Environmental Justice Assessments

Washington’s HEAL Act gives guidance to the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and other covered agencies to carry out environmental justice assessments when planning significant actions. Significant agency actions can cause environmental harms or benefits to overburdened communities and vulnerable populations. Environmental justice assessments allow us to better understand potential impacts, help DNR make informed decisions to reduce environmental harms, and gives us the opportunity to address environmental and health disparities.
Starting July 1, 2023, DNR will complete an environmental justice assessment for the following actions:
  • Agency rulemaking (also known as significant legislative rules, as defined in RCW 34.05.328).
  • Adopting or developing new grant or loan programs initiated after July 1, 2023.
  • Designing or awarding capital projects, grants, or loans of $12 million or more, or transportation projects, grants, or loans of $15 million or more.
  • Agency request legislation.
DNR will take an iterative approach to the environmental justice assessment process by incorporating learnings as we go. Additionally, we will update this page regularly with completed environmental justice assessments. 
DNR filed notice with the Washington State Register of determination of types of significant agency actions and developed a screening process to engage DNR staff to submit significant agency actions requiring an environmental justice assessment.
We want to hear from you
Please send us your feedback and comments on the following:
  • The above list of significant agency actions 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.
Send us your comments
Department of Natural Resources
C/O Office of Equity and Environmental Justice
1111 Washington St SE
MS 47001
Olympia, WA 98504