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H.R. 1648 (109th): To require Executive Order 12898 to remain in force until changed by law, to expand the definition of environmental justice, to direct each Federal agency to establish an Environmental Justice Office, and for other purposes.

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Apr 14, 2005.

States that Executive Order 12898 (pertaining to Federal actions to address environmental justice in minority and low-income populations) shall remain in force until changed by law. Makes the provisions of this Act applicable to such Executive Order.

Defines environmental justice. Establishes criteria for defining an environmental justice community.

Requires specified Federal agencies and offices to establish an Office of Environmental Justice (OEJ).

Requires Federal agencies to integrate the environmental justice strategy developed under the Executive Order into the operation and mission of the agency and to address compliance with this Act in specified activities.

Directs the interagency Federal Working Group on Environmental Justice to: (1) coordinate an integrated environmental justice training plan for those Federal agencies and offices required to establish OEJs; (2) formalize public participation efforts; (3) survey Federal agencies and offices with regard to outreach efforts; (4) develop a strategy for allocating responsibilities and ensuring participation; and (5) coordinate plans to communicate research results.

Requires: (1) each Federal agency and office with an OEJ to undertake outreach activities and report such activities to the Working Group; and (2) Federal agencies and the Working Group to develop ways to enhance partnerships and coordination with stakeholders.

Directs Federal agencies to fund community technology centers to provide assistance relating to environmental justice.