Environmental Justice

The principles of environmental justice call for fairness, regardless of race, color, national origin or income, in the development of laws and regulations that affect every community's natural surroundings, and the places people live, work, play and learn.

California was one of the first states in the nation to codify environmental justice in statute. Beyond the fair treatment called for in code, leaders in the environmental justice movement work to include those individuals disproportionately impacted by pollution in decision making processes. The aim is to lift the unfair burden of pollution from those most vulnerable to its effects.

Read about California's Environmental Justice statute.

Learn more about projects the EJ Program is involved in:


The Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) is committed to developing and conducting its public health and environmental protection programs to achieve equity and fair treatment of all Californians, regardless of race, age, culture, income, education, or geographic location.


From 2013-2015, DTSC’s EJ Initiative focused on community-based compliance and enforcement actions, reducing impacts from industries in disadvantaged communities, and improving transparency and public outreach opportunities. DTSC achieved foundational accomplishments including the creation of the Assistant Director for Environmental Justice position, establishing a Safer Consumer Products and Workplace Program, drafting a Supplemental Environmental Projects Policy, and training on the use of CalEnviroScreen and other screening tools to prioritize actions benefiting disadvantaged communities.