A framework for integrating environmental justice in regulatory analysis

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With increased interest in integrating environmental justice into the process for developing environmental regulations in the United States, analysts and decision makers are confronted with the question of what methods and data can be used to assess disproportionate environmental health impacts. However, as a first step to identifying data and methods, it is important that analysts understand what information on equity impacts is needed for decision making. Such knowledge originates from clearly stated equity objectives and the reflection of those objectives throughout the analytical activities that characterize Regulatory Impact Analysis (RIA), a process that is traditionally used to inform decision making. The framework proposed in this paper advocates structuring analyses to explicitly provide pre-defined output on equity impacts. Specifically, the proposed framework emphasizes: (a) defining equity objectives for the proposed regulatory action at the onset of the regulatory process, (b) identifying specific and related sub-objectives for key analytical steps in the RIA process, and (c) developing explicit analytical/research questions to assure that stated sub-objectives and objectives are met. In proposing this framework, it is envisioned that information on equity impacts informs decision-making in regulatory development, and that this is achieved through a systematic and consistent approach that assures linkages between stated equity objectives, regulatory analyses, selection of policy options, and the design of compliance and enforcement activities. © 2011 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.




Nweke, O. C. (2011). A framework for integrating environmental justice in regulatory analysis. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 8(6), 2366–28385. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph8062366

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