In accordance with Executive Order (EO) 12898 and the Memorandum of Understanding on Environmental Justice and EO 12898 (EJ MOU), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has undertaken a number of commitments to further the aims of environmental justice, including publication of an agency-wide Environmental Justice Strategy (DHS EJ Strategy) and annual progress reports on its implementation. DHS is a member of the EPA-sponsored federal Environmental Justice Interagency Working Group (EJ IWG), and facilitates an internal DHS Environmental Justice Working Group (EJWG). The DHS EJWG is co-chaired by the DHS Sustainability and Environmental Programs office (SEP) within the Office of the Chief Readiness Support Officer (CRSO), and the DHS Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL).
EO 12989, Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations, was issued on February 11, 1994 by President William Jefferson Clinton. The order requires each covered agency to "make achieving environmental justice part of its mission by identifying and addressing, as appropriate, disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects of its programs, policies, and activities on minority populations and low-income populations." Although the Department did not exist in 1994 and is not expressly included in the EO, in August 2011, DHS joined sixteen other federal agencies in signing a Memorandum of Understanding on Environmental Justice and EO 12898 (EJ MOU), agreeing to make achieving environmental justice part of its mission.
As explained more fully in the DHS EJ Strategy, the Department approaches environmental justice through the missions and general strategic framework set forth in the 2014 Quadrennial Homeland Security Review (QHSR), which guides the activities of the homeland security enterprise. Environmental justice considerations can arise within three of the QHSR's five homeland security missions: Prevent terrorism and enhance security; secure and manage our borders; and strengthen national preparedness and resilience; as well as all of the strategic priorities.