Elkhart, Kosciusko, Marshall, St. Joseph Counties


The federal government defines environmental justice (EJ) as, "the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, nation origin or income with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies." Fair treatment means that no group of people, including racial, ethnic, or socioeconomic group, should bear a disproportionate share of negative environmental consequences resulting from industrial, municipal, and commercial operations or the execution of federal, state, or local programs and policies.

2014 Report

Environmental Justice Analysis

The Michiana Area Council of Governments (MACOG), as the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), are charged with evalutating our plans and programs for environmental justice sensitivity and expand outreach efforts to low-income, minority, and other potentially disadvantage populations. MACOG uses a methodology developed by the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) to identify potentially disadvantage population groups. The methodology uses data from the American Community Survey (ACS) collected by the U.S. Census Bureau. Using this data, MACOG created a snapshot of the region, mapping the locations of identified EJ populations.

The current list of populations identified by MACOG's Indicators of Potential Disadvantage (IPD) are:

  • Non-Hispanic Minority
  • Hispanic
  • Households in Poverty
  • Limited English Proficiency (LEP)
  • Elderly over 65 years of age
  • Carless households
  • Persons with a Physical Disabilities

For example, the average minority population per census tract in the region is 15.8%. Therefore, any census tract with a greater percentage would be identified as having an Indicator of Potential Disadvantage.