OEI engages in proper planning to empower the public, community stakeholders, and interested parties to participate in decision-making processes.

A role of the OEI in environmental planning is to enhance public involvement at the municipal level and watershed scale.  The OEI develops and implements public participation programs in resource management, regulatory agency and government planning; brokers public input into decision-making processes; and works to redress environmental justice issues borne by groups such as the poor, laborers, racial minorities, women, children, or indigenous people.  The OEI serves as communication liaison between traditional institutions of power and authority and grassroots organizations including the disenfranchised and underprivileged.  The OEI functions as a catalyst for community action that plans and builds towards social equity and economic and ecologic sustainability.