Environmental Justice

The principles of environmental justice call for fairness, regardless of race, color, national origin or income, in the development of laws and regulations that affect every community's natural surroundings, and the places people live, work, play and learn.

California was one of the first states in the nation to codify environmental justice in statute. Beyond the fair treatment called for in code, leaders in the environmental justice movement work to include those individuals disproportionately impacted by pollution in decision making processes. The aim is to lift the unfair burden of pollution from those most vulnerable to its effects.

See California's Environmental Justice statute here.

Learn more about projects the  EJ Program is involved in:


The Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) is committed  to developing and conducting its public health and environmental protection  programs to achieve equity and fair treatment of all Californians, regardless  of race, age, culture, income, education, or geographic location.

From 2013-2015, DTSC’s EJ Initiative  focused on community-based compliance and enforcement actions, reducing impacts  from industries in disadvantaged communities, and improving transparency and  public outreach opportunities. DTSC achieved foundational accomplishments  including the creation of the Assistant Director for Environmental Justice  position, establishing a Safer Consumer Products and Workplace Program,  drafting a Supplemental Environmental Projects Policy, and training on the use  of CalEnviroScreen and other screening tools to prioritize actions benefiting  disadvantaged communities.
  Read more from CalEPA’s  2013-2015 Environmental Justice Program Update here:
  For a full summary of DTSC’s EJ program  update, see pages 44-52.