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Pennsylvania has updated its definition of “environmental justice areas,” communities that are more vulnerable to climate and health risks and that get special attention from the state. Under the updated policy, Pennsylvania uses 32 indicators to determine an environmental justice area, including exposure to pollution and toxic emissions, traffic volume, and proximity to oil and gas wells. The new parameters better reflect how the mining, oil, and gas industries, which often operate in rural communities, can influence residents’ health and the surrounding environment.
To kick off the Broadband Initiative, the JTF has invested nearly $1 million in eight organizations working to close the digital divide in coal-impacted communities across the U.S.