Environmental Justice Task Force
EPA honors Oregon's Environmental Justice Task Force
EJTF is lauded for 'unprecedented cooperation and relationship building'
The Oregon Environmental Justice Task Force has received a National Achievements in Environmental Justice Award from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for effectively implementing Oregon's environmental justice legislation (Senate Bill 420 - scroll down to learn more) and incorporating environmental justice considerations into state agency programs. The EJTF was one of five environmental partnership's to receive recognition. Read the full story at EPA's website. 
Governor Kulongoski congratulated EJTF members for their significant accomplishments and expressed his appreciation for former Senator Avel Gordly's leadership in developing Senate Bill 420 in an announcment released by Oregon Department of Environmental Quality.  Read DEQ's press release. 

EJTF member Robin Collin offers remarks at EPA's award ceremony - Watch it on YouTube!
Videos of the award announcment and Ms. Collin's remarks are at YouTube.com/White House Environmental Justice Forum (Parts 1-4)
EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson's announcement is in Part 1. Go to 0:13:48
Robin Collin's remarks are in Part 3. Go to 1:10:22 

Oregonians have a voice in environmental policy decisions
Governor signs Senate Bill 420
Governor signs Senate Bill 420
Senate Bill 420 created the Environmental Justice Task Force in 2007
Senate Bill 420 calls for environmental justice in Oregon by ensuring that all persons affected by decisions of natural resource agencies have a voice in those decisions. At the same time, the bill set up a task force - Environmental Justice Task Force, or EJTF - to advise the Governor and natural resource agencies on environmental justice issues.
Senate Bill 420 identified 11 state agencies as participants in the Environmental Justice Task Force: Agriculture, Environmental Quality, Fish & Wildlife, Forestry, Geology & Mineral Industries, Human Services, Land Conservation & Development, State Lands, Transportation, Water Resources and the State Fire Marshal's Office. Two additional agencies, Occupational Safety & Health and Energy, voluntarily participate. The agencies report annually to the EJTF on steps they are taking to ensure that their actions address the interests of all Oregonians. Read the agencies' 2009 Report to EJTF. 

EJTF consists of 12 members (see roster at the end of this page) and is staffed by Governor Kulongoski's office. The Task Force reports annually to the Governor, detailing the progress of natural resource agencies toward achieving the environmental justice goals outlined in Senate Bill 420. Read EJTF's 2009 Report to the Governor and click here to read the first annual (2008) report.

The Environmental Justice Task Force meets quarterly.   

EJTF Meetings are Open to the Public
Multi-racial hands reaching up, holding world globe, with blue sky background!
Next meeting: February 2011, in Salem
The next meeting of EJTF will be held during February 2011, in Salem.  Once the exact date, time and location have been decided, that information will be posted here. 
Minutes from past meetings and special events are posted below.

Make your voice heard!
What is Environmental Justice? How can you participate in decisions that affect you?

Environmental Justice Defined: 
Environmental justice is equal protection from environmental and health hazards, and meaningful public participation in decisions that affect the environment in which people live, work, learn, practice spirituality and play. "Environmental justice communities" include minority and low-income communities, tribal communities, and other communities traditionally underrepresented in public processes.

Purpose of the Environmental Justice Task Force:  When state agencies make decisions that affect our environment it is critical that low-income and minority populations are not disproportionately affected.  The Environmental Justice Task Force (EJTF) was created by the Legislature to help protect Oregonians from disproportionate environmental impacts on minority and low-income populations.  The EJTF encourages state agencies to give all people knowledge and access to improve decisions that affect environment and the health of all Oregonians.

Make Your Voice Heard:  Offer your voice in decisions made by state agencies.  The EJTF encourages you to take action when you feel impacted by one or more issues listed below.


Your voice for Environmental Justice
  • You have a voice in decisions that affect potable drinking water and clean air.
  • You have a voice in decisions that may put toxic pollutants in your living and working areas.
  • You have a voice in decisions about toxics in schools that affect your kids.
  • You have a voice in decisions that affect your community's health, such as land use decisions that could increase pollution in your neighborhood.
  • You have a voice in asking for caution in environmental decisions that affect your community, even if absolute proof of the problem is not yet confirmed.
  • You have a voice in clean and healthy access to your native cultural places and usual and accustomed fishing sites.
  • You have a voice in decisions that will increase climate change and impact your community, such as increased flooding, drought and fires, and impacts to species, habitats or local foods.
  • You have a voice in all decisions about toxics in food, water, air, soil and homes.
  • You have a voice in any issue of concern regarding environmental issues that affect your home, work, or place of worship.

How to be heard:

Send an email to jessica.h.keys@das.state.or.us or call 503-986-6543 if you want access to decision-makers to discuss the issue you care about further.  Also, the EJTF meets quarterly with opportunity for public comment and the next meeting is listed on this web page. 

Environmental Justice Task Force Members
Please note: Task Force members' affiliation is listed for identification purposes only, except for the four commission representatives

Khalid Wahab, Chair (Portland) – The Commission on Asian Affairs
Robin Collin, (Salem) – Willamette University
Jen Coleman, (Portland) – Oregon Environmental Council
Will Collin (Salem) – Willamette University
Ben Duncan (Portland) – Multnomah County Health Department
Terry Witt (Salem) – Oregonians for Food and Shelter
Jack Johnson (Cove) – Resident of Union County
Jonathon Ostar (Portland) – Organizing People-Activating Leaders
Julie Samples (Hillsboro) – Oregon Law Center Farmworker Program
Mariahm Stephenson (Beaverton) – The Commission on Black Affairs
VACANT – The Commission on Hispanic Affairs
VACANT – The Commission on Indian Services

Minutes of past EJTF meetings
September 10, 2010
July 9, 2010 
April 9, 2010
Special Event on Inequality and Discrimination (March 10, 2010)
January 15, 2010
October 23, 2009
July 17, 2009
April 24, 2009
January 16, 2009
October 24, 2008

Environmental Justice Resources

Oregon AG's Office
US EPA Region 10
50-State Survey
California EPA
CA Energy Commission
CA Transportation Dept.
UC Berkeley Public Health Library
EJ & Racism Resources
Clark Atlanta University EJ Center
Executive Order 12898

Page updated: December 27, 2010

This is not current information. It was mirrored by the Oregon State Archives from Oregon.gov on 1/10/2011. Links and forms may not work properly. Oregon.gov header and footer information has been removed to eliminate confusion between current and archival information. Page updated references refer to dates of original update and display, not to the date of this archival website copy.