New Jersey

Governor Murphy Signs Executive Order to Address Environmental Justice Issues in New Jersey’s Urban Communities

Gov. Phil Murphy signed an Executive Order directing the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), with support from other state agencies, to develop guidance on how all state departments can incorporate environmental justice considerations into their actions. Environmental justice touches a wide variety of issues related to quality of life, including housing, health, and transportation.

“All of our residents regardless of race, color, ethnicity, religion deserve to live in communities free from the effects of pollution and are entitled to participate in decision-making that affects their environment, their communities, their homes and their health,” said Governor Murphy. “Good environmental policy is something that must lift all communities. The Executive Order I am signing will ensure state agencies are considering the cumulative impacts of their actions in overburdened communities on an ongoing basis.”

Low-income communities and communities of color in New Jersey and across the country often bear the brunt of pollution and the impacts of climate change.

Further exemplifying the disparity, between 2012 and 2016, the rate of asthma for African Americans was 17.2% compared to 12% for whites in New Jersey.

Earlier, Governor Murphy signed bipartisan legislation banning offshore oil and gas exploration in New Jersey waters. Other environmental actions Governor Murphy has taken include:

  • Signing an executive order directing BPU to work with other departments to fully implement the Offshore Wind Economic Development Act and setting a goal for New Jersey to achieve 3,500 MW of offshore wind generation by 2030.
  • Signing an executive order directing the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and BPU to begin taking the necessary steps for New Jersey to rejoin the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).
  • Joining with 16 states by entering the U.S. Climate Alliance with a pledge to cut carbon emissions to at least 26 percent below 2005 levels by 2025.
  • Joining with several other states to support a ban on fracking in the Delaware River Basin.

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