MPCA’s Environmental Justice Advisory Group is looking for six new members. The group was formed in 2016 to help ensure all Minnesotans benefit equally from the agency’s work and have opportunities to participate in its decisions.
The MPCA defines environmental justice as the 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 regulations and policies. The goal of MPCA’s environmental justice work will be realized when:
- Everyone benefits from the same degree of environmental protection
- Everyone has equal access to the decision-making that contributes to a healthy environment
The advisory group is one important way to collaborate and get feedback from stakeholders on reaching our goals.
The advisory group advises the MPCA Commissioner in four key areas:
- Evaluating how effectively the MPCA is implementing its environmental justice framework
- Recommending ways to integrate environmental justice principles into the MPCA’s work
- Collaborating with the agency on civic engagement around environmental justice issues
- Sharing oral history and community experiences so the MPCA can better understand the communities they serve.
“When it comes to protecting our land, air, and water, the MPCA needs to hear diverse voices before making key decisions,” said MPCA Commissioner Laura Bishop. “The Environmental Justice Advisory Group provides necessary counsel on how the MPCA can do a better job soliciting feedback from communities that are too often overlooked.”
To intentionally create a diverse committee of Minnesotans, candidates from various racial, cultural, economic and geographic backgrounds are encouraged apply. Ideal candidates include residents of overburdened communities and individuals experienced in community engagement, policy development, advocacy, or environmental justice or health equity issues.
“We are trying to address who is at the table for the discussion,” says Jose Luis Villasenor, MPCA’s environmental justice coordinator. “The advisory group can help the agency see what perspectives we may be missing in our decision-making. We’d particularly like to see applications from young people and from residents of Greater Minnesota, to ensure those groups are properly represented in the advisory group.”
The MPCA Commissioner will select advisory group members with the input from a selection committee of external stakeholders and current advisory group members.
Find the group's charter and application materials on the MPCA’s Environmental Justice Advisory Group webpage. The application deadline is August 12, 2019. Contact Jose Luis Villasenor (651-757-2575) with questions.