NEMWI Releases Environmental Justice Scorecard

The Northeast-Midwest Institute has released a new scorecard that evaluates and ranks state policies surrounding environmental justice reform. 

The scorecard looks at ten specific metrics to gauge states’ commitment to environmental justice.  These indicators includethe presence of a state agency with a mandate to deal with environmental justice issues, a legislative committee that deals with E.J. legislation, an E.J. state official, an E.J. Advisory Commission, a state E.J. plan or report, advocacy by outside E.J. organizations, E.J. resolutions/bills passed by the state legislature in the past two to four years, and online tools that make it easy for citizens in a state to learn about environmental justice and/or map out environmental justice communities. 

The scorecard is accompanied by a report that breaks this information down and provides important context. It looks at the regions of the northeast and midwest (New England, the Mid-Atlantic, and the Midwest) and compares their efforts to advance environmental justice policies. The report also considers the efforts of individual states, breaking down some of the most successful policies and analyzing states that are lagging behind their neighbors. 

Three of the eighteen states in the northeast and midwest – Maryland, Massachusetts, and New York – ranked the highest in their state commitment to environmental justice reform, each scoring positively on all ten of the criteria studied.

The new NEMWI report also discusses New York’s and New Jersey’s recent landmark E.J. legislation as well as the lack of attention to environmental justice reform by states such as New Hampshire and Indiana. The report concludes with an analysis of trends and recommends policies that states can implement to advance environmental justice for their citizens. 

Both the report and the scorecard were researched and written by NEMWI intern Nicholas Griffin, a student at Brown University.

To learn more about environmental justice and the progress that northeastern and midwestern states have made on this important issue, read the full report HERE. To hear a podcast on the environmental justice scorecard, go HERE.