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Clean Water State Revolving Fund and Environmental Justice

The importance of environmental justice

Indigenous communities, Black and Brown communities, immigrant communities, and other communities of color continue to experience increased siting of industrial development, railroads, highways, green power, and landfill projects in their neighborhoods as well as neglect and inadequate funding for updating existing infrastructure. These developments lead to disproportionate air, water, and land pollution, impacting the health and well-being of community members. Areas across the state face water pollution challenges from inadequate wastewater infrastructure. Many places in Oregon that are currently addressing long-lasting environmental challenges from pollution were zoned for these industrial activities. DEQ has a responsibility and civic duty to rectify past harms and prevent ongoing harm toward marginalized communities. 

By providing opportunities for additional assistance to these communities, DEQ’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund intends to help advance the agency’s goal of ensuring that all communities are equally protected from environmental and health risks. At the bottom of this page, we provide resources and further opportunities for learning about environmental justice in Oregon. 

View The State of Oregon House Bill 4077 Definition of Environmental Justice

Environmental justice for Oregon CWSRF 

CWSRF uses environmental justice metrics to inform how the program targets assistance to communities in Oregon. CWSRF uses these metrics to conduct outreach, provide financial and technical assistance and award loan principal forgiveness. The program incorporates elements of environmental justice into practice by expanding affordability criteria to include metrics beyond income and unemployment, and address how water pollution, health, economics, and population intersect.

If you have a project and are interested in applying for funding, see the Loan Information Request Form application page or reach out to a regional project officer. 

CWSRF environmental justice metrics and affordability criteria

Additional resources


Alli Miller
Community and Program Assistance