Office of Environmental Justice

NJ Environmental Justice Law and Rules

On September 18, 2020, Governor Phil Murphy signed the New Jersey’s Environmental Justice Law which requires the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection to evaluate the environmental and public health impacts of certain facilities on overburdened communities when reviewing certain permit applications. Thanks to the tireless work of New Jersey’s environmental justice advocates, New Jersey is the first state in the nation to require mandatory permit denials if an environmental justice analysis determines a new facility will have a disproportionately negative impact on overburdened communities.

The law defines an overburdened community as 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).

There are approximately 348 municipalities with populations totaling approximately 4,687,381 that have overburdened communities within their municipalities.

The law requires the Department of Environmental Protection to evaluate the environmental and public health impacts of the following facilities on overburdened communities when reviewing specific types of permit applications:

  1. Major sources of air pollution (i.e., gas fired power plants and cogeneration facilities);
  2. Resource recovery facilities or incinerators; sludge processing facilities;
  3. Sewage treatment plants with a capacity of more than 50 million gallons per day;
  4. Transfer stations or solid waste facilities;
  5. Recycling facilities that receive at least 100 tons of recyclable material per day;
  6. Scrap metal facilities;
  7. Landfills; or
  8. Medical waste incinerators, except those attendant to hospitals and universities.

The EJ Rule proposal is open to public comment. Submit comments here.

The Environmental Justice Rulemaking Briefing Presentation provides a synopsis of the EJ Law and rulemaking process.

EJ Rulemaking Stakeholder Meeting, June 24, 2021 – Comprehensive Review

EJ Rulemaking Public Information Session, October 22, 2020

Department of Environmental Protection

New Jersey Environmental Justice Policy Archives

New Jersey Environmental Justice Petitions Archives

Petitions Selected to move forward to Action Plan Development

Camden, NJ (Camden County)
Various concerns regarding environmental remediation and public health

  1. Statement of Finding
  2. Action Plan pdf
  3. Camden Air Toxics Pilot Project
  4. Compliance and Enforcement Initiatives Update to Community presented at November 16, 2006 Meeting pdf
  5. Asthma Outreach and Education Initiative in Camden Waterfront South pdf

Long Branch, NJ (Monmouth County)
Former Manufactured Gas Plant Remediation (MGP)

  1. Site Information and Reports
  2. Action Plan pdf
    (Dated: January 2006)

Newark, NJ (Essex County)
Pabst Brewery Demolition

Ringwood, NJ (Passaic County)
Ringwood Former Superfund Site

Linden, NJ (Union County)
Tremley Point Environmental Justice Petition

Petitions Not Chosen by the Task Force to advance to Action Plan Development

Jersey City, NJ (Hudson County)
Cross Harbor Freight Tunnel

Roselle, NJ (Union County)
Reactivation of Local Train Line

State of New Jersey

  • Executive Order No. 100 pdf - Directs the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to make sweeping regulatory reforms, branded as Protecting Against Climate Threats (PACT), to reduce emissions and adapt to climate change2020/01/27
  • Senate Bill No. 3207 pdf Global Warming Response Act and Governor’s Statement Upon Signing pdf2019/07/23
  • Executive Order No. 92 pdf - Governor Murphy Signs Executive Order to Increase Offshore Wind Goal to 7,500 Megawatts by 20352019/11/19
  • Executive Order No. 89 pdf - Governor Murphy Signs Executive Order to Establish Statewide Climate Change Resilience Strategy2019/10/29
  • Executive Order No. 63 pdf - Establishing new regulatory principles to foster economic growth and government efficiency. Rescinds and replaces Governor Christie’s Executive Orders No. 1 (2010) and No. 2 (2010) 2019/04/02
  • Executive Order No. 7 pdf - Directs New Jersey to Reenter the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative 2018/01/29

National Level EJ Policy

  • Executive Order 12898 - In 1994, citizens gained the right to address environmental injustices under Executive Order 12898 entitled, “Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations,” signed by President William Clinton. Executive Order 12898 institutionalizes a mechanism whereby state programs receiving federal funds must pro-actively address environmental concerns to ensure that minority and low-income communities are not disproportionately impacted by environmental hazards.
  • Brownfields and Title VI
  • National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and Environmental Justice