Federal agencies, including the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), are required to consider whether their proposed actions would result in disproportionately high and adverse effects on minority and/or low-income populations (also known as environmental justice populations) and, if any, to address as appropriate. This includes providing opportunities for full and fair participation by all potentially affected communities.
The United States Department of Transportation and FHWA essentially define minority and low-income individuals and populations for this purpose as follows:
- Minority: a person who is Black, Hispanic or Latino, Asian American, American Indian, Alaskan Native, or Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander.
- Low-Income: a person whose household income is at or below the United States Department of Health and Human Services poverty guidelines. For the purpose of the Central Business District (CBD) Tolling Program Environmental Assessment, low-income persons were considered those in households with incomes up to twice the Health and Human Services poverty guidelines.
- Population: any readily identifiable group of minority and/or low-income persons who live in geographic proximity, and, if circumstances warrant, geographically dispersed/transient persons of those groups who will be similarly affected.
The New York Metropolitan region is home to a diverse population and includes many communities and neighborhoods where minority and low-income populations live and work. The study area for the CBD Tolling Program includes New York City; Long Island; counties north of New York City; portions of southern Connecticut; and portions of northern and central New Jersey.
- 52% of the study area identify themselves as minority
- 28% of the study area identify themselves as non-White, non-Hispanic
- 15% identify themselves as Black, non-Hispanic
- 10% identify themselves as Asian, non-Hispanic
- 24% identify themselves as Hispanic or Latino
- 27% of the study area are low-income (at twice the Federal poverty threshold)
Public outreach activities for the Environmental Assessment process were designed to include coordination with elected officials and community leaders; environmental justice webinar-style community meetings; and the establishment of an Environmental Justice Technical Advisory Group and an Environmental Justice Stakeholder Working Group.
The purpose of the Environmental Justice Stakeholder Working Group was to provide a forum for people within the environmental justice communities who would like to share concerns and ideas, or want to know more about particular issues. The purpose of the Environmental Justice Technical Advisory Group was to help identify concerns of those in environmental justice communities, propose mitigation if needed, and help circulate information as widely as possible.
Nine virtual meetings focusing on environmental justice communities were held; three each for relevant counties in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, as were eight meetings of the Environmental Justice Technical Advisory Group and four meetings of the Environmental Justice Stakeholder Working Group.
For information on the effects on environmental justice communities and populations, please see Chapter 17, "Environmental Justice" of the Final EA.
Past Environmental Justice Public Meetings:
Thursday, October 7, 2021 (click here to view meeting)
Tuesday, October 26, 2021 (click here to watch meeting)
Tuesday, December 7, 2021 (click here to view meeting)
Tuesday, October 12, 2021 (click here to view meeting)
Wednesday, October 27, 2021 (click here to watch meeting)
Wednesday, December 8, 2021 (click here to view meeting)
Wednesday, October 13, 2021 (click here to view meeting)
Thursday, October 28, 2021 (click here to watch meeting)
Thursday, December 9, 2021 (click here to view meeting)