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Environmental Justice

Environmental Justice calls for the fair treatment and meaningful participation of all people regardless of race, skin color, national origin or income.

The South Ward Environmental Alliance affirms and adopts the Principles of Environmental Justice.


The South Ward of Newark is negatively impacted by the diesel pollution from the Port of NY/NJ. The South Ward is the backyard of the third-largest port with 20,000 trucks trips per day and 4,500 of them stay on the local roads of the South Ward, this is an environmental health injustice. Creating “Clean Air Zones” is one solution to addressing the social determinants of health and transforming neighborhoods that have been disproportionately polluted by diesel pollution. Clean Air Zones will improve the health and well-being of residents and local business corridors by including green scapes and outdoor space for residents to enjoy. Through this project, the South Ward Environmental Alliance will cultivate residents to be better informed, empowered, and engaged on key environmental issues that impact their health and quality of life. There is an extensive body of empirical evidence detailing the health impacts of diesel and other goods movement related to transportation emissions in overburdened EJ communities. Transportation is also the largest contributor to the state’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

In the South Ward community, there is an urgent need to reduce incidents of Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOs) that discharge pathogens into the Passaic River; to protect the health, viability, and quality of life of Newark residents; to expand great, community-driven urban design city-wide; and to improve resilience to flooding and heat in an area of North Jersey disproportionately impacted by pollution and climate change. SWEA’s goal is to engage and inform community members, government staff, researchers, community organizations, developers, and property owners throughout Newark to make Green Infrastructure the first line of defense in managing stormwater.

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SWEA provides introductory training to young adults, residents, and leaders of organizations on the topics of Environmental Justice, Air Toxics, Green Jobs, Water Equity, and Sustainability. We will build greater awareness, lift the voices and involvement of residents and businesses (who might not identify, themselves as “environmentalists”) to create the next generation of environmental leaders in the South Ward.SWEA will train community members in the South Ward's Dayton Street, Weequahic, and Clinton Hill neighborhoods to become better advocates in their communities, part of a larger environmental justice movement, and secure the changes they seek. The SWEA will utilize the Green Alliance Leadership Academy (GALA) to train emerging leaders of the South Ward.

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