Title VI and Environmental Justice
Planning must be done with the involvement and for the benefit of all the region’s residents. GWRC and FAMPO are guided by federal Title VI and environmental justice mandates and are committed to making Title VI and environmental justice a part of our planning process, integrated in all our programs and plans, and a guide for our public participation efforts.
Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act
Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, prohibits discrimination based upon race, color, and national origin. Specifically, 42 USC 2000d states that “No person in the United States shall, on the ground of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” The use of the word “person” is important as the protections afforded under Title VI apply to anyone, regardless of whether the individual is lawfully present in the United States or a citizen of a State within the United States. In addition to Title VI, there are other nondiscrimination statutes that afford legal protection.
The federal government defines environmental justice as, “the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies.” It includes the identification and assessment of disproportionately high and adverse effects of programs, policies or activities on low-income and minority groups.
Within the realm of transportation planning, Environmental Justice considers the distribution of costs and benefits from capital transportation investments and policies among various segments of society. GWRC/FAMPO staff is responsible for monitoring and evaluating all applicable nondiscrimination authorities, including Environmental Justice, in all aspects of its planning and programming which include:
- Prepare and maintain a demographic profile of the region using the most current statistical information available on race, income and other relevant data.
- Ensure all aspects of the efforts to address Environmental Justice are in compliance with nondiscrimation authorities.
- Undertake an Environmental Justice analysis of proposed projects during Long Range Transportation Plan updates.
- Disseminate information to the public on the processes used and findings of any analyses.
The FAMPO Public Participation Plan includes Environmental Justice guidelines that outline outreach strategies for minority, low-income and Liminted English Proficiency populations during the development and implementation of all FAMPO programs and planning efforts.
Title VI Nondiscrimination Plan
On May 21, 2012, the George Washington Regional Commission (GWRC) and FAMPO adopted the Joint GWRC/FAMPO Title VI Nondiscrimination Plan. This plan extablishes a framework of efforts to ensure compliance with Title VI, as well as the following other environmental justice and nondiscrimination mandates.
- Presidential Executive Orders concerning fairness and inclusiveness.
- Executive Order 12898 mandates that federal agencies address equity and fairness or Environmental Justice toward low-income and minority populations.
- Executive Order 13116 mandates that federal agencies ensure that people who have limited English Proficiency (LEP) have meaningful access to federally-conducted and/or funded programs and activities.
Notice to the Public
Per 49 CFR § 21.9(d), the GWRC and FAMPO shall provide the following statement to the public regarding their Title VI requirements and describe members of the public of the process against discrimination furnished to them by Title VI. This statement will be included into all publications that are distributed to the public, including the Long-Range Transportation Plan (LRTP), the Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP) and the Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP).
“The George Washington Regional Commission and the Fredericksburg Area Metropolitan Planning Organization fully comply with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and its related statutes and regulations in all programs and activities. For more information or to obtain a Discrimination Complaint Form, please visit www.gwregion.org or www.fampo.gwregion.org or call (540)-373-2890. Para información en español, llame al (540)-373-2890.”
Title VI Coordinator
For complaints, questions or concerns about civil rights or nondiscrimination; or for special requests under the American with Disabilities Act, please contact:
Title VI Coordinator