Environmental Justice is the right of all people and communities to live, work, and play in a clean and safe environment.

Environmental Health Coalition fights against environmental racism which is defined as: policies and activities of governments, corporations, educational institutions or other large organizations with the power to influence many people that, either intentionally or unintentionally, result in people of color and/or low income people being exposed to greater environmental hazards.

In San Diego County, the relationship between race, income and pollution is quite clear as illustrated by this map that shows the greatest concentrations of people of color and low income people overlaid with facilities that emit air pollution (red dots) and facilities that utilize toxic chemicals or generate hazardous waste.


A simple comparison of two communities in San Diego County

 Area  People of Color  Families in Poverty  Toxic Substances in Community
 Barrio Logan            97%  35%  127,908,799 pounds
 La Jolla                   14%  3%  3,203,992 pounds

Environmental Justice Resources

California Environmental Justice Alliance

EHC is a founding member of the California Environmental Justice Alliance (CEJA), a statewide coalition of grassroots, environmental justice organizations. We are working to achieve environmental justice by organizing in low-income communities and communities of color – those most impacted by environmental hazards – and by pushing for policies at the federal, state, regional and local levels that protect public health and the environment.

CEJA unites the powerful local organizing efforts of members to create comprehensive opportunities for change at a statewide level. We combine grassroots organizing with strategic policy advocacy. Visit CEJA's website.

Building Healthy Communities from the Ground Up: Environmental Justice in California

Every day, California's low-income communities and communities of color face challenges from a disproportionate burden of toxics and pollution. Unequal political and legal rights worsen these conditions, due to a lack of community resources and exclusion of affected communities from public policy-making.

Building Healthy Communities from the Ground Up is an early publication of the California Environmental Justice Alliance which provide policy recommendations to build healthy communities and achieve environmental justice in California. Download the report.

Justice in the Air: Tracking Toxic Pollution from America's Industries and Companies to Our States, Cities, and Neighborhoods
By Michael Ash, James K. Boyce, Grace Chang, Manuel Pastor, Justin Scoggins, and Jennifer Tran[Ash, Boyce, and Chang are from the Political Economy Research Institute (PERI) at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst; Pastor, Scoggins, and Tran are from the Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE) at the University of Southern California]
April 2009

With climate change threatening our way of life, dirty air triggering asthma, and industrial pollutants causing cancer, the nation is more motivated than ever before to take a hard look at the problems we face and seek new approaches that can better secure the future of the planet and save lives.

This study is one of the first to track, which states and metropolitan areas have the biggest gap between the health risk from toxic pollution faced by people of color and the poor compared to their proportion of the population. The results confirm what many Americans of color and low-income Americans have known for a long time: clean air is not necessarily an equal opportunity affair. Download the report.

The Climate Gap: Inequalities in How Climate Change Hurts Americans & How to Close the Gap
By Rachel Morello Frosch, Manuel Pastor, Jim Sadd, and Seth Shonkoff
May 2009

By now, virtually all Americans concur that climate change is real, and could pose devastating consequences for our nation and our children. Equally real is the "Climate Gap" – the sometimes hidden and often-unequal impact climate change will have on people of color and the poor in the United States. Download the report.