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Environmental Justice

Office of Environmental Justice

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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

New York's Disadvantaged Communities Barriers and Opportunities report is live. The Barriers Report is required under the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act to understand why some communities are disproportionately impacted by climate change and air pollution and have unequal access to clean energy. This report is informed by research into the experience of similar programatic efforts in other states, academic literature, and the vital input of the Climate Justice Working Group and community members, local governments, nonprofits, and small businesses. The report identifies 35 opportunites for state agencies to embed justice and equity in climate and clean energy programs. These recommendations fall into three categories:

  • Make agency program design processes inclusive of communities burdened by pollution and poverty;
  • Streamline agency activities to make programs accessible; and
  • Address emerging issues such as the need for holistic approaches to housing upgrades and climate adaptation planning.

View the Barriers Report. (Leaves DEC's website)

Press Releases

New York State announced that $4.1 million in Environmental Justice Community Impact Grants is available to help communities historically and disproportionately impacted by pollution address environmental concerns. Funding for the latest round of grants is provided by the State's Environmental Protection Fund, as part of New York's aggressive Environmental Justice agenda, announced during the Department of Environmental Conservation's week-long celebration of Earth Day 2021. Visit our grants page for a list of awardees.

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

  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) (Leaves DEC website) Environmental Justice Hotline : 1-800-962-6215
    • Region 2 Offices (NY, NJ, Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands): 1-212-637-4040

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.
  • Indian Nation Consultation - Information About the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Environmental Justice Program and Tips for Preparing a Public Participation Plan
  • 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