Title VI and Environmental Justice Program

Title VI and Environmental Justice Program, men in wheelchairs playing basketball, public outreach table, people entering Dial-a-ride mobility van


Title VI and Environmental Justice Program

The voices and concerns of all people are critical to responsive regional planning. Some populations, such as minorities and people with low incomes, may not consistently have equal access to the planning process. Protections are in place to ensure that all people receive equal benefits from government activity. For 50 years, the considerations of vulnerable populations have played an integral role in all aspects of regional planning at the Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG). The MAG Title VI and Environmental Justice Plan sets forth the process to fully integrate the needs of these vulnerable populations as part of MAG's Title VI and Environmental Justice activities.

Title VI and Environmental Justice (EJ) activities are mandated by the federal government to ensure that people of all races, incomes levels, ages, and abilities have an equal voice in the planning process and receive equal benefit from the results of such planning. MAG is actively engaged in Title VI and Environmental Justice activities as a sub-recipient of federal funding. This plan will be reviewed biennially and updated as needed.

The activities listed in the plan respond directly to the guidance provided by the Federal Transit Administration in Circular 4702.1A. Chapter seven charges metropolitan planning organizations (MPO), such as MAG with the development of a demographic profile identifying the locations of Title VI and EJ groups and a planning process that identifies the transportation needs of people with low incomes and minority populations. MPO’s must also have an analytical process that identifies the benefits and burdens of transportation system investments for different socioeconomic groups, identifies imbalances, and responds to the analysis produced. The goals of these activities are as follows:

  • Comply with federal and state regulations regarding public involvement and environmental justice requirements.
  • Avoid, minimize, or mitigate disproportionately high and adverse human health and environmental effects, including social and economic effects, on minority populations and low-income populations.
  • Provide specific opportunities for the public and community-based organizations to discuss their views and provide input on the subject areas addressed in MAG's planning activities.
  • Ensure full and fair participation by all potentially affected communities in the transportation decision-making process.
  • Inform the public about ongoing MAG planning activities and their potential role in those activities.

Full Title VI Notice to the Public

The Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) hereby gives public notice that it is the policy of the agency to ensure full compliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1987, Executive Order 12898 on Environmental Justice, and related authorities and regulations in all programs and activities. Title VI requires that no person in the United States of America shall, on the grounds of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be otherwise subjected to discrimination under any program or activity for which MAG receives federal financial assistance. Additional protections are provided in other federal and state authorities for discrimination based on income status, limited English proficiency, religion, sex, disability, age, gender identity (as defined in paragraph 249(c)(4) of title 18, United States Code) or sexual orientation.

Any person who believes they have experienced discrimination under Title VI has a right to file a formal complaint with MAG. Any such complaint must be filed with MAG's Title VI Coordinator within 180 days following the date of the alleged discriminatory occurrence. For more information, or to file a complaint, please contact Kelli Williams, the Title VI Coordinator.


Filing a Complaint

The intent of MAG’s Title VI and Environmental Justice work is to preclude discrimination and ensure all people have a voice in the planning process. If someone perceives they have suffered from discrimination, they are encouraged to address the matter with the Title VI Coordinator (see contact on this page). According to 49 CFR Section 21.9(b), complaints may be filed if the matter cannot be resolved.

Complaints that fall under MAG’s Nondiscrimination Policy and not under Title VI, such as gender identity, sexual orientation, and religion, will be reported to and investigated by the pertinent authorities. This process applies to MAG and its subrecipients.

Full complaint process

The following steps will be followed for complaints falling under Title VI and MAG’s Nondiscrimination Policy:

  1. Any person, specific class of persons or entity that believes they have been subjected to discrimination can file a formal complaint with MAG. A copy of the Complaint Form may be accessed electronically in English or in Spanish.
  2. Alleged discrimination on the basis of race, color and national origin in programs or activities funded by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and Federal Transit Administration (FTA) are prohibited by the legal provisions of Title VI.
  3. Alleged discrimination experienced on the basis of disability, sexual orientation, age, sex, income status, religion, gender identity, and Limited English Proficiency will be addressed by other entities as appropriate.
  4. Within 180 days of the alleged infraction, complainants will submit to the Title VI Coordinator a complaint in writing or verbally. Complaints received verbally will be documented in writing by staff. All FHWA Title VI complaints will be forwarded to FHWA within 72 hours for processing and investigation. ADOT Civil Rights Office will be notified within 72 hours. All FTA Title VI complaints will be processed and investigated by MAG. ADOT Civil Rights Office will be notified within 72 hours. The appropriate agencies will also be notified about the disposition of the complaint.

