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After nearly two decades, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has updated its environmental justice policy.
Officials hope the new version, which goes into effect later this month but could still be revised, will help them better protect and communicate with communities disproportionately exposed to environmental hazards.
“Through this process, we heard from communities [that] we should be doing more,” said Justin Dula, director of the Department of Environmental Protection’s Office of Environmental Justice.
The current policy provides for enhanced public participation when facilities are permitted in low-income communities and communities of color. For example, the policy encourages DEP to set up an extra informational meeting with residents of environmental justice areas about projects proposed in their community.