New Jersey Governor Signs Environmental Justice Executive Order
Governor Phil Murphy signed an Executive Order on April 20 directing the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), with support from other state agencies, to develop guidance on how all state departments can incorporate environmental justice considerations into their actions. Environmental justice touches a wide variety of issues related to quality of life, including housing, health, and transportation.
“All of our residents regardless of race, color, ethnicity, religion deserve to live in communities free from the effects of pollution and are entitled to participate in decision-making that affects their environment, their communities, their homes and their health,” said Governor Murphy. “Good environmental policy is something that must lift all communities. The Executive Order I am signing will ensure state agencies are considering the cumulative impacts of their actions in overburdened communities on an ongoing basis.”
Low-income communities and communities of color in New Jersey and across the country often bear the brunt of pollution and the impacts of climate change.
Further exemplifying the disparity, between 2012 and 2016, the rate of asthma for African Americans was 17.2% compared to 12% for whites in New Jersey. (Office of Governor Phil Murphy)
Text of Executive Order 23 is online.