Environmental Justice

Under Federal Law the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) governs the policies and programs of the Department through the nondiscrimination Title VI and Environmental Justice Program. The law states that no person shall, on the ground of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of or be subjected to discrimination under any Civil Rights Act of 1964, the civility Rights Restoration Action of 1987, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and all other related nondiscrimination laws and requirements.  The Environmental Justice Program under the policy pursues that North Carolinians have fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations and policies.

The challenge ahead of the department is integrating this perspective into the core mission of the department, along with the legal and scientific lens guiding how DEQ employees pursue their work now.

DEQ’s new mission, “Provide science-based environmental stewardship for the health and prosperity of all North Carolinians,” can only be accomplished if fighting for Environmental Justice is part of every DEQ activity.  

      "I challenge [the Environmental Justice and Equity] board, and all of you, to stand shoulder to shoulder with us and acknowledge
       that we all are responsible. You too must pledge to work for inclusion, demand equity and celebrate the diversity of the people of
      our great state. With that simple acknowledgment, together we will protect our natural resources, our economic interests, and our
      communities so that ALL North Carolinians will have clean air and clean water for today, tomorrow and future generations to come."

                                                                                                                                              -Secretary Michael S. Regan, May 2, 2018

Learn more about the Secretary's Environmental Justice and Equity Board.

Learn more about Title VI Compliance.