Environmental Justice Populations
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts states that Environmental Justice (EJ) is based on the principle that all people have a right to be protected from environmental hazards and 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 and the equitable distribution of environmental benefits. In Massachusetts, a neighborhood is defined as an Environmental Justice population if one or more of the following four criteria are true: the annual median household income is not more than 65 percent of the statewide annual median household income; minorities comprise 40 percent or more of the population; 25 percent or more of households lack English language proficiency, or 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. Below is the state’s Environmental Justice Populations map viewer, which shows the block groups in the Cape Cod region that are identified as Environmental Justice populations. The color of the block group denotes the reason for its identification as an Environmental Justice population.