are legislatures, regulatory agencies, business and industry, institutions of higher education, and the medical establishment.

Recommendation 4. In instances in which the science base is incomplete with respect to environmental health and justice issues, the committee urges policymakers to exercise caution on behalf of the affected communities, particularly those that have the least access to medical, political, and economic resources, by taking reasonable precautions to safeguard against or minimize adverse health outcomes.

Box 5-3 Highlights from the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council's Public Participation Checklist

Use the following guiding principles in setting up all public meetings:

  • Maintain honesty and integrity throughout the process;
  • Recognize community and indigenous knowledge;
  • Encourage active community participation; and
  • Utilize cross-cultural formats and exchanges.

Identify external environmental justice stakeholders and provide opportunities to offer input into decisions that may affect their health, property values, and lifestyles.

Identify key individuals who can represent various stakeholder interests. Learn as much as possible about stakeholders and their concerns through personal consultation or phone or written contacts. Ensure that information-gathering techniques include modifications for minority and low-income communities (for example, consider language and cultural barriers, technical background, literacy, access to respondents, privacy issues, and preferred types of communications).

Solicit stakeholder involvement early in the policymaking process, beginning in the planning and development stages and continuing through implementation and oversight.

SOURCE: National Environmental Justice Advisory Council, 1996.



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