The concept of equity requires fairness in the distribution of social benefits and burdens and the entitlement of everyone to an acceptable quality and standard of living. With respect to the environment, equity means that there should be a minimum level of environmental quality that everyone is entitled to. It also means that everyone should have equal access to communal environmental resources and that no individuals or groups of people should be asked to carry a greater environmental burden than the rest of the community as a result of government or business actions.

Equity is not the same as equality. There may be good reasons for people to have different rewards and burdens or to be treated differently. However, equity requires that these reasons be ...

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