Environmental justice assessments

View a list of our ongoing environmental justice assessments as part of the Healthy Environment for All (HEAL) Act.

Washington's Environmental Justice Law, the Healthy Environment for All (HEAL) Act, requires the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) to conduct Environmental Justice Assessments when considering significant agency actions.

An environmental justice assessment provides an opportunity for WSDOT to better understand a wide range of environmental justice impacts that an action may have early in the process. They will help WSDOT make informed decisions to reduce environmental harms and to address environmental and health disparities in overburdened communities.

See the table below for a list of ongoing and completed Environmental Justice Assessments

Our approach

Our environmental justice assessments process aligns with the HEAL Interagency Work Group’s shared common practices that were developed collaboratively over the past year. Agency staff must follow this process to determine the potential impacts of agency actions on overburdened communities and vulnerable populations. The process involves the people and communities who are most likely to be affected by the action in determining impacts and seeking ways to reduce harms and increase benefits associated with an agency action.

As of July 1, 2023, we will conduct environmental justice assessments on the following types of actions that we have determined are significant and that meet the requirements of the law:

  • New individual transportation projects of $15 million or more
  • New individual grants or loans of $15 million or more
  • Significant legislative rules (rulemaking (RCW 34.05.328))
  • New grant or loan programs
  • Developing agency request legislation

On June 15, 2023, we filed notice in the Washington State Register of this determination. In the future, we may identify additional types of significant agency actions which would be shared during a public comment period.

We also plan to update the environmental justice assessment process to incorporate what we learn through practice, community engagement, Tribal consultation, and any guidance we may receive from the Environmental Justice Council. We plan to keep the doors of communication open along the way and your input will help to shape this new process as we implement environmental justice assessments.

All ongoing & complete environmental justice assessments

Project Name Location Key words Initiation date Status Significant Agency Action Type

We invite you to share your thoughts on what types of actions should receive an assessment, and how we might improve our assessment process. Please email EnvironmentalJustice@wsdot.wa.gov.

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