What are Overburdened Communities?

Statewide Overburdened Communities Map

Signed into law by Governor Phil Murphy on September 18, 2020, New Jersey’s groundbreaking Environmental Justice Law, N.J.S.A. 13:1D-157, (Law) required the new jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) to evaluate the contributions of certain facilities to existing environmental and public health stressors in overburdened communities when reviewing certain permit applications.

An Overburdened Community (OBC), as defined by the law, is any census block group, as determined in accordance with the most recent United States Census, in which:

  1. at least 35 percent of the households qualify as low-income households (at or below twice the poverty threshold as determined by the United States Census Bureau);
  2. at least 40 percent of the residents identify as minority or as members of a State recognized tribal community; or
  3. at least 40 percent of the households have limited English proficiency (without an adult that speaks English “very well” according to the United States Census Bureau).
Overburdened Community Criteria Number of Block Groups Population
xxxx Adjacent 56 0
xxxx Limited English 2 1,468
xxxx Low Income 211 277,118
xxxx Low Income & Limited English 1 2,393
xxxx Low Income & Minority 1,118 1,526,749
xxxx Low Income, Minority, & Limited English 114 156,558
xxxx Minority 1,919 2,693,726
xxxx Minority & Limited English 26 29,369
Total 3,447 4,687,381

Overburdened Communities Map

List of Overburdened Communities

This Excel spreadsheet provides the list of overburdened communities, the criteria each block groups meets, and the municipality for which the over burdened community is designated in accordance with the New Jersey Environmental Justice Law, N.J.S.A. 13:1D-157.

EJMAP

This tool provides the public a visualization of OBC locations throughout the State, where existing facilities regulated under the law are located and what existing environmental and public health stressors currently impact these OBCs. Watch this tutorial to learn more about EJMAP.

For details of underlying calculations behind the beta version of EJMAP, please read the accompanying EJMAP Technical Guidance.

Feedback on the tool and technical guidance, particularly related to the structure and functionality of the tool itself, can be shared to EJMAPFeedback@dep.nj.gov for consideration.

PDF Maps of Municipalities

The 348 simple, municipal specified maps identified the overburdened communities under the New Jersey Environmental Justice Law. There is a map for each municipality for which any part of the municipality has been designated an overburdened community pursuant to the act.

GIS Layer

This GIS Layer is a downloadable graphic information system (GIS) layer identifying the overburdened communities under the New Jersey Environmental Justice Law.

OBC Technical Notes and Other Resources

For more information about the calculation of Overburdened Communities and their municipal designations, please read the Technical Notes for an overview.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about the notification to municipalities regarding Overburdened Communities (OBCs) as defined by New Jersey’s Environmental Justice Law.

PDF Maps of Municipalities