CONTACT: GEORGE MCCRORY
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0012; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: April 16, 2001
UI Public Policy Center awarded $500,000 contract to study environmental
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa Public Policy Center in collaboration
with URS Corporation has been awarded a $500,000 contract by the National
Research Council to study environmental justice issues.
Environmental justice represents a public policy goal of ensuring that adverse
impacts of projects such as road improvements must not fall disproportionately
on low-income populations or minority populations. Environmental justice has
become an important policy issue in government since former President Bill
Clinton issued an executive order in 1994 mandating that it be addressed in
all government projects.
David Forkenbrock, Center director and co-principal investigator of the
two-year study, noted that the project, "is a major effort to develop
analytic methods for taking into account environmental justice when evaluating
proposed public investments in transportation facilities."
The study will look at what populations would be impacted by air and noise
pollution caused by transportation projects, but also the impacts on economic
vitality, personal mobility and community cohesion in these areas
The methods to be developed by the study team will improve the analytical
capabilities of states, metropolitan planning organizations, and their planning
partners, Forkenbrock said. This study builds on a book he recently completed
for the National Academy of Sciences.
The UI Public Policy Center brings together faculty, staff and students
from numerous disciplines to promote positive social change within Iowa and
the region. The Center works with public and private organizations to discover
solutions to problems related to public interest.
The National Research Council is the principal operating arm of the National
Academies of Sciences and Engineering, providing services to the government,
the public, and the scientific and engineering communities.
The URS Corporation, based in San Francisco, does planning, design, and
program and construction management for transportation, hazardous waste, industrial
processing and petrochemical, general building and water/wastewater projects.