In Philadelphia, low-income residents and communities of color have experienced a disproportionate burden of adverse environmental and health impacts. The environmental justice movement seeks to involve communities and populations in the issues and decisions that affect their environment.
If you believe there is an environmental or health hazard in your community, you can report it for investigation by the Department of Public Health.
You can report environmental justice concerns by contacting the Department of Public Health’s Environmental Justice Coordinator by email at EJcomplaints@phila.gov or by phone at (215) 685-9433. Be prepared to provide the location and description of the hazard.
About Environmental Justice
Environmental justice is defined as the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies. Fair treatment means that no group of people, including a racial, ethnic, or socioeconomic group, bear more than their fair share of the negative environmental consequences resulting from industrial, municipal, and commercial operations or the execution of federal, state, and local programs and policies including permitting certain pollution producing facilities to operate in specific areas of the City.
Learn more about environmental justice.
Environmental Justice Policy
PDPH is working to advance environmental justice in partnership with local communities.
Air Management Services, which issues Philadelphia air permits, has an environmental justice policy in place. Under this policy, residents of environmental justice neighborhoods have more opportunities to learn about facilities in their area and share feedback during the permitting process. For more information, visit Air Management Services regulations, guidelines, EJ brochure, and memos (“Environmental Justice (EJ) Brochure”).
The Philadelphia Department of Public Health (“PDPH”) follows federal non-discrimination laws. PDPH does not treat people differently based on:
- National Origin (including limited English ability).
- Sexual Orientation.
If you think PDPH has treated you unfairly based on one of the identities listed above, you can submit a complaint.
- Visit Title VI Compliance Policy and Complaint Form.
- The Environmental Justice Coordinator, who reads the complaints, can be contacted at EJcomplaints@phila.gov or at 215-685-9433.
PDPH will take reasonable steps to make programs and services accessible for people with disabilities.
- To request accommodations from PDPH, visit Submit a reasonable modification request.
- Make sure to send your request at least 5 days before an event.
- Contact the ADA Compliance Director with questions or concerns on disability access: ADA.Request@phila.gov.
- To submit complaints related to disability access, visit Submit an ADA grievance against the City.
PDPH will make programs and services accessible for people who do not speak English as a primary language and who have a limited ability to read, speak, write, or understand English.
- For more information, or to file a complaint, please visit Language Access Services.
If you file a complaint related to discrimination, accessibility, or language access, PDPH will not retaliate against you or intimidate you.
For more information on federal non-discrimination policies, please visit the EPA website.
Public Notice of PDPH’s Title VI Compliance/Non-Discrimination Policy
The City of Philadelphia’s Department of Public Health (“PDPH”) does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin (including limited English proficiency), disability, sex, age, religion, or sexual orientation in the administration of its programs and activities in accordance with applicable laws and regulations.
PDPH complies with all applicable laws, including Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended; Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; the Age Discrimination Act of 1975; Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972; and Section 13 of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act Amendments of 1972 (hereinafter referred to collectively as the “federal non-discrimination laws”).
PDPH’s Environmental Justice Coordinator is responsible for coordination of compliance efforts and receipt of inquiries concerning non-discrimination requirements implemented by 40 C.F.R. Parts 5 and 7 (Non-Discrimination in Programs or Activities Receiving Federal Assistance from the Environmental Protection Agency), including the federal non-discrimination laws identified above.
If you have any questions about this notice or any of PDPH’s non-discrimination programs, policies, or procedures, you may contact:
Environmental Justice Coordinator
Philadelphia Department of Public Health
321 University Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19104
If you believe that you have been discriminated against with respect to a PDPH program or activity, you may contact the Environmental Justice Coordinator identified above or visit Title VI Compliance Policy and Complaint Form to learn how and where to file a complaint of discrimination.
PDPH does not intimidate or retaliate against any individual or group because they have exercised their rights to participate in or oppose actions protected/prohibited by 40 C.F.R. Parts 5 and 7, or for the purpose of interfering with such rights.
Public Notice of PDPH’s Accessibility Policy
The City of Philadelphia’s Department of Public Health (the “City” or “PDPH”) does not discriminate against qualified individuals with disabilities in its services, programs or activities and complies with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (“Section 504”) and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”).
PDPH provides effective communication and reasonable modifications for qualified persons with disabilities, so they can equally take part in PDPH programs, services, and activities. Changes include alternative formats and case-by-case changes to programs, services, or activities to ensure equal access. Effective communication and reasonable modifications are provided free of charge.
If alternative communication or modifications are needed for an event, allow as much time as possible, but at least five (5) business days prior to the event to process your request.
Neither Section 504 nor the ADA require PDPH to take action that would impose an undue financial or administrative burden or fundamentally alter the nature of its programs or services.
To submit a reasonable accommodation request, please visit Submit a reasonable modification request.
PDPH and its agents will not coerce, intimidate, retaliate against, or discriminate against any individual for exercising a right under Section 504 or for assisting or supporting another to exercise a right under Section 504.
Complaints of discrimination by a PDPH owned or operated program, service, or activity to persons with disabilities should be directed to the Director of ADA Compliance:
Director of ADA Compliance, City of Philadelphia
1400 John F Kennedy Blvd.
Philadelphia, PA 19107
To submit a grievance under the City’s ADA and/or Section 504 policies, please visit Submit an ADA grievance against the City.
Public Notice of PDPH’s Language Accessibility Plan
In cooperation with the Mayor’s Office, the Philadelphia Department of Public Health (“PDPH”) is committed to compliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 2 C.S. § 561 et seq. (Act 172 of 2006) and the Philadelphia Home Rule Charter § 8-600 and § A-200 in ensuring meaningful access to City services and programs for individuals with Limited English Proficiency (“LEP”).
For information on PDPH’s LEP policies, seeking accommodations, and filing a grievance, please visit Language Access Plans (“Department of Public Health Language Access Plan”).
Complaints of discrimination will be received by the Environmental Justice Coordinator.
- First, the coordinator will identify whether the complaint is complete and in writing.
- Then, the coordinator will determine whether the complaint qualifies for investigation.
- If the complaint is both complete and qualified for investigation, an investigation will take place.
- Within 120 days of accepting a qualified complaint, the coordinator will investigate and respond to the complainant.
- For more details about the complaint process, and the complaint form itself, visit Title VI Compliance Policy and Complaint Form.