Department of Environmental Conservation

D E C banner

Environmental Justice

Sign up for DEC Delivers

Enter email address:

Environmental Justice is the fair and meaningful treatment of all people, regardless of race, income, national origin or color, with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations and policies. Environmental Justice allows for disproportionately impacted residents to access the tools to address environmental concerns across all of DEC's operations. Continue to watch this page for news and updates.

The Office of Environmental Justice (OEJ) works to address environmental issues and concerns that affect primarily low income and minority communities through grant opportunities, enforcement of environmental laws and regulations, consultation, guidance, and enhance public participation.

Environmental Justice Programs

DEC Permit Applications Data

Search DEC Permit Applications currently under review or with final disposition: Begin Permit Application Search.

Updates and News

DEC Climate Justice Working Group to Meet

What:  The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation's (DEC) 13-member Climate Justice Working Group (CJWG), (link leaves DEC's website) established under the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA), will hold a meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2023. The CJWG is tasked with establishing criteria for identifying disadvantaged communities for the purposes of co-pollutant reductions, greenhouse gas emissions reductions, regulatory impact statements, and the allocation of investments pursuant to the CLCPA. 

This meeting will include the approval of minutes from the previous meeting and a group discussion on the by-laws and procedure for future meetings following the finalization of the disadvantaged communities criteria on March 27. Members of the public are welcome to attend in person or listen to the meeting via webcast. Pre-registration is strongly encouraged and can be done by clicking the WebEx link below.

When: Tuesday, Aug. 29, 1 p.m. ET
Where: Virtual - WebEx meeting and registration link; (link leaves DEC's website) Webinar password: welcome8.29.23 (93526638 from phones)
Audio: Dial 1-518-549-0500; Access code: 161 256 4561

In-Person: Event locations, times, and partners include:
• NY Green Bank, Alistair W.C. Clark Boardroom, 1333 Broadway, Suite 300, New York, NY 10018
• New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) Headquarters, Boardroom, 17 Columbia Circle, Albany NY, 12203
• DEC Region 5 Office, 1115 New York State Route 86, Ray Brook, NY 12977
• DEC Region 8 Office, 6274 East Avon-Lima Rd. Avon, NY 14414
• DEC Region 9 Office, 700 Delaware Ave. Buffalo, NY 14209

Additional Information: This meeting was recorded and will posted on the Climate Act website  (link leaves DEC's website)within three days, or as soon as practicable.

Disadvantaged Communities Criterial Finalization

On March 27, 2023, New York State's Climate Justice Working Group (CJWG), a 13-member working group tasked with establishing the criteria by which disadvantaged communities (DACs) across the state would be identified, finalized the criterial for identifying the state's disadvantaged communities. The criteria will guide the equitable implementation of New York's ambitious Climate Act through requirements that all agencies and authorities prioritize DACs in air pollution and climate-altering greenhouse gas emissions reductions and targeting clean energy and energy efficiency investments.

Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (The Climate Act)

The Climate Act requires 35%, with a goal of 40%, of the benefits from renewable energy and energy efficiency investments made by state entities be realized in DACs.

The Environmental Justice Report

Welcome to The Environmental Justice Report! The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Office of Environmental Justice (OEJ) produces this newsletter to keep residents informed of initiatives within the agency that are important to the community.

Environmental Justice Hotline

Call and speak to Environmental Justice staff toll-free at: 1-866-229-0497

Contact Us about:

  • General Information on NYSDEC Environmental Justice Program
  • Environmental concerns and questions
  • Information on environmental laws, regulations, policies, permitting and enforcement related to Environmental Justice
  • Potential environmental violations in low income and/or minority areas
  • Grant opportunity information

Other DEC Hotline

  • ECO Hotline
    • 24-hour, toll free hotline for reporting environmental crimes and violations: 1-844-DEC-ECOs (1-844-332-3267)
  • Spills Hotline
    • 24-hour, toll free hotline for reporting oil or chemical spills:
      1. 1-800-457-7362 (within NYS) or
      2. (518) 457-7362 (outside NYS)

Non-DEC Hotlines

Federal Environmental Justice Programs

Other Information

More about Environmental Justice:

  • Operation ECO Quality - Current projects and information from the DEC Office of Environmental Justice to help residents of environmental justice communities and members of the general public in New York State
  • EJ Related Policy and Regulations - Commissioner Policy CP-29 provides guidance for incorporating environmental justice concerns into the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) environmental permit review process, the DEC application of the State Environmental Quality Review Act, and some aspects of the DEC's enforcement program, grants program and public participation provisions.
  • Environmental Justice Grant Programs - Provides grants from $2,500 to $50,000 to community-based organizations for research and education projects that address multiple environmental harms and risks.
  • Maps & Geospatial Information System (GIS) Tools for Environmental Justice - Links to Geographic Information System (GIS) Tools for environmental justice information
  • Green Infrastructure - Links to Environmental Justice programs of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, several states, and some national non-profit organizations
  • Diversity Resources in the Outdoors, Science, & Environmental Justice - resources to explore more voices and wider points of view in the Outdoors, Science, and Environmental Justice
  • PDF Help
  • For help with PDFs on this page, please call 518-402-9498.
  • Contact for this Page
    Office of Environmental Justice
    625 Broadway, 14th Floor
    Albany, NY 12233-1500
    Send us an email
  • This Page Covers
  • Page applies to all NYS regions