Press Release

Press Release  Healey-Driscoll Administration Releases First-Ever Environmental Justice Strategy for Massachusetts

New Strategy will Integrate Environmental Justice Principles into Policies, Programs, and Practices
For immediate release:
  • Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs
  • Office of Environmental Justice & Equity (OEJE)

Media Contact   for Healey-Driscoll Administration Releases First-Ever Environmental Justice Strategy for Massachusetts

Danielle Burney, Deputy Communications Director

BOSTON As the Healey-Driscoll Administration works toward positive and proactive solutions to combat climate change, the Executive Office of Energy of Environmental Affairs (EEA) unveiled Massachusetts’ first-ever Environmental Justice (EJ) Strategy today to ensure an equitable and just transition for all residents. The strategy is a roadmap that will embed environmental justice and equity into the work of EEA and its agencies when planning and implementing programs and policies under its purview. The EJ Strategy includes universal themes across all agencies and offices under EEA, such as meaningful community engagement, analysis of project benefits and burdens, language access plans, staff training, and metrics and tracking. It also includes each agency’s plan to embed environmental justice that is tailored to its mission. 

A critical component of the EJ Strategy was a public process that incorporated comments, input, and feedback from residents across Massachusetts. Recognizing the importance of continued engagement with environmental justice communities, community-based organizations, and municipalities, EEA will revisit and update the EJ Strategy every three years. Starting in December 2024, the EJ Office will also release an annual progress report.

“We are addressing systemic environmental injustice by incorporating practices based on equity and inclusion into our everyday work. This strategy is a significant step in identifying concrete ways to increase public participation and ensure the voices of marginalized communities are at the table,” said Governor Maura Healey. “Environmental justice is at the heart of our climate efforts. Our administration is committed to securing clean air and water for every resident and ensuring the benefits of our clean energy transition are distributed in an equitable way.” 

“A just transition requires strong, transparent partnerships with municipalities and environmental justice populations. There are tremendous opportunities in clean energy and innovation, and as a former mayor, I understand the importance of bringing communities to the table,” said Lieutenant Governor Kim Driscoll. “Our EJ Strategy is a testament to our commitment in ensuring nobody is left behind as we transition to a clean energy economy.” 

The Environmental Justice Strategy reflects the Healey-Driscoll Administration’s deep understanding that all communities deserve environmental protection regardless of race, national origin, or income bracket. One of Rebecca Tepper’s first acts as EEA Secretary was establishing an Office of Environmental Justice and Equity and appointing María Belén Power as the first-ever Undersecretary of Environmental Justice and Equity. Governor Healey’s first budget increased EEA’s funding by 27 percent, which included hiring new environmental justice staff. 

“This Strategy puts concept into action. We are working to reverse the environmental burdens that have plagued communities of color and economically marginalized residents for decades and setting Massachusetts on a new path that centers equity in our work,” said EEA Secretary Rebecca Tepper. “People are policy, and a just transition requires intentionality and commitment from all of us. This guidance will help shape our policy decisions and create clean, healthy communities and a large, diverse workforce across Massachusetts.”

“The EJ Strategy allows us to have measurable outcomes and ensure we are achieving our goals and building upon successes year after year,” said Environmental Justice and Equity Undersecretary María Belén Power. “I am proud of the EJ Strategy we are releasing today, and to be working with all of our agencies and offices under EEA to ensure environmental justice is imbedded into the fabric of our everyday work.”

Environmental Justice Strategies include:

  • Meaningful Engagement: EEA and its agencies will cultivate new and strengthen existing relationships with environmental justice communities, including community-led processes designed with and for EJ communities.
  • Project Impacts Analysis: Agencies will assess the impacts of its projects using available state mapping and screening tools to identify EJ neighborhoods and evaluate project impacts in these areas.
  • Language Access Plans: The secretariat will develop and adopt Language Access Plans (LAP) consistent with and under the Executive Office for Administration & Finance (A&F) Bulletin #16 and Executive Order (EO) 615 to ensure meaningful access to agency services, programs, and activities for people who have limited English proficiency. EEA and its agencies will evaluate the circumstances and language access needs to determine the tasks needed to provide access to services.
  • Staff Training and Hiring: EEA and its agencies will implement an environmental justice training program series to educate and inspire EEA agencies to understand and value environmental justice and equity, as well as to ensure they remain priorities.
  • Metrics and Tracking: EEA and its agencies will work to quantify current baseline and future environmental justice metrics to measure progress, including developing metrics considering new data infrastructures and practices.


Sal DiDomenico, Assistant Majority Leader of the Massachusetts Senate

“As State Senator to one of the most diverse districts in the Commonwealth, ensuring an equitable and just energy transition is non-negotiable. Communities of color have borne the brunt of air pollution and environmental hazards for decades, and the Governor’s Environmental Justice Strategy is absolutely essential to ending this cycle of mistreatment. I want to commend the Healey-Driscoll Administration for implementing these equitable and inclusive changes across EEA offices to guarantee that environmental justice is at the forefront of our state’s climate policies.”

Dwaign Tyndal, Executive Director, Alternatives for Community and Environment (ACE)

“We appreciate the thought and care that Undersecretary Power and staff across state government have put into the first-ever Environmental Justice Strategy. Meaningful engagement with communities, an equitable distribution of state dollars, and language access are critical tactics for the state to utilize as it guides the transition to clean energy and rectifies historical injustices. Environmental justice is a process, and this strategy is a strong step forward.”

Roseann Bongiovanni, Executive Director, GreenRoots

“We applaud the Healey Administration for releasing its Environmental Justice Strategy. It is refreshing to see the State of Massachusetts prioritize low-income communities and communities of color which have been disproportionately burdened by environmental and toxic assaults for decades on end. We look forward to working with the Secretary of Environmental Affairs and her team to realize the goals put forth in the EJ strategy.”

Lesly Melendez, Executive Director, Groundwork Lawrence

“The EEA EJ Strategy is a powerful roadmap to improve environmental justice and equity in Massachusetts in many measurable ways. We are excited about its focus on open space improvements, equitable workforce development employment, community engagement, and more. We were hopeful when the Healey-Driscoll Administration elevated environmental justice and equity as a priority, with the EEA EJ Strategy we now see the strategic planning that is occurring to create a consistent structure to effectively and measurably advance environmental justice and equity. It is a strong starting point!”


Media Contact   for Healey-Driscoll Administration Releases First-Ever Environmental Justice Strategy for Massachusetts

  • Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs 

    EEA seeks to protect, preserve, and enhance the Commonwealth’s environmental resources while ensuring a clean energy future for the state’s residents. Through the stewardship of open space, protection of environmental resources, and enhancement of clean energy, the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs works tirelessly to make Massachusetts a wonderful place to live, work, and raise a family.
  • Office of Environmental Justice & Equity (OEJE) 

    The Massachusetts Office of Environmental Justice and Equity is committed to ensuring fairness in environmental policies and practices across the state. It focuses on addressing environmental burdens faced by marginalized communities and advocating for their access to clean air, water, and land. Through initiatives, community engagement, and policy development, the office works to rectify historical injustices and empower communities in decision-making processes. By fostering partnerships and implementing interventions, it strives to create a more equitable and sustainable future for all residents of Massachusetts.
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