New Jersey Environmental Justice Alliance

Who we are

The New Jersey Environmental Justice Alliance (NJEJA) is a statewide alliance of organizations and individuals focused on critical environmental justice issues. NJEJA brings together organizations and individuals committed to bringing about healthier, sustainable, and more just communities. Through education, advocacy, training, policy reviews, and organizing, NJEJA supports community efforts to remediate and rebuild impacted neighborhoods using the community’s vision of improvement.

Addressing Air Pollution, Climate Change, & Energy Policy

NJEJA’s work on incinerators emphasizes the crucial issue of air pollution in the state, with a particular focus on its disproportionate impact on EJ communities. 

In New Jersey, a significant environmental health challenge is air pollution, posing a grave threat, especially to Environmental Justice (EJ) communities, where evidence shows that pollution levels are alarmingly much higher compared to other areas in the state. Among the culprits of this problem is fine particulate matter air pollution, responsible for an estimated 200,000 premature deaths annually in the United States. This deadly pollutant is linked to cardiovascular disease and a variety of pulmonary disorders, including lung cancer, asthma, and reduced lung function, particularly affecting children. 

EJ communities bear the brunt of exposure to numerous sources of air pollution, experiencing the cumulative impacts of various pollutants, including fine particulate matter (PM) that contains diesel particulates, criteria air pollutants like ozone and lead, and hazardous air pollutants. The issue of cumulative impacts focuses on developing ways to address multiple sources of pollution in EJ communities. Of most concern are the detrimental impacts that a combination of pollutants can have on the health of community residents. 

NJEJA’s efforts to address this pressing issue of incinerators and air pollution play a vital role in shedding light on these critical matters and their profound consequences for vulnerable communities in New Jersey.

The Basics

Incinerator: Covanta Essex

Location: 183 Raymond Blvd, Newark, NJ 07105

Pounds of pollutants (annually): total HAPs — 38,076.96 (2020)

Mercury: 11.20

PM2.5: 70,695.00

Lead: 19.40

CO2 BIOMASS (TONS) 2020: 433,466.00

NOx: 1,525,395.00

Community: 76% People of Color, 58% Low-Income

Critical Date: (Permit expiration date): not available

The Basics

Incinerator: Covanta Union, Inc

Location: 1499 US-1, Rahway, NJ 07065

Pounds of pollutants (annually): total HAPs — Data Not Available

Mercury: Data Not Available

PM2.5: Data Not Available

Lead: Data Not Available

CO2 BIOMASS (TONS) 2020: 239,313.00

NOx: Data Not Available

Community: 77% People of Color, 24% Low-Income

Critical Date: (Permit expiration date): not available

The Basics

Incinerator: Covanta Union, Inc

Location: 600 Morgan St, Camden, NJ 08104

Pounds of pollutants (annually): total HAPs — 65,742.65 (2020)

Mercury: Data Not Available

PM2.5: 51,320.00

Lead: 260.00

NOx: 751,520.00

Community: 80% People of Color, 57% Low-Income

Critical Date: (Permit expiration date): not available

The organizer

Chris Tandazo (they/them), Statewide Environmental Justice Organizer

Chris Tandazo (they/them) is a queer person of color, organizer, artist, and visionary. Born in Wuankavilca Territory (Guayaquil) and raised in the Paltas tradition between the shores of the Pacific and the Andes mountains, where they were constantly exposed to vast biocultural diversity, which deepened their connection with Pachamama, the land, and human and non-human kin. These experiences have shaped their worldview, cosmology, and endeavors – which they have carried throughout their organizing and advocacy.

Chris has an M.S. in Environmental Policy and Sustainability Management and a Graduate Minor in Impact Entrepreneurship from The New School. Their work and advocacy focus on the intersections of climate and environmental justice, community building, cooperative entrepreneurship, and decolonization

Headshot of person looking at camera in front of a green brick wall.