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DPU EJ strategy history and background

This webpage provides an overview of environmental justice at the DPU.

Table of Contents

What is environmental justice?

Environmental Justice (EJ) is based on the principle that all people have a right to be protected from environmental hazards. It also means that people have a right to live in and enjoy a clean and healthful environment. EJ is the equal protection and meaningful involvement of all people with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies. People should also have an equitable distribution of environmental benefits.

The Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) defined an EJ population in its Environmental Justice Policy. EEA created this definition in 2017, and updated it in June, 2021. An EJ population is:

  1. a neighborhood that meets one or more of the following criteria:

    1. the annual median household income is not more than 65 percent of the statewide annual median household income;

    2. minorities comprise 40 percent or more of the population;

    3. 25 percent or more of households lack English language proficiency; or

    4. minorities comprise 25 percent or more of the population and the annual median household income of the municipality in which the neighborhood is located does not exceed 150 percent of the statewide annual median household income; or

  2. a geographic part of a neighborhood designated by the Secretary as an EJ population under law.

EEA’s EJ MapViewer displays EJ block groups within Massachusetts.

Environmental justice strategy at the DPU

EEA’s EJ Policy requires all EEA agencies to develop their own EJ strategies to “proactively promote EJ in all neighborhoods in ways that are tailored to their agencies’ mission.”

The DPU’s EJ strategy establishes practices and principles to:

  • serve the needs of the Commonwealth’s most vulnerable residents and

  • promote EJ considerations across DPU proceedings.

The DPU developed its draft EJ strategy in 2022. The DPU provided this draft to EEA for incorporation into the 2022 Draft Environmental Justice strategy (beginning at page 109). The DPU received public comments on its draft EJ strategy through the public comment process established by EEA. The DPU is currently reviewing these public comments as part of the process of finalizing its EJ strategy.

Please note that the draft EJ strategy may contain outdated information that will be updated in the final EJ strategy.

EJ strategy and translated versions

The 2022 draft EJ strategy is available in the following languages:

English | Español Português | 中 | Kreyòl ayisyen |
Tiếng Việt | عربي | ខ្មែរ | Русский | Kriolu

Request for paper copies in the above languages can be submitted by email to ej.inquiries@mass.gov or submitted in writing to:

Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs
100 Cambridge St., Suite 900 
Boston, MA 02114 
Attn: Carline Lemoine, Deputy Director of EJ for External Stakeholder Coordination

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