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POLICY 61

Environmental Justice: Establish environmental justice frameworks for policy and regulation.

Low-income residents, indigenous residents and residents of color in Minneapolis experience unequal health, wealth, employment and education outcomes, and also are overburdened by environmental conditions such as traffic, stationary sources of air pollution, brownfield sites, blight and substandard housing. The City of Minneapolis strives to achieve environmental justice for its residents, which is the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people, regardless of race, color, national origin or income, in the development, implementation and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations and policies. Fair treatment means no group of people should bear a disproportionate share of the negative environmental consequences resulting from industrial, governmental or commercial operations or policies. This requires meaningful involvement from all communities, especially those disproportionately affected and previously disenfranchised, and intentional action by the City to protect the health of residents and guests of the city into 2040.

ACTION STEPS

The City will seek to accomplish the following action steps to establish environmental justice frameworks for policy and regulation.

  1. Define and map areas of environmental injustice based on data on demographics, environmental inequities, institutional racism and underinvestment.
  2. Ensure areas of environmental injustice experience the benefits of local and regional infrastructure investments, not just the negative consequences.
  3. Strive for regional investments that further reduce environmental and social inequalities in environmental injustice areas.
  4. Ensure that investment in environmental justice areas is done strategically and intentionally, with an eye toward avoiding gentrification and displacement of existing businesses and residents.
  5. Partner with residents and organizations in environmental injustice areas to determine City investments and regulatory changes.
  6. Explore opportunities and implement strategies in all City enterprise business lines to address inequities related to environmental injustice.
  7. Prioritize cleanup of contaminated sites in areas of environmental injustice.
  8. Create and implement proactive predevelopment brownfield cleanup strategies and tools in areas of environmental injustice.
  9. Include environmental justice engagement opportunities in all environmental health-related programs, regulations and/or policies. Recognize that residents, business owners and organizations in environmental justice areas may not have the same capacity and resources to participate in traditional City engagement opportunities, and accommodate needs to ensure authentic engagement.
  10. Establish educational, technical and/or financial assistance for all environmental health-related programs, regulations and policies with an emphasis on environmental justice areas that have historically experienced underinvestment.
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