Begin Main Content Area


FAQs Español (PDF)

What is "environmental justice"?
The term environmental justice has been defined as 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. There is a short video to provide an overview on environmental justice.

What is the objective of the Office of Environmental Justice?
The OEJ was established for the residents of Pennsylvania, both as a resource and a point of contact for addressing environmental concerns. The primary goal of the OEJ is to increase community involvement by increasing community awareness. By doing so, we will be better prepared to serve all residents of Pennsylvania.

What are the current objectives of DEP's Environmental Justice Program?
The objectives are to:

  • Promote intra-departmental coordination and collaboration;
  • Foster relationships between DEP and communities;
  • Strengthen and utilize the Environmental Justice Advisory Board;
  • Further develop the infrastructure of the Office of Environmental Justice;
  • Encourage interagency coordination (i.e., Department of Community and Economic Development, Department of Health, Department of Public Welfare);
  • Identify any causes of environmental inequities in Pennsylvania.

What is the Environmental Justice Advisory Board? 
The Environmental Justice Advisory Board was established as part of a recommendation from the original Environmental Justice Work Group and has been charged with the goal of advising DEP on how to best implement the consensus recommendations from the Work Group Report. The board meets quarterly to discuss numerous issues pertaining to Environmental Justice in Pennsylvania. An Executive Order on environmental justice was issued on October 28, 2021 which formally establishes the Environmental Justice Advisory Board.

How can I participate if I am not on the advisory board? 
All meetings are open to the public. At each meeting, the Board provides an opportunity for  attendees to provide comments to the advisory board. The department also accepts comments, concerns and recommendations through written correspondence.

Where will the meetings be held?
The meetings are held in the Rachel Carson State Office Building, 400 Market Street, Harrisburg, PA, or elsewhere in the state. Please see the events listing for dates and times of upcoming meetings on the EJAB page at

Who should I contact for more information about DEP's Environmental Justice Program?
Contact the EJ coordinator in your region to get assistance in understanding the DEP’s EJ work in your area or our central office team for more statewide concerns. You can find your EJ Coordinator on the Contact Us page.

What is the purpose of the “Opt-in” form?

An Opt-in Project - A project requiring permits, authorizations, or approvals from DEP that otherwise does not automatically trigger DEP’s EJ Policy, but which DEP determines should be evaluated under the EJ Policy based on identified community concerns, present or anticipated environmental impacts, or reasonably anticipated significant adverse community environmental burden. General Concerns about existing projects can be submitted through Environmental Complaints.

Note: The Opt-In Request Form is not required as a prerequisite for the DEP to process particular projects in accordance with the EJ Policy; rather it is available to facilitate requests from the public.

What is the purpose of the Self Enroll Form?

The Office of Environmental Justice (OEJ) seeks to engage more consistently with our stakeholders and impacted communities, thus we’d like to invite you to self-enroll in future public engagement opportunities by the OEJ/PADEP. Please complete this form if you would like to self-enroll for future outreach and engagement opportunities with the Office of Environmental Justice (OEJ).