Like efficiency and economy, social equity is integral to the effective administration of public policies and programs. The National Academy of Public Administration (the Academy) believes that social equity issues represent a central element of its work in this new century and a critical aspect in delivering public services for this country. In February 2000, the Academy's Board of Trustees created the Standing Panel on Social Equity in Governance. The Standing Panel defines social equity as, 'the fair, just and equitable management of all institutions serving the public directly or by contract and the fair, just and equitable distribution of public services and implementation of public policy.' Among its goals is to 'review and evaluate developments in public administration that have to do with critical matters in social equity.' This report is the Standing Panel's first research and evaluation project since the creation of the Academy's Standing Panel. It represents an important opportunity for the Panel members to assess the efforts of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in addressing the widely recognized fact that some low-income and people of color communities are exposed to significantly greater environmental and public health hazards than other communities. This report is designed to help those community members and other stakeholders gain a better understanding of how they can more effectively bring environmental justice concerns to the attention of EPA's permitting programs.