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Environmental Management





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On 11 February 1994, President Clinton signed Executive Order 12898 ‘‘Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations.’’ Under the order, 17 federal agencies and offices are required to compile information about the race, national origin, and income of populations in close proximity to federal facilities that may have a significant effect upon ecosystem and human health. The goal is to protect historically disenfranchised groups from being disproportionately impacted by negative externalities associated with federal actions.

This study examines the outcome of efforts to educate federal land-use managers about their roles in implementing the Executive Order in their respective districts. The managers participated in a 6-h Nominal Group Technique (NGT) workshop where they were instructed to weight environmental justice issues versus others associated with hazardous waste problems in their districts. Participant responses were quantified and analyzed through a series of rounds. After each round, participants received increasing amounts of information on environmental justice issues.

It was hypothesized that the managers would come to a consensus that environmental justice is an important issue that should be seriously addressed. Prior to administering the NGT, the managers appeared to have limited knowledge of environmental justice issues and thus assigned relatively low rankings to such concerns. After being ‘‘educated’’ by viewing films on environmental justice and reading related literature, in general, managers’ weightings decreased and a narrower consensus developed.

The authors conclude that exposure to the issue may not be as effective as expected in convincing land-use managers to become sensitive to justice issues so that they may effectively implement the Executive Order.


The final publication is available at