In 2019, City Council of Philadelphia passed legislation creating an Environmental Justice Commission. This Commission will provide recommendations to the Mayor, City Council and City agencies to study, report on and address environmental justice issues in Philadelphia. This legislation (bill # 190703) also provides for compensation for Commission members to participate equitably as advisors.

The City is now inviting residents, especially those most impacted by environmental burdens, to join the first cohort of this newly formed Commission. 

The Environmental Justice Advisory Commission will work to ensure that all residents of Philadelphia, regardless of race, gender, income status or ZIP code, have a livable community, free of environmental toxins and hazards. 


All residents should have a healthy environment. This means:

  • clean air, land and water
  • healthy, fresh and culturally appropriate foods
  • homes, jobs and neighborhoods free from pollutants and toxins 
  • resilient to the impacts of climate change such as flooding and extreme heat 

Yet, that is not the reality in Philadelphia. Some residents are exposed to environmental harm because of Philadelphia’s industrial past and present combined with racial-biased and discriminatory policies and practices.

As a result, low-wealth communities and communities of color are more likely to live in neighborhoods experiencing multiple environmental burdens. Being constantly exposed to an unhealthy environment can lead to negative health impacts such as asthma, cardiovascular disease, and premature death.

The Environmental Justice Advisory Commission will center the leadership of those most impacted by environmental injustice in identifying and uplifting solutions to these issues. The City invites residents, especially those most impacted by environmental burdens, to join this leadership team. The Commission will provide recommendations to the Mayor, City Council and City agencies on eliminating the disproportionate burden of pollutants and environmental harms that undermine health and wellbeing  across Philadelphia.

Who Should Apply?

To form this commission, the City is searching for 10 – 15 individuals who have personal experience in addressing environmental justice issues, including, but not limited to those living or working:

  • near industrial or transportation sites that emit high levels of air, water and land pollution 
  • in buildings with environmental toxins such as lead, mold, and asbestos
  • in neighborhoods that have few to no safe and trash-free outdoor spaces, both land and water
  • in neighborhoods experiencing climate change impacts like high heat with no shade from trees, or flooding 

Individuals to serve on the Commission must:

  • Be residents of Philadelphia
  • Commit to at least 10-15 hours per month working with the commission. This may include time in meetings, reviewing notes, or participating in ad-hoc activities
  • Commit to serving a 2 year term
  • Demonstrate an interest in advancing environmental justice in their neighborhood and the larger Philadelphia community
  • Want to work in a diverse and inclusive team with other community members and representatives of local government

Individuals who serve on the commission will receive a stipend for their service of $240 per year. 

How to Apply

The deadline to apply is December 22, 2021 at midnight. Submit an application through the online form: 

If you have any questions, or would like to request assistance with the application, please contact

Curious to learn more?

Join us for a virtual questions and answers session with the Office of Sustainability and members of the working group who have been advising the City on an equitable process to form the commission. 

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.