Environmental Justice Program

Environmental justice is the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income, with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies.

This will be achieved when everyone enjoys: 

  • The same degree of protection from environmental and health hazards 
  • Equal access to the decision-making process to have a healthy environment in which to live, learn, and work 

The ultimate goal is for all people to share in the burdens and benefits of environmental protection.  

State environmental agencies in the region have launched a number of environmental justice (EJ) initiatives that affect the ways in which agencies undertake many of their basic functions. NEWMOA’s Environmental Justice Workgroup started meeting in 2020. The purposes of the group are to: 

  • Facilitate discussions about how to effectively increase and fund environmental justice practices and approaches  
  • Support information sharing on state activities to develop and deploy environmental justice strategies to advance greater environmental protection in low income, overburdened, minority, and non-English speaking communities  
  • Provide a forum for sharing lessons learned from EJ projects and activities, fostering insights about what strategies are working and ideas about how to advance projects beyond the pilot phase
  • Identify metrics that effectively measure results and communicate impacts
  • Support training on best practices
  • Share legislative proposals and enacted statutes 
  • Discuss how to effectively engage disenfranchised communities in regulatory activities (i.e., rulemakings, permitting, facility siting, etc.)
  • Share strategies for effectively conducting outreach and education in overburdened and non-English speaking communities 
  • Discuss how to factor poor air, soil, and water quality and other community impacts into agency decisions about permitting and siting 

NEWMOA also supports a number of EJ projects in local communities in the region and partners with EJ and other organizations on these initiatives.