California Department of Transportation

Environmental Justice and Title VI Program

What is Environmental Justice?

Environmental Justice at the Caltrans means identifying and addressing disproportionately high and adverse effects of the agency's programs, policies, and activities on minority populations and low-income populations to achieve an equitable distribution of benefits and burdens.
In effect, Caltrans is committed to ensuring that minority and low income populations do not bear the burdens of changing transportation needs.

Why is Environmental Justice Important?

Environmental Justice is important because it helps to ensure full and fair participation by potentially affected communities in every phase of the transportation decision-making process. When this is accomplished, the development, construction, operation and maintenance of transportation projects should reflect an equitable distribution of benefits and burdens.

Program Functional Responsibilities

  • Promote policies and strategies to enhance the participation of low income and minority communities in transportation decision making
  • Ensure federal and state regulation compliance
  • Title VI Reporting and Coordination

Environmental Justice Grant Program
The Environmental Justice Grant Program promotes the involvement of low-income and minority communities, and Native American tribal governments in the planning for transportation projects. Environmental Justice grants have a clear focus on transportation and community development issues to prevent or mitigate disproportionate, negative impacts while improving mobility, access, safety, and opportunities for affordable housing and economic development.

Title VI Program
In coordination with the Office of Business and Economic Opportunity, the Office of Regional Planning implements federal requirements that ensure the Transportation Planning Grant Program is in compliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  Title VI prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color or national origin in programs or activities receiving federal financial assistance. Presidential Executive Order 12898 addresses environmental justice in minority and low-income populations. Presidential Executive Order 13166 addresses services to those individuals with limited English proficiency. The rights of women, the elderly and the disabled are protected under related statutes. These Presidential Executive Orders and the related statutes fall under the umbrella of Title VI.

Director’s Policy (DP-28-R1), Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Related Nondiscrimination Statutes

Non-Discrimination Policy Statement (English)

Non-Discrimination Policy Statement (Spanish)

Title VI Complaint Process

Title VI Complaint Process Guide - English (PDF)  

Title VI Complaint Process Guide - Spanish (PDF)  

Title VI and Other Discrimination Complaint Form

Title VI Brochures

Title VI Guide – DRAFT

Documents and Publications

  • Community Primer on Environmental Justice & Transportation Planning - The Caltrans Community Primer on Environmental Justice and Transportation Planning is to provide community members with clear and accurate information about how transportation decisions are made at the state and local levels. It is designed to provide knowledge and tools you need to participate effectively in the planning and project development process.
  • Environmental Justice Desk Guide - This Environmental Justice Desk Guide was developed to provide guidance and background information to planners at all levels (state, regional, local and community) on the principles and best practices in Environmental Justice and Transportation Planning. This Desk Guide is the first comprehensive document that addresses Environmental Justice in transportation planning in California. 
  • Sustainable Communities, Mineta Transportation Institute, May 2001 (PDF)


C. Edward Philpot, Jr., Chief
Transportation Equity Branch
Office of Regional Planning
(916) 653-8817


1120 N Street, MS-32
Sacramento, CA 95814

PO Box 942874, MS-32
Sacramento, CA 94274-0001