EPA Release Update to Equity Action Plan

On February 14, EPA released an update to its 2022 Equity Action Plan. The original release of the Action Plan fulfilled President Biden’s Executive Order (EO) 13985, which directed federal agencies to assess whether underserved communities face systemic barriers to accessing federal benefits and opportunities. The updated plan includes eight priority strategies, four new and four holdovers from the 2022 plan.

  • Improve access for Communities to Federal Assistance.
  • Reduce Cumulative Impacts and Health Disparities.
  • Strengthen our Civil Rights Compliance Program.
  • Protect Children from Exposures to Environmental Harms.
  • Address Inequitable Access to Resources for Rural Communities.
  • Ensure Public Access to EPA Programs and Address Environmental Harms for People with Disabilities.
  • Strengthening Community-Based Participatory Science to Achieve Environmental Equity.
  • Improve Data and Analytic Capacity to Better Identify and Remove Barriers.

The 2023 Equity Action Plan also includes a summary of the early accomplishments achieved under the 2022 plan’s six priority strategies.

  • Develop a comprehensive framework for considering cumulative impacts in relevant EPA decisions and operationalize that framework in EPA’s programs and activities.
  • Build the capacity of underserved communities to provide their experience to EPA and implement community-led projects.
  • Develop EPA’s internal capacity to engage underserved communities and implement clear and accountable processes to act based on communities’ input.
  • Strengthen EPA’s external civil rights compliance program and ensure that civil rights compliance is an agency-wide responsibility.
  • Integrate participatory (community) science into EPA’s research and program implementation.
  • Make EPA’s procurement and contracting more equitable.