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House of Representatives
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session


Posted: January 18, 2023 03:04 PM
From: Representative Christopher M. Rabb and Rep. Carol Kazeem
To: All House members
Subject: Establishing the Pennsylvania Environmental Justice Policy Center
While the climate crisis affects everyone, it does not affect everyone equally.
Communities of color and other frontline communities have typically not had a seat at the table when decisions are made about where to locate fossil fuel-producing facilities. Such institutional inequities have meant that these marginalized groups are the ones who often bear the brunt of the negative effects that emissions from these facilities have on people’s health and the environment.
As the effects worsen, the need to ensure that vulnerable communities are protected becomes more pressing. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s Office of Environmental Justice is an invaluable asset in this effort, but more can be done if government partners with outside organizations and local communities to identify and respond to the issues facing our most burdened residents.
In an effort to address this issue, we will be introducing legislation to establish the Pennsylvania Environmental Justice Policy Center (EJPC). The EJPC would act as an independent, quasi-governmental entity that would develop statewide environmental justice policy recommendations, perform outreach and education efforts, take meaningful input from local communities, and conduct and publish research into environmental justice policy initiatives.
The goal of the EJPC would be to fill in some of the gaps that currently exist in environmental justice policy work throughout the Commonwealth as we move forward with adequately addressing the climate crisis and ensuring Pennsylvanians’ constitutional right to a clean and safe environment.
Please join us in supporting this important legislation (formerly HB 2866).

Introduced as HB963