Pennsylvania Announces Executive and Legislative Action on Environmental Justice

Thirty years ago, at the First National People of Color Environmental Leadership Summit, the environmental justice movement was born. Yesterday, Governor Wolf and Pennsylvania’s Legislative Black Caucus marked the anniversary by honoring the decades of work by frontline advocates and announcing critical steps to advance it. 

By issuing an Executive Order to formalize the Office of Environmental Justice and Environmental Justice Advisory Board, Governor Wolf has acknowledged both Pennsylvania’s history of systemic environmental racism and the essential role that equity must play in the Commonwealth’s clean energy future. We applaud the governor, and congratulate Allison Acevedo on being formally appointed as the office’s director. Director Acevedo is a devoted public servant with the expertise and passion to drive environmental equity. We look forward to further collaboration with her office. 

We also support and celebrate the legislative package introduced by the Legislative Black Caucus. Overburdened communities are too often shut out of the energy planning process. By requiring environmental impact statements before facilities are built and increasing transparency around potential harms, low-income communities and communities of color will have a seat at the table that has historically excluded them.  

We’re enthusiastic about the possibilities that lay ahead for Pennsylvania’s clean energy future and ready to support the work that frontline activists have led for more than thirty years. 

Statements from frontline partners and allies: 

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