Near-Port Communities

Community Capacity Building and Engagement

Emissions from ports disproportionately impact millions of people in nearby communities that are often comprised of low income and minority populations. EPA is working with community groups, non-profits, and ports to facilitate effective communication and engagement with the local communities at ports in decision-making processes that impact their lives. 

Three capacity building and community engagement tools have been developed as outlined below.  Additionally, pilot testing using the tools is planned over the coming months.   

Draft Ports Primer for Communities

An Overview of Ports Planning and Operations to Support Community Participation

An interactive tool and reference document that characterizes the port industry sector including environmental and community health impacts associated with port activities.
picture of ports primer for communities coverThis Ports Primer for Communities has been developed by the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Office of Transportation and Air Quality (OTAQ) in cooperation with the Mobile Source Technical Review Subcommittee (MSTRS) Ports Subgroup including community stakeholders for near-port communities interested in becoming more involved in port decisions that may impact local land use, the environment and quality of life. This Primer is intended to help community leaders participate effectively in the decision-making process by increasing local understanding of:
  • The role of ports,
  • How ports can impact local land use, economic trends and th environment, and
  • Tools and resources that have been successful in other communities.


Draft Community Action Roadmap

Empowering Near-Port Communities

photo of community action roadmap cover

The Community Action Roadmap: Empowering Nearport Communities provides a step-by-step guide to help near-port communities effectively engage in port decisions that may impact local land use, environmental health and quality of life. This Community Action Roadmap supplements the companion document, a Ports Primer for Communities.


Environmental Justice Primer for Ports

The Good Neighbor Guide to Building Partnerships and Social Equity with Communities


photo of cover for environmental justice primer for portsThe Environmental Justice Primer for Ports is intended to help port decision-makers better understand the needs of near-port communities and how they can help address these needs and build productive community relationships during planning activities and operations. This tool features case studies that reflect a range of port experiences including ports with extensive community engagement experience and those just starting to interact with nearby communities.


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