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Our commitment to environmental justice

Our service, our projects, and our people affect the lives of more than 1 million Northeast Ohioans every day. They deserve our best work and smart spending, as well as an informed understanding of their unique life experiences and the varied neighborhoods they call home.

This is the foundation of our environmental justice commitment. It has always resonated within our mission—but lacked a clear definition.

Environmental justice is the equitable treatment and meaningful engagement of our residents—inclusive of all races, cultures, lifestyles, neighborhoods, and incomes—so we may advance our clean-water work without placing disproportionate environmental or fiscal burdens on those we serve. Our work for environmental justice should be intentional and impactful. In short:

Our Environmental Justice commitment will be guided by meaningful engagement, informed actions, and equitable treatment to best serve our region.

Meaningful engagement.

  • We involve stakeholders before and during projects purposefully and productively.
  • We engage residents and businesses in projects and decisions that impact their communities.
  • We interact with the public consistent with our Public Engagement Statement standard: Timely, truthfully, two-way, and thoughtfully.

Informed actions.

  • We make planning and project decisions with an understanding of the community and its residents, history, and economy.
  • We are aware of the human impact of our policies and projects through active listening during design stages.
  • We equip our staff with appropriate resources to understand the importance, issues, and impacts of the decisions at hand.

Equitable treatment.

  • We strive to deliver policies, projects, and programs with lasting environmental benefit, so no group of people bears a disproportionate share of negative consequences from our actions and investments.
  • We employ diverse and culturally appropriate communication strategies.
  • We seek to provide value to communities affected by significant and disruptive District activities.

On our blog: Our commitment to environmental justice