Environmental Justice

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An Act relative to Environmental Justice

All people have a right to be protected from environmental pollution and to live in and enjoy a clean and healthful environment––but low-income communities and communities of color are most likely to be in the shadows of a dirty power plant or next to a busy polluting highway.Environmental Justice (EJ) is the equal protection and meaningful involvement of all people with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws.

Mass Power Forward supports efforts to codify environmental justice into law and to secure strong enforcement of Executive Order 552, issued under Gov. Patrick and the state’s EJ policy, issued in 2002 and updated in 2017. California, Oregon, Illinois and other states have legislatedEnvironmental Justice protections while Massachusetts has yet to codify EJ issues at all. The Massachusetts Environmental Justice Act ensures:

PROTECTION FROM POLLUTION

This bill modifies the requirements for state agency “environmental impact reports” to include consideration of public health impact and take into account environmental justice communities when siting dangerous fossil fuel infrastructure.

ACCESS TO GOVERNMENT

Ensures multi-lingual outreach and consultation when projects undergoing environmental review are proposed in EJ communities.

SUPPLEMENTAL ENVIRONMENTAL PROJECTS

Creates a Supplemental Environmental Project (SEP) bank, which maintains an inventory of environmentally beneficial projects in communities with environmental justice populations that may be funded by violators in lieu of paying penalties associated with the settlement of enforcement actions.

For more info, contact Richard Juang, richard@ace-ej.org, or Vick Mohanka vmohanka@cleanwater.org

Icons from the Noun Project: Factory By Amelia Wattenberger; Capital by Kelcey Hurst; Eco-friendly by Marie Van den Broeck; less leaf by Alex Arseneau.

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