Environmental Justice


Environmental Justice is the fair treatment of people of all races, cultures, and incomes with respect to the development, adoption, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws and policies. Executive Order 12898 directs federal agencies to identify and address the disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects of their actions on minority and low-income populations, to the greatest extent practicable and permitted by law. As a recipient of federal funding, CDOT complies with the federal government's Environmental Justice policy.

To help ensure the fair distribution of the benefits and burdens associated with CDOT programs and activities, CDOT is guided by the following Environmental Justice principles:

  • To avoid, minimize, or mitigate disproportionately high and adverse human health and environmental effects, including social and economic effects, on minority populations and low-income populations.
  • To ensure the full and fair participation by all potentially affected communities in the transportation decision-making process.
  • To prevent the denial of, reduction in, or significant delay in the receipt of benefits by minority and low-income populations.

Environmental Justice and NEPA

CDOT projects that require a federal action must comply with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). During the NEPA review process, CDOT evaluates possible adverse human health and environmental effects of a project on minority and low-income communities.

Chapter 9.15 of the CDOT NEPA Manual describes how CDOT staff analyze Environmental Justice issues during the NEPA process.

FHWA Guidance on Environmental Justice and NEPA describes the documentation requirements and process for addressing Environmental Justice during the NEPA review of highway projects.

Environmental Justice Resources