The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is launching a series of Environmental Justice listening sessions. The sessions will engage community residents and leaders in DEP’s decision-making process, and how DEP can involve people that may not fit the traditional definition of an environmental justice area — which is based on minority population and income levels in census tracts.
Areas of focus will include:
- What environmental justice concerns are most pressing in your community?
- Do you feel that the current definition of an environmental justice community (20% poverty and/or 30% minority) properly represents the needs of your community and the Commonwealth at large?
- Do you feel the DEP is engaged with marginalized communities to ensure that they have a voice in the decision making process? How can the DEP be more engaged with these communities?
- What tools have you used to find out information on DEP permitting/enforcement actions?
- What ways can the DEP be more effective at sharing information with the public?
- How can the DEP be more effective at receiving public input?
- What resource(s) is your community lacking that the DEP can provide that would assist in efforts to ensure environmental equity?
- What additional steps can be taken by the department to effectively reach out to these vulnerable communities to ensure that their concerns are taken into consideration?
Click here for more information on the listening sessions.