    The complaint will include the following information: a. A written explanation of what has happened; b. A way to contact the complainant; c. The basis of the complaint (e.g., race, color, national origin); d. The identification of a specific person/people and the respondent (e.g., agency/organization) alleged to have discriminated; e. Sufficient information to understand the facts that led the complainant to believe that discrimination occurred in a program or activity that receives FHWA or FTA financial assistance; a consultant, contractor or sub recipient of the (agency) and MAG FY 2023 Title VI and Environmental Justice Program 30 f. The date(s) of the alleged discriminatory act(s).
  1. The Title VI Coordinator and MAG Executive Director will review the complaint and determine its jurisdiction, acceptability, and need for additional information.
  2. Additional information will be solicited from the complainant as needed. If additional information is requested and not received within 15 business days, the case may be administratively closed. The case also may be closed if the complainant no longer wishes to pursue their case.
  3. A complaint log will be kept by MAG for four years. The log will include the following information: a. Name of complainant(s) b. Date the complaint was received c. Date of the allegation d. Description of the alleged discrimination e. Other relevant information, as needed f. Report date g. Recommendations h. Outcome/Disposition.
  4. If the complaint is outside the jurisdiction of MAG, MAG will notify the complainant by certified letter, including the name and contact information for the appropriate agency with jurisdiction, if applicable.
  5. If the complaint falls within the jurisdiction of MAG, it will be handled within a maximum of 60 days of receipt, depending on the nature of the complaint and complexity of investigation as long as the complaint is not regarding MAG. If the complaint is against MAG, the complaint will be forwarded to the appropriate agency.
  1. MAG will send a certified letter notifying the complainant that a preliminary inquiry is underway to determine the need for an investigation.
  2. If the preliminary inquiry by MAG indicates that an investigation is warranted, the complainant will be notified and scheduled to offer their statement.
  3. If the preliminary inquiry indicates an investigation is not warranted, a certified letter will be sent to the complainant with the reasons why and factors considered.
  4. MAG will conduct an investigation. The results of the investigation will be provided to MAG's general counsel for review. The investigation results will be reviewed and returned within 10 business days.
  5. For all FTA complaints, MAG will forward a copy of FTA Title VI complaints and preliminary findings reports to ADOT Civil Rights Office within 60 days. Once the ADOT Civil Rights Office issues concurrence on preliminary report, MAG will notify all parties involved.
  6. The results of the investigation will be sent to the complainant by certified mail. The results will include the scope of the investigation, factors considered, and the final outcome. A closure letter will be sent if it has been determined there was not a Title VI violation and the case will be closed. A letter of finding will be sent if the allegations are substantiated and an action plan with a time line to offer redress will be provided.
  7. For all FTA complaints, the result of the preliminary inquiry or investigation will be sent to ADOT, appropriate office within the U.S. Department of Transportation, or appropriate authority.
  8. Records and investigative files will be kept permanently. MAG FY 2023 Title VI and Environmental Justice Program 31 The following information applies for complaints falling within the jurisdiction of Federal Highway Administration or the Federal Transit Administration. 1. Title VI complaints filed against MAG in FHWA-funded programs will be referred to FHWA within 72 hours for processing and investigation. ADOT’s Civil Rights Office will be notified. 2. Complaints including FHWA findings will be referred to ADOT. 3. The complainant may also file a discrimination related complaint on an FHWA program or activity directly with ADOT or with the Federal Highway Administration.

For FTA funded programs or activities; the complainant may file a discrimination related complaint directly with MAG or with ADOT or with the Federal Transit Administration.

If information is needed in another language, please contact the MAG office at 602-254-6300.

Si se necesita información en Español, por favor comuníquese con la Oficina de MAG al 602-254-6300.