Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination in any program or activity that receives federal funding. As a federally funded organization, the HRTPO is mandated to comply with Title VI requirements. Executive Order 12898 was issued on February 11th 1994 and directed that “each Federal agency shall make achieving Environmental Justice (EJ) part of its mission.” Environmental Justice ensures that no group of people, including a racial, ethnic or socioeconomic group bear a disproportionate share of negative consequences resulting from programs, policies and activities that receive federal funding.
Title VI of the Civil Rights Act and the Executive Order on Environmental Justice do not provide specific guidance to evaluate potential EJ impacts that may occur in transportation decision making. As such, MPO’s are called upon to develop their own approach for ensuring that EJ issues are identified throughout the HRTPO transportation planning process.
To this end, in 2013, the HRTPO began developing its Title VI/EJ Methodology tool. The tool provides for the assessment of potential direct and disparate impacts of projects found in the 2040 Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP). The tool will be further defined to assess the potential impact that all of HRTPO’s plans and programs may have on EJ communities as well
As part of the development of the 2040 Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP), candidate projects that were included in the 2040 LRTP prioritization process were assessed using the HRTPO Title VI/EJ Methodology. Findings from the assessment will be presented to the HRTPO Board and subsequently be made available to the Region on the whole.