Environmental Justice Policy
Environmental justice is the equitable treatment and meaningful engagement of our residents—inclusive of all races, cultures, lifestyles, neighborhoods, and incomes—so we may advance our mission in managing the community’s wastewater without placing disproportionate environmental burdens on those we serve. Our work for environmental justice should be intentional and impactful.
As a single-purpose utility established to manage the community’s wastewater, AlexRenew operates and maintains infrastructure that is designed to protect public health and improve the environment. AlexRenew’s environmental justice commitment will be guided by meaningful engagement and informed actions to best serve our community. As such, AlexRenew commits to the following actions to promote the goals of environmental justice:
- Assess AlexRenew’s existing infrastructure, programs, and projects to identify any potential disproportionate environmental disparities and impacts on those we serve. Develop strategies to address those disparities and impacts through operations and capital investments, including timetables for implementation.
- Conduct environmental justice training on a routine basis to ensure staff are equipped with the appropriate resources to understand the importance, issues, and impacts of AlexRenew’s programs.
- Develop and implement guidance on the inclusion of environmental justice considerations, procedures, and outcomes in appropriate AlexRenew programs.
- Meaningfully engage stakeholders from a broad cross-section of the community, including socioeconomically vulnerable residents and groups that have been underrepresented in past decision-making processes, during all phases of major programs that have potential to impact the community.
- Practice active listening to understand community impacts associated with AlexRenew’s programs.
- Develop diverse and culturally appropriate communication strategies to ensure that stakeholders can participate in decisions and actions that may impact our community.
- Create engaging and intentional educational programs to ensure that residents understand the value of their investment in clean water.
- Make decisions with an understanding of the community’s residents, history, and economy.
- Develop funding strategies to support equitable and affordable sewer rates within our legal abilities, while implementing and advocating with the City and other utilities for initiatives that offer financial assistance to those in need.
- Coordinate with the City of Alexandria to provide community benefit as part of major programs to help tell the history of disadvantaged populations, where appropriate and practicable.
- Support the City of Alexandria and other public and private entities to establish, strengthen, and maintain key partnerships with community-based, non-profit, faith-based organizations, and businesses in Alexandria. to develop and support affordability and environmental justice initiatives.
- Continuously improve upon AlexRenew’s programs using best available information as new knowledge becomes available.