The Shapiro Administration has announced its plans to adopt a new environmental justice policy that expands environmental safeguards across the Commonwealth. The revision updates a 20-year-old policy that the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has used to guide protections for communities most vulnerable to environmental challenges. These areas make up 20 percent of the Commonwealth and are found in every part of the state, according to DEP.

Following a public comment period, DEP expects to finalize the new environmental justice policy in 2024.  LAMPa has been working to strengthen environmental justice policy in Pennsylvania. To join our statewide creation care network, send us a note and include CREATION CARE in the subject line.  Read more, including how to offer feedback on the interim policy. 

Pennsylvania’s Constitution guarantees its citizens the right to clean air and pure water. “The updated environmental justice policy,” said DEP Secretary Rich Negrin, “deepens that commitment by reaching out to communities, building trust and increasing community access to support and assistance before they experience an environmental crisis or have a concern about a new facility.”

The new interim policy goes into effect this month and includes a mapping tool to help identify environmental justice areas based on 32 environmental, health and socioeconomic indicators.  Check out the mapping tool here.