Environmental justice is 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. Fair treatment means that no population bears a disproportionate share of negative environmental consequences resulting from industrial, municipal, and commercial operations or from the execution of federal, state, and local laws; regulations; and policies. Meaningful involvement requires effective access to decision makers for all, and the ability in all communities to make informed decisions and take positive actions to produce environmental justice for themselves.
The environmental justice movement was started by individuals, primarily people of color, who sought to address the inequity of environmental protection in their communities. In the context of marine and wind energy, environmental justice concerns are linked to social and economic data, stakeholder engagement, and environmental impact assessment.