Office of Environmental Justice


Environmental Justice Overburdened Communities (OBC)

Signed into law by Governor Phil Murphy on September 18, 2020, New Jersey’s groundbreaking Environmental Justice Law, N.J.S.A. 13:1D-157, (Law) requires the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) to evaluate the contributions of certain facilities to existing environmental and public health stressors in overburdened communities when reviewing certain permit applications. Read New Jersey’s Environmental Justice Law. The law also directs the NJDEP to publish a list of overburdened communities and provide notice to the 331 municipalities in which those communities are located.

An Overburdened Community (OBC), as defined by the law, is any census block group, as determined in accordance with the most recent United States Census, in which:

  1. at least 35 percent of the households qualify as low-income households (at or below twice the poverty threshold as determined by the United States Census Bureau);
  2. at least 40 percent of the residents identify as minority or as members of a State recognized tribal community; or
  3. at least 40 percent of the households have limited English proficiency (without an adult that speaks English “very well” according to the United States Census Bureau).

Statewide Overburdened Communities Map

Statewide Overburdened Communities Map
List of Overburdened Communities

This Excel spreadsheet provides the list of overburdened communities, the criteria each block groups meets, and the municipality for which the overburdened community is designated in accordance with the New Jersey Environmental Justice Law, N.J.S.A. 13:1D-157.

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Environmental Justice Mapping Tool

This interactive mapping tool allows users to view the overburdened communities, the criteria each block group meets, and the municipality for which the overburdened community is designated in accordance with the New Jersey Environmental Justice Law, N.J.S.A. 13:1D-157, as well as query addresses to determine if they are within an overburdened community.

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PDF Maps of Municipalities

The 331 simple, municipal specific maps identify the overburdened communities under the New Jersey Environmental Justice Law. There is a map for each municipality for which any part of the municipality has been designated an overburdened community pursuant to the act.

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GIS Layer

This GIS Layer is a downloadable geographic information system (GIS) layer identifying the overburdened communities under the New Jersey Environmental Justice Law.

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Technical Notes and Other Resources

These technical notes provide details about the overburdened community calculations and municipal designation.

This presentation from a webinar on February 9, 2021 for municipalities is a useful guide for understanding the data and tools about overburdened communities on this page.

This recording of the February 9, 2021 webinar is an additional resource for understanding the data and tools about overburdened communities. Agenda for webinar available here.

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OBC Notification FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about the notification to municipalities regarding Overburdened Communities (OBCs) as defined by New Jersey’s Environmental Justice Law.

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PDF Maps of Municipalities