Citizen's Guide to Using Federal Environmental Laws to Secure Environmental Justice



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Environmental Law Institute


This handbook is a companion to a more extensive report, entitled, "Opportunities for Advancing Environmental Justice: An Analysis of U.S. EPA Statutory Authorities" (ELI Statutory Analysis), which highlights the provisions in the environmental laws that could be used by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to promote environmental justice. This handbook is written to be a practical guide for community residents who want to know how these environmental laws can be used to promote environmental justice in their communities. It focuses on opportunities, legal rules, and tools that community residents have under environmental laws to protect their health, the health of their families and neighbors, and their environment. Unlike the more extensive companion report, it is assumed that most readers of this handbook will be unfamiliar with environmental laws and their legal consequences. To help readers follow the discussion, a glossary is provided and a list of acronyms used in the handbook can be found in Appendix F. In addition, text boxes with page numbers of the ELI Statutory Analysis appear throughout the handbook direct the reader to the corresponding discussion and in-depth analysis in the companion report. The companion report is available electronically at no cost from the Environmental Law Institute web site <>. Click on "Publications" then "2001 Research Reports" to obtain a copy.


124 pages; available for download at the link below.


environmental justice, environmental law, environmental protection