Environmental Justice – Environmental justice is the “fair distribution of environmental benefits, risks and burdens.” In our work, it means everybody shares the same air quality benefits and burdens. Many communities in our jurisdiction face greater risks of exposure to air pollution than others, for many reasons including: topography, weather patterns, geography, and socio-economic status.
Highly-Impacted Communities – We define “highly impacted communities” as geographic locations characterized by degraded air quality, whose residents face economic or historic barriers to participation in clean air decisions and solutions. For example, a neighborhood with a high population of people of color located near a major roadway would meet this definition. A predominantly low-income neighborhood with significant wood-burning activity would also be considered highly impacted.
Equity – Equity refers to “the quality, state, or idea of being just, fair, and impartial.” When it comes to air pollution, some populations in our region are more affected than others, often because of their socio-economic situations. Our approach towards equity in clean air aims to make sure everyone, everywhere, has clean, healthy air to breathe. Our goal is to rebalance pollution so it is fair and no community has more risk than another.