One of the key components in addressing environmental justice
issues is to ensure early, ongoing and meaningful public participation.
NJDEP urges citizens to get involved. Below, and throughout this
website, are several links that can assist you in getting involved
in environmental decision-making at all levels of government.
Be sure to visit the Resources page of this website for additional
- Join and become active in an environmental
- Attend a DEP public hearing or send
- Attend environmental commission meetings.
- Formulate solutions to address environmental
concerns and share them with local, county and state
- Teach youth about the importance
of protecting the environment.
- Attend city and town council meetings.
- Participate in local organizing efforts.
- Educate others about environmental
- Write to your community, state and
federal representatives to share your comments about
environmental issues.For more information, visit the
New Jersey Legislature website or visit your local
and county government website.
- Establish an environmental commission.
For more information, visit the Association of New
Jersey Environmental Commissions (ANJEC).
- Learn environmental terminology.
- Know the local, county, regional,
state and federal government agencies that play key
roles in environmental decision making.
With broad regulatory responsibilities,
thousands of permits processed every year and 12,600 active
site-remediation cases, DEP strives to maintain a dialogue
with community stakeholders.
that environmental justice communities are overburdened with
unique socioeconomic and environmental problems that require
a community-based response tailored to a community’s
specific needs and concerns.
DEP is committed to developing
and implementing strategies and policies that effectively educate
and empower environmental justice community leaders to become
involved in government decision making.
To effectively address environmental and
public health impacts, the DEP, in collaboration with other
agencies, such as the New Jersey Department of Health, the Economic Development Authority and the New Jersey
Department of Transportation, is committed to pro-actively
addressing environmental justice issues in self-identified
Extensive studies and research show that,
at the national level, many people of color and poor, working-class
people of all races live in communities that are overburdened
with environmental hazards. In New Jersey communities can choose
to self-identify themselves as environmental justice communities
using existing data including: Census data, Permitting, Toxic
Release Inventory, and National Air Toxic Assessment Data.
For those communities that meet the criteria to be developed
by the Environmental Justice Taskforce, Action Plans will be
developed to address environmental justice issues.
In New Jersey, many cities and older suburbs
face serious environmental challenges, including:
- inadequate land-use planning
- persistent illegal dumping
- numerous brownfield sites
- waste management issues
- lack of preserved natural areas
and open space