assistance providers
- Community Navigators
Provides funding from the American Rescue Plan to organizations to act as hubs for reducing barriers that small businesses face accessing government resources for economic recovery. These “hubs” connect with networks of more local “spoke” organizations to provide assistance to entrepreneurs, especially in underserved communities.
- Environmental Finance Centers
Provides funding to organizations to provide technical assistance to local and state governments, tribes and territories as well as NGOs to help historically underserved communities access federal funding for water infrastructure improvements projects.
- Environmental Justice Thriving Communities Technical Assistance Centers
Provides support to empower underserved communities to address environmental justice concerns by building capacity in grant writing and management, navigating federal systems like grants.gov and sam.gov and guidance on community engagement.
- Federal Civil Rights Laws (Including Title VI) and EPA's Non-Discrimination Regulations | US EPA
Explains prohibitions of discrimination for program and activities receiving federal assistance.
- Americans with Disabilities Act
More info coming soon
- Case studies
- Regional EPA EJ contacts
More info coming soon
- Contact us (EPA) about environmental justice
- List of EJ resources (pdf)