Wisconsin Department of Transportation

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Environmental areas - Environmental justice

Overview | Legal requirements | FDM references | Worksheets/forms | Guidance | Policies | FHWA info.


Executive Order 12898, signed by the President on February 11, 1994, directs each federal agency to make environmental justice part of its mission. This is done by identifying and addressing, as appropriate, disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects of its programs, policies, and activities on minority and low-income populations to the greatest extent practicable and permitted by law.

Executive Order 12898 is not a new requirement. It does not create any rights to judicial review for compliance or non compliance. However, it reinforces and builds upon Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as amended and other anti-discriminatory laws, including the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Act. Moreover, the Executive Order requires that affected minority populations and low-income populations are meaningfully involved in the decision-making process.

As a recipient of federal financial assistance, WisDOT works closely with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) in implementing the Executive Order and these agencies’ accompany policy directives, which include the FHWA/DOT Order on Environmental Justice, and the FTA 2012 Order on Environmental Justice Guidance to achieve environmental justice. WisDOT’s actions and decisions are guided by the three fundamental principles of environmental justice, which are:

  • To avoid, minimize or mitigate disproportionately high and adverse human health and environmental effects, including social and economic effects on minority populations and low-income populations
  • To ensure the full and fair participation by all potentially affected communities in the transportation decision-making process
  • To prevent the denial of, reduction of or significant delay in the receipt of benefits by minority and low-income populations

While WisDOT considers environmental justice in its long-range planning activities, the tools and guidance provided below are for the purpose of facilitating environmental justice analyses and documentation at the project level. They are consistent with the environmental evaluation and documentation process required under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969 for any transportation project.

Legal requirements

FDM references

  • FDM Chapter 6 public involvement

  • FDM 20-5-20 Federal Relocation Law (Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act)
  • FDM 20-5-35 Federal Civil Rights Law (Title VI of the Civil Rights Act)
  • FDM 20-10-5 federal transportation policies and regulations (FHWA and Urban Mass Transportation)
  • FDM 20-10-35 federal environmental justice policy (Executive Order 12898, US DOT Order, FHWA guidance, public involvement guidelines)
  • FDM 20-20-25 state relocation statutes (SS.32.05 Rights of Landowners under Wisconsin Eminent Domain Law, SS.32. 185-32.27 Wisconsin Relocation Law)

  • FDM Chapter 21

  • FDM 25-1-1 socio-economic factors
  • FDM 25-5-1 impact categories
  • FDM 25-5-5 impacts on neighborhood and community cohesion
  • FDM 25-5-25 affected social groups
  • FDM 25-5-30 relocation impacts

  • FDM 25-10-1 impact identification and resource identification)
  • FDM 25-10-5 development of a community profile
  • FDM 25-15-1 impact evaluation (use of a community profile)
  • FDM 25-15-5 adaptation of the community profile to screening worksheets
  • FDM 25-20-1 impact mitigation

  • FDM for additional guidance

Worksheets/forms, tools and effective practices

Guidance, tips, and FAQ for impact analyses and documentation


FHWA guidebooks and info.

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Questions about the content of this page:
Janet Nodorft, janet.nodorft@dot.wi.gov
Last modified: February 16, 2015

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