Background on the Vermont Environmental Justice Law
Also known as Act 154 of 2022, the Vermont Environmental Justice (EJ) Law is the state’s first law specifically meant to address environmental health disparities and improve the health and well-being of all Vermont residents. The Environmental Justice Law establishes Vermont’s Environmental Justice State Policy.
The purpose of the Environmental Justice Law is to ensure all Vermonters regardless of race, cultural background, or income have equitable access to environmental benefits such as clean air and water, healthy food, and public transportation. The Environmental Justice Law also protects communities from disproportionate environmental burdens such as polluted air and water, climate change impacts, and limited access to green spaces. The Environmental Justice Law requires State agencies to meaningfully engage Vermonters in the environmental decision-making processes.
The Environmental Justice Law creates an Environmental Justice Advisory Council and an Interagency Environmental Justice Committee. The Advisory Council is composed of a range of community representatives, and they provide independent advice to State agencies and the General Assembly on matters related to environmental justice. The Interagency Committee is composed of representatives from ten State agencies, and they coordinate State agency implementation of the Environmental Justice Law. Over the coming years, the Advisory Council and Interagency Committee will work together to implement the Environmental Justice Law and ensure that State agencies embed environmental justice throughout the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies.
To learn more about the Vermont Environmental Justice Law, explore these online learning resources:
- Environmental Justice Online Resource Library
- Environmental Justice Law Factsheet
- Environmental Justice Law Overview Presentation
- Attend a public meeting of the Advisory Council or Interagency Committee.
- Leave a public comment about the core principles of community engagement, the first deliverable of the Vermont Environmental Justice Law.
- Want to learn more about this first deliverable? You can reference The Guide to the Core Principles of Community Engagement.
- Sign up for the Vermont Environmental Justice Law mailing list to stay informed of opportunities, resources, and updates.