Toward the development of a unified process and methodology guide for environmental justice analysis in planning and programming

Eliot Benman, David Aimen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Federal Environmental Justice directives require transportation agencies responsible for planning and programming federal funds, including state departments of transportation and metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs), to identify and address disproportionately high and adverse human health and environmental impacts on minority and low-income populations. Despite issuance of federal and state guidance and training programs, many MPOs nationwide continue to seek clarity on effective environmental justice (EJ) approaches and procedural considerations. The South Central Pennsylvania Unified EJ Process and Methodology study was a year-long effort undertaken by a consortium of MPOs in Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) District 8 to identify a unified and replicable approach to implementing EJ in transportation planning. PennDOT, Federal Highway Administration PA Division, and Federal Transit Administration Region III provided technical assistance and support to the effort. The consortium engaged a technical assistance consultant to facilitate a collaborative process to identify a process framework, a set of analytical methodologies, and effective strategies for advancing EJ in the regional transportation planning process. The study demonstrated a model for convening regional, state, and federal partners to reach consensus around an effective EJ process and methodology. This paper provides an overview of the study process, findings related to the concerns of the participating MPOs, and a brief description of the recommended analytical approaches. The paper discusses lessons learned during the course of the study and considers additional work required to further enhance the EJ process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationTransportation Research Record
PublisherSAGE Publications Ltd
Number of pages13
StatePublished - 2021

Publication series

NameTransportation Research Record

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering


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