The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has issued draft Environmental Justice (EJ) Guidance in the Permitting Process for an informal public comment period until May 1.
This guidance is designed to create procedures to accomplish the goals set forth in the Virginia Environmental Justice Act to promote environmental justice and ensure that fair treatment and meaningful involvement are carried out throughout the Commonwealth with a focus on EJ and fenceline communities during DEQ’s permitting processes. The guidance outlines a permit evaluation process for all permitting actions at DEQ, and establishes a method for further evaluation of permits of particular concern to environmental justice and fenceline communities. This method includes a Public Engagement matrix to guide the fair treatment and involvement of Virginia community members in the full scope of DEQ permitting processes. The guidance also allows for the evaluation of any potential disproportionate impacts in EJ communities through cumulative modeling.
The draft guidance can be found at: http://deq.virginia.gov/ej.