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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.

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.

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.

Who should I contact for more information about DEP's Environmental Justice Program?
Office of Environmental Justice
Rachel Carson State Office Building
P.O. Box 2063
Harrisburg, PA 17105-2063