Environmental Justice Assessments
   

WHAT ARE ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE ASSESSMENTS (EJAs)?

 
Washington State’s Healthy Environmental for All (HEAL) Act requires that the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) conduct environmental justice assessments when considering Significant Agency Actions. An Environmental Justice Assessment is a process DNR staff follows to determine the impacts of significant agency actions on overburdened communities and vulnerable populations and to ensure environmental benefits and burdens are equitably distibuted. 
 

 

WHY THE DNR CONDUCTS EJAS

Significant Agency Actions can cause environmental harm or benefits to overburdened communities and vulnerable populations. Environmental Justice Assessments allow us to understand potential impacts better, help the DNR make informed decisions to reduce environmental harms and allows us to address environmental and health disparities.
 

 

THE DNR'S ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE ASSESSMENT PROCESS

DNR'S ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE ASSESSMENT PROCESS
 

 

COMPLETED ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE ASSESSMENTS

As part of the Department of Natural Resources commitment to transparency, we are publicizing the list of all our Environmental Justice assessments on Significant Agency Actions below.
  • Agency Request Legislation (ARL) authorizing funding from the Climate Commitment Act to acquire land parcels for a new DNR trust. The trust will provide revenue that will help increase community resiliency to climate change through investments in library infrastructure.​
  • ​​ARL to direct the Department of Enterprise Services to establish a new memorial for fallen firefighters on the Capitol Campus.​ 
  • ARL to establish a Smokey Bear license plate that would be available for purchase in October 2024. Revenue would be devoted to wildfire prevention programs administered by the DNR.
  • ​​ARL to amend RCW 4.24.210 to give DNR the authority to charge fees for recreation permits issued for organized recreation or educational activities.
  • ARL to expand the definition of “Common School” to include early care and education to allow for the construction and maintenance of early care and education facilities at public schools with revenue from DNR’s Common School Construction Fund
  • ARL to add a new section to RCW 82.29A to create a leasehold excise tax (LET) exemption for leases on public land used for the placement of newly constructed affordable housing.  
  • ​​Revising RCW 79.13 to allow for DNR to lease assets as well as land and modernize publication/advertisement language.​ 
  • ​​Legislation authorizing the Commissioner of Public Lands to enter into collaborative law enforcement agreements with federally recognized Tribes.​

We want to hear from you

Please send us your feedback and comments on the following:
  • The above list of significant agency action types.
  • Other types of DNR actions you think would benefit from an assessment starting in 2025.
  • How you would like to stay informed about DNR’s work in environmental justice.

How to reach us

Department of Natural Resources
C/O Office of Equity and Environmental Justice
1111 Washington St SE
MS 47001
Olympia, WA 98504