Help Inform DEP About Environmental Justice Impacts of Climate Change in Your Community
The state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) wants to hear from you about current and future climate change impacts on your community and is holding a series of listening sessions plus an online survey to help prepare a guide to climate action for environmental justice communities.
Pennsylvania’s climate is heating up, bringing warmer, wetter conditions overall and more frequent storms, floods, and heatwaves. While climate change impacts are happening around the state, historic and persisting socioeconomic inequities mean that some Pennsylvanians are more vulnerable to climate impacts because of where they live, the type of home they live in, their income level and degree of mobility, and other factors. Learn more about what our faith teaches about caring for creation and the ongoing work on a new ELCA social message on climate.
Pennsylvanians who live in Environmental Justice communities in particular are disproportionately exposed to climate hazards, such as flooding and heatwaves. At the same time, they have limited access to tools to adapt to impacts and transition to cleaner energy to slow down climate change. As the climate continues to heat up, this vulnerability will deepen, unless action is taken.
Along with local partners, the DEP Energy Programs Office and its contractor, Preservation Design PartnershipOpens In A New Window, are hosting open-discussion meetings with leaders and residents of Environmental Justice communities around the state. The purpose is to listen to and discuss communities’ climate adaptation needs, and learn what state government and others can do to enable Pennsylvania’s Environmental Justices communities to become more sustainable and resilient in the face of climate change.
Meetings will consist of a brief primer on the scope and purpose of the project and how to find more information for all participants, followed by a facilitated discussion on climate strategies for in-person attendees. DEP invites you to attend the one nearest to you, or virtually attend any meeting that fits your schedule via Microsoft Teams Live:
- April 11, 10:30AM – Reading: RSVP to attendOpens In A New Window
- April 13, 10:30AM – Harrisburg: RSVP to attendOpens In A New Window
- April 14, 10:30AM – Norristown: RSVP to attendOpens In A New Window
- April 24, 6:00PM – Philadelphia: RSVP to attendOpens In A New Window
Share Your Views in an Online Survey
If you can’t make an in-person meeting, or want to provide more detailed input, visit the Climate Action for Environmental Justice Communities StoryMapOpens In A New Window to take one or more surveys to share your views on the climate challenges your community is experiencing and how DEP can better meet the climate adaptation needs of Pennsylvanians in under-resourced areas. Surveys will remain open through the end of April.
Questions and information requests can be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The DEP Energy Programs Office will incorporate community feedback from the open discussions and surveys in developing a Guide to Climate Action for Environmental Justice Communities.
The guide will inform DEP’s statewide climate action planning to ensure that greenhouse gas reduction strategies produce meaningful health, welfare, and community benefits for Environmental Justice communities and prioritize state and federal funding to ensure assistance is available where it is needed most.
The guide may also inform the work of other state and local leaders to prioritize the needs of Pennsylvania’s Environmental Justice communities in climate action.
DEP anticipates releasing the Guide to Climate Action for Environmental Justice Communities in summer 2023.