U.S. Commission on Civil Rights: Rhiannon Fionn’s Testimony + How You Can Comment

USCCR logo
On Fri., Feb. 5, 2016, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights is hosting a briefing as it examines the nexus of coal ash waste and environmental justice. Rhiannon Fionn, the producer of “Coal Ash Chronicles,” was invited to testify as an independent journalist, filmmaker, and author who has covered coal ash issues since 2009. Her written and oral testimony is linked below.

You might also be interested in the briefing materials the USCCR has published online. And you can follow along with the briefing as Rhiannon live-tweets via @coal_ash using the #coalash hashtag.

You, too, can let the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights what you think about the nexus of coal ash waste and environmental justice. The deadline for public comments is March 17, 2016. You may email your comments to publiccomments@usccr.gov or send written correspondence to: U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, 1331 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Suite 1150, Washington, DC 20425.


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EPA’s Office of Civil Rights accepting public comments regarding proposed amendments to its non-discrimination regulation

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Civil Rights is accepting public comment on its proposed amendments to its non-discrimination regulation through Feb. 12, 2016. Instructions on how to submit your comment can be found at the end of this post.

As summarized in the Federal Register:
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposes to amend its regulations with regard to compliance information, post-award compliance reviews, and complaint investigations. This proposed rule will improve the EPA’s ability to ensure that recipients of federal financial assistance comply with their affirmative obligation under the Civil Rights Act of 1965 and other nondiscrimination statutes not to discriminate, while also ensuring that the EPA has sufficient flexibility and discretion to carry out its nondiscrimination compliance work.

And on EPA’s website: Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM)

The NPRM will: 1) Reaffirm EPA’s discretion to initiate compliance reviews to ensure compliance with civil rights laws; 2) Provide EPA with the ability to request and receive compliance information from recipients on a regular basis; 3) Reaffirm EPA’s discretion to determine how to ensure the prompt, effective, and efficient resolution of its cases; and, 4) Reaffirm EPA’s enforcement discretion to tailor its approach to complaints to match their complexity, scope and nature.

EPA is providing this unsigned NPRM for the convenience of interested parties. EPA will seek formal public comment on the NPRM once it is published in the Federal Register and appears on the Government Printing Office’s FDsys website and on Regulations.gov in Docket No. EPA-HQ-OA-2013-0031. EPA estimates that the NPRM will be published in the Federal Register by mid-December.

Please submit all informal comments on the Interim CRM to:

Email: civilrights@epa.gov OR
US Environmental Protection Agency
Office of Civil Rights (1201A)
1200 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20460
(202) 564-7272 (voice)
(202) 501-1836 (fax)

For more information about the NPRM and the Interim Case Resolution Manual please see the documents linked below.

Nondiscrimination Proposed Rulemaking
  • FAQs (PDF) (4 pp, 90 K)
  • Power Point Slides (PDF) (7 pp, 82 K)

  • Draft Interim Case Resolution Manual
  • CRM (PDF) (61 pp, 558 K)