Protecting Citizen Rights
“No person in the United States of America shall, on the grounds of race, color, or national origin (including limited English proficiency), be excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of, or be otherwise subjected to discrimination under any program or activity that receives federal assistance.”
-Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
All entities that receive federal financial assistance from the U.S. Department of Transportation must comply with Title VI of the Civil Rights Acts of 1964 by assessing the nature, extent, and incidence of probable impacts, both negative and positive, from any transportation-related activity on minority, low-income and other disadvantaged populations.
The 1994 "Federal Action to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations" strengthened the Title VI protections by adding low-income populations. Related federal nondiscrimination laws administrated by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), Federal Transit Administration (FTA), or both, prohibit discrimination on the basis of age, sex, and disability. The principle of environmental justice in transportation planning ensures that transportation projects do not have a disproportionately negative impact on minority and low-income populations. The goal is to achieve environmental justice protection for all communities.