Announcements

Department of Ecology's Improving Air Quality in Overburdened Communities Initiative (Section 3 of the Climate Commitment Act)

The Department of Ecology and the Environmental Justice Council are beginning conversations about how the Council can be engaged in providing feedback on this initiative. Ecology has shared the following draft documents with the Council to begin this dialogue: 

 

Environmental Justice Council Special Meetings on the Climate Commitment Act 

The Environmental Justice Council (Council) is convening two special meetings on the Council’s role in the Climate Commitment Act. The meetings are:

  • Friday, May 13, 3:30pm-6:00pm
  • Monday, May 16, 8:00am-10:30am

We would like to invite you to attend these public meetings. The meetings will be on Zoom. You can find information about the Council and the link to the Zoom webinar online. The agenda for these meetings will be available here by Thursday May 12th at 3:30pm. Both meetings will include the same agenda items and presentations. The Council is holding two meetings on the same content to increase the number of Council and community members who can attend.

Both meetings will have time for you to share your environmental justice concerns and ideas. You can sign-up to provide comments by emailing envjustice@ejc.wa.gov. You can also email your comments to envjustice@ejc.wa.gov to have them included in the meeting materials.

For information about future Council meetings and other updates, please subscribe to our email updates. If you need accommodations for this meeting, please email us in any language at envjustice@ejc.wa.gov. You can also call us at 360-584-4398 (telephone interpretation available). We are working to provide Spanish and ASL interpreters, and closed captioning for these meetings, but with such short notice, it may not be possible.

Please call or email if you need meeting materials translated, have questions, or if you want to connect with Council staff. We hope to see you there!

 

Webinar: Public Input on Federal Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool

Washington State Environmental Justice Council staff hosted an instructional webinar for community members on April 21, 2022. You can watch the webinar here. The webinar covers how to access and comment on the beta version of the Council on Environmental Quality's Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool (CEJST), including how to look up a neighborhood and provide neighborhood-specific feedback. The federal deadline for public comments was originally April 25th, 2022 but the Council of Environmental Quality has indicated that it plans to extend the deadline to May 25, 2022.

The Biden administration is working to keep its “Justice40” campaign promise to ensure that at least 40% of federal climate investments go directly to communities most affected by poverty and pollution. Part of that process is the use of a Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool (CEJST) to define and identify “disadvantaged communities” that will receive Justice40 benefits. The CEJST is meant to: “…identify communities that are economically disadvantaged and overburdened by pollution and underinvestment in housing, transportation, water and wastewater infrastructure, and health care.” The Tool uses 8 categories to identify “disadvantaged communities” (including income and education); but does not include race or ethnicity.

Environmental Justice Council staff are working to post the video with closed captioning and to get the webinar video posted in several other languages including ASL.

 

Governor Appoints Environmental Justice Council Members

Governor Inslee has appointed the 16 Environmental Justice Council members. You can find the list of appointed members here. The Council held its first meeting on April 4, 2022. You can find more information about the meeting here