Updating Environmental Justice Guidelines at GTC
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GTC is an electric transmission cooperative established under the laws of the State of Georgia in 1996. The cooperative owns, maintains, and builds electric power facilities (high voltage transmission lines, substations, and switching lines) in order to provide reliable, cost-effective service to distribution cooperatives that in turn provide retail electrical services to approximately 4.5 million homes, schools, businesses and other organizations located within Georgia . GTC is a non-governmental organization. The cooperative, however, typically seeks loans to fund the construction of new facilities from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service (RUS). Receiving financing assistance from RUS makes the projects being funded by RUS a federal action subject to review by the National Environmental Policy Act, 7 CFR Part 1794, RUS’ Environmental Policies and Procedures, and all applicable federal environmental laws, including Executive Order 12898, Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations. Even though GTC must comply with NEPA and all applicable federal environmental rulings, this capstone paper will focus exclusively on how GTC complies with Executive Order 12898, the executive order to address disproportionate impacts to minority and low-income populations. More specifically, this capstone paper would like to suggest ways to update the cooperative’s current environmental justice guidelines by revisiting thresholds, better defining potential impacts and avoidance and mitigation strategies, and also by developing public notification and involvement procedures. 2. RUS ENVIRONMENTAL POLICIES AND PROCEDURES For any project receiving federal funding, GTC is required by RUS’ Environmental Policies and Procedures to include environmental justice issues into its NEPA documents . This holds true for categorical excluded projects even though construction and operation of such projects normally do not have an adverse impact on the human environment or similarly any direct socioeconomic impact on the area in the vicinity of the project2.
CitationBrooks, Tasha (2012). Updating Environmental Justice Guidelines at GTC. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/5982.
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Rights for Collection: National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Education and Certificate Program Capstone Papers