Concern about the disproportionate occurrence of pollution and potential pollution-related health effects affecting low-income, cultural, and ethnic populations and lesser cleanup efforts in their communities.
The goal of environmental justice is to ensure that all people, regardless of race, national origin or income, are protected from the adverse impacts of environmental hazards and to ensure that one group is not disproportionately affected. To be classified as an environmental justice community, residents must be a minority and/or low income group; excluded from the environmental policy setting and/or decision-making process; subject to a disproportionate impact from one or more environmental hazards; and experience a disparate implementation of environmental regulations, requirements, practices and activities in their communities. Environmental justice is about real people facing real problems and designing practical solutions to address challenging environmental issues. The environmental justice movement advocates programs that promote environmental protection within the context of sustainable development. Utilizing various methods, including traditional knowledge about the eco-system and community mobilization, the environmental justice community has become a formidable force in protection of both the urban and rural environments.