To help address environmental inequities, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) launched the Environmental Justice Program to ensure fair treatment for people of all races, cultures, and incomes, in the development, implementation and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations and policies.
DEP’s Office of Environmental Justice (OEJ) aims to empower citizens and communities through this office’s projects and initiatives. OEJ aims to empower citizens who are often outside of the decision-making process of government, and strives to address environmental concerns to improve the quality of life in New Jersey’s urban and older suburban communities.
Additionally, the Office of Environmental Justice:
- Administers the Environmental Justice Advisory Council;
- Champions urban redevelopment and revitalization;
- Aids in the development and/or implementation of department policy, regulations, and procedures to increase opportunities for meaningful public participation and to address potential environmental justice concerns;
- Aids in health tracking and environmental data analysis;
- Informs community members of opportunities for public participation;
- Acts as a community liaison to amplify community concerns within the department;
- Conducts outreach and educational efforts to municipalities and community-based organizations;
- Streamlines access to information to effectuate meaningful involvement in state level environmental decision-making;
- Fosters partnerships to increase involvement in environmental decision-making at all levels of government.