Beyond Baby Steps: An Empirical Study of the Impact of Environmental Justice Executive Order 12898

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Abstract

This study evaluated the impact of Executive Order (EO) 12898 to advance environmental justice. We conducted a review evaluating the frequency and effective use of EO 12898 since execution with particular focus following President Obama's Plan EJ 2014. We found that both EO 12898 and Plan EJ 2104 had little, if any, impact on federal regulatory decision making. To the extent federal agencies discussed EO 12898, most did so in boilerplate rhetoric that satisfied compliance but was devoid of detailed thought or analysis. In the 21st year, with the exception of the Environmental Protection Agency, very little federal regulatory activity included references to EO 12898.

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