Environmental Justice Task Force

Please Note: This Task Force is no longer meeting. Information on this page is for reference only.

Purpose and Responsibilities

The Environmental Justice Task Force is responsible for recommending strategies for incorporating environmental justice principles into future State agency actions across Washington. This task force will meet over a 16-month period, and will produce a final report due to the legislature and Governor by October 31, 2020 that must include:

  • Guidance for using the Washington Environmental Health Disparity Map to identify communities that are highly impacted by environmental justice issues with current demographic data.
  • Best practices for increasing meaningful and inclusive community engagement that takes into account barriers to participation that may arise due to race, color, ethnicity, religion, income, or education level.
  • Measurable goals for reducing environmental health disparities for each community in Washington state and ways in which state agencies may focus their work towards meeting those goals.
  • Model policies that prioritize highly impacted communities and vulnerable populations for the purpose of reducing environmental health disparities and advancing a healthy environment for all residents.

Task Force Goal

To improve health outcomes, especially within communities that are most severely and frequently impacted by environmental health hazards in the state. The Task Force will work diligently to center the voices of those who belong to communities that are most impacted by environmental justice issues throughout its work.

Defining Environmental Justice

The Environmental Protection Agency 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 laws, regulations, and policies.”

See this video explaining the disproportionate impacts of environmental burdens on people with low incomes and people of color. For more information on environmental justice please visit the Environmental Protection Agency’s website.


A proviso in the 2019-2021 biennial operating budget (ESHB 1109, section 221, subsection 48) directs the Governor’s Interagency Council on Health Disparities to convene and staff an Environmental Justice Task Force. The proviso outlines the Task Force’s membership and reporting requirements to the Legislature.

Reports & Information

In The News

Evironmental Justice Task Force Issues Recommendations, The Nature Conservancy, Washington Nature
Community Informed Environmental Justice Recommendations, Front and Centered


Operating Principles


Representing Member Alternate Member
Governor's Interagency Council on Health Disparities Victor Rodriguez (Co-Chair)  
Statewide Environmental Justice Issues; Front and Centered David Mendoza (Co-Chair)  
Public Lands (Dept. of Natural Resources) Cassie Bordelon Stephanie Celt
Department of Commerce Michael Furze Sarah Vorpahl
Department of Ecology Millie Piazza  
Puget Sound Partnership Larry Epstein Leah Kintner
Department of Transportation Allison Camden Megan White
Department of Health Laura Johnson  
Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council Sonia Bumpus  
Department of Agriculture Ignacio Marquez  
Community Based Organization: Community to Community Development Tomas Madrigal  
Community Based Organization: Tacoma League of Young Professionals Emily Pinckney  
Community Based Organization: Asian Pacific Islander Coalition Rowena Pineda  
Business Interests: Association of Washington Business Gary Chandler Peter Godlewski
Union/Organized Labor Association: UAW Local 4121 Judy Twedt  
Statewide Agricultural Interests: Washington State Farm Bureau John Stuhlmiller  

Related Links: Meeting Dates and Materials

Environmental Justice Task Force Meeting Dates, Materials, and Information About Public Participation