Community, Equity & Access


Our vision is for everyone, everywhere to breathe clean, healthy air all the time, regardless of who they are or where they live. In addition to reducing air pollution overall, we also focus on equity, so nobody is more at risk because of where they live or their socioeconomic status.

  1. What Do We Mean?
  2. Vision & Approach
  3. Partnerships & Programs

Environmental Justice

Environmental  justice is the “fair distribution of environmental benefits, risks and  burdens.” In our work, it means everybody shares the same air quality  benefits and burdens. Many communities in our jurisdiction face greater  risks of exposure to air pollution than others, for many reasons  including: topography, weather patterns, geography, and socio-economic  status.

Highly-Impacted Communities

We  define “highly impacted communities” as geographic locations  characterized by degraded air quality, whose residents face economic or  historic barriers to participation in clean air decisions and solutions.  For example, a neighborhood with a high population of people of color  located near a major roadway would meet this definition. A predominantly  low-income neighborhood with significant wood-burning activity would  also be considered highly impacted.


Equity  refers to “the quality, state, or idea of being just, fair, and  impartial.” When it comes to air pollution, some populations in our  region are more affected than others, often because of their  socioeconomic situations. Our approach towards equity in clean air aims  to make sure everyone, everywhere, has clean, healthy air to breathe.  Our goal is to rebalance pollution so it is fair and no community has  more risk than another.