Environmental Justice

What we do

NYLPI fights environmental racism, works to eliminate the unfair burden of environmental hazards borne by low-income communities and communities of color, and seeks to create a more equitable and sustainable city. In partnership with community-based organizations, advocacy groups, and residents, our Environmental Justice team builds campaigns, launches litigation, and shapes policy. We support local leadership and strengthen communities’ ability to assert their right to a healthy and sustainable environment.

We fight for environmental fairness in New York. Whether it’s eliminating toxins from schools, removing lead paint from apartments, or ensuring that the city doesn’t target certain neighborhoods as garbage dumping grounds, we’re creative and determined in our legal and policy approach to environmental justice.


Are you concerned about a business, facility, or proposed development polluting your neighborhood? Do conditions in your home, school or workplace pose a hazard to your health? Are you trying to save a park or community garden, or develop a community-led renewable energy project?

We offer free legal representation to community organizations and groups of individuals fighting for a cleaner, healthier and more equitable New York. Please call: (212) 244-4664, Monday- Friday, 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.


Save Our Compost

Renewable Rikers

South Ozone Park Sewage Legal Assistance Project

Healthy Schools

Healthy school environments are critical for our children’s education and well-being.


Physical education improves public health, reduces obesity, and improves focus and educational attainment.

Green Space

Usable green space in marginalized neighborhoods is critical for public health, community-centered revitalization, and economic independence.

Healthy Homes

Deteriorating housing for low-income residents, both public and privately owned, poses serious health risks.

Climate and Energy Justice

The impacts of climate change fall hardest on communities that contribute least to the problem.

Transform Don’t Trash NYC

Each year, New York City’s restaurants, offices, and businesses generate 5.5 million tons of solid waste.

Waste Equity

More than three-quarters of trash from all of New York City has been trucked into three low-income communities of color in the South Bronx, North Brooklyn and Southeast Queens.


In the Matter of Astoria Gas Turbine Power LLC

Raritan Baykeeper Inc. v. American Recycling Management LLC

L.P. v. NYC Dept of Education

In this putative class action, NYLPI represents student-led organization IntegrateNYC and Black and Latino students denied access to NYC public high school sports.

Cleanup North Brooklyn v. Brooklyn Transfer

NYLPI represents Cleanup North Brooklyn, a group of residents, families, and business owners, in a lawsuit seeking greater waste equity in North Brooklyn.


Removing toxic light fixtures from schools. On behalf of concerned parent members of  New York Communities for Change, NYLPI sued the New York City Department of Education to remove light fixtures contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), a dangerous chemical linked to cancer and banned in 1978. As a result of our lawsuit, DOE removed all contaminated light fixtures from more than 800 schools across the city. We worked on the case with pro bono co-counsel at the law firm White & Case.

Stemming waste inequity. Mayor Bill DeBlasio signed a landmark Waste Equity bill into law, a momentous achievement for residents of North Brooklyn, the South Bronx, and Southeast Queens, home to waste transfer stations where the city has sent up to three-quarters of its garbage for more than 20 years. The new law will reduce the amount of garbage allowed at waste transfer stations in these neighborhoods and ensure that no neighborhood bears more than 10% of the city’s garbage processing. NYLPI labored for years to pass this law, along with our coalition partners at the New York City Environmental Justice Alliance, Teamsters Joint Council 16, and Natural Resources Defense Council.


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