Senate Bill 420 (ORS 182.535, 182.538, 182.542, 182.545, 182.550)


The Act created two main mechanisms for environmental justice (EJ) issues to be addressed at the state level:  

1) The EJ Task Force was charged with meeting with EJ communities and making recommendations to the Governor and state agencies, including identifying, in cooperation with natural resource agencies, minority and low-income communities “that may be affected by environmental decisions made by the agencies.”  The EJ Task Force members “shall be persons who are well-informed on the principles of environmental justice and who, to the greatest extent practicable, represent minority communities, low-income communities, environmental interests, industry groups and geographically diverse areas of the state. Of the 12 members, the Governor shall appoint one member of the task force from… (a) The Commission on Asian Affairs; (b) The Commission on Black Affairs; (c) The Commission on Hispanic Affairs; and (d) The Commission on Indian Services.” 

2) The Act created the role of “Citizen Advocates.” These advocates are employees of the natural resource agencies who are tasked with public outreach activities. Agencies include Department of Environmental Quality, the State Department of Agriculture, the Water Resources Department, the State Department of Fish and Wildlife, the State Forestry Department, the Department of State Lands, the Department of Education, the State Department of Geology and Mineral Industries, the Department of Land Conservation and Development, the State Marine Board, the Public Utility Commission, the Department of Transportation, the State Fire Marshal and the Department of Human Services. 

This legislation did not specify a definition of environmental justice; the EJ Task Force that emerged out of the law defines EJ as “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.” 

  • Action Agency(ies): Department of Environmental Quality, Department of Agriculture, Water Resources Department, State Department of Fish and Wildlife, State Forestry Department, Department of State Lands, Department of Education, Department of Education, Department of Geology and Mineral Industries, Department of Land Conservation and Development, State Marine Board, Public Utility Commission, Department of Transportation, State Fire Marshal, Department of Human Services
  • Read the full policy language

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