Environmental Justice Legislation

2020 was a hard year for all of us in Oregon, but it was especially hard for our BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color), Tribal and rural communities who are experiencing colliding impacts, from climate change, COVID-19 and systemic exclusion and discrimination. These impacts did not emerge overnight; they are the result of generations of injustices creating the intentional patterns of pollution, displacement and devastating health disparities for historically disadvantaged communities .

As Oregon takes on the monumental challenge of addressing the climate crisis, we need to ensure that we do not repeat the mistakes of the past, and that BIPOC and other historically underserved communities are centered and meaningfully consulted every step of the way. Beyond Toxics  and the Eugene Springfield NAACP are proud to be championing two pieces of legislation in 2021 aimed at achieving environmental and climate justice.

Passage of this legislation will achieve decisive policy across numerous natural resources, from watershed protections to air quality, centered on equity and justice and using community engagement strategies.

Update Definition: “Minorities”

  • Currently the outdated term “minorities” is used in statute.
  • HB 2488 definitions:
    • “Historically underserved communities” includes groups of individuals who identify as:
    • (a) Black or African American; (b) Hispanic or Latino; (c) Asian; (d) Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander; (e) American Indian or Alaskan Native having origins in one of the original peoples of North America; (f) Arabic or North African; (g) Middle Eastern; (h) Mixed-race or mixed-ethnicity; or (i) other identities, ethnicities or races as identified by the department by rule, considering existing and historical disparities in homeownership rates and socioeconomic outcomes. 

FOR MORE INFORMATION: including an up-to-date list of sponsors and supporters, along with ways to show your support, please visit Environmental and Climate Justice Legislation or contact info@beyondtoxics.org.

You can’t have climate change without sacrifice zones, and you can’t have sacrifice zones without disposable people, and you can’t have disposable people without racism.