Eastern Environmental Law Center


Suite 1525 744 Broad Street
744 Broad Street
Newark, NJ 07102
County: Essex


Ms. Hilary Semel

Grant Amount


Program Area



Grant Details

General operating support to ensure essential legal services for organizations and partners addressing environmental justice, climate change/clean energy, land use, and water quality issues in New Jersey.

Organization Background

Eastern Environmental Law Center (EELC) is New Jersey's sole public interest environmental law firm. EELC was founded in 1993 to support Rutgers Law School's Environmental Law Clinic. In 2008, EELC became an independent nonprofit public interest law firm working on behalf of organizations and community groups to resolve environmental problems threatening the people, natural resources, and communities of New Jersey. For the past two decades, EELC has provided legal services and advocacy at no cost to over 35 local, state and national nonprofit organizations including Association of NJ Environmental Commissions, Clean Water Fund, Delaware Riverkeeper, Environment NJ, Ironbound Community Corporation, NJ Conservation Foundation, NJ Environmental Justice Alliance, Ironbound Community Corporation, NJ Highlands Coalition, NY/NJ Baykeeper, Pinelands Preservation Alliance, Sierra Club, and the Urban League of Essex County.

Over the past year, EELC with the full support of its staff, board and partner organizations has focused on two areas--Energy and Environmental Justice--to optimize resources and maximize impact in protecting the environment. EELC's focus is in alignment with NJ's most pressing environmental issues--including those that disproportionately impact New Jersey's most vulnerable residents and the communities in which they live. The firm's work focused on developing sustainable energy resources and protecting sensitive and overburdened communities in the New Jersey region, specifically concentrating on: 1) developing innovative finance and infrastructure projects to lessen dependency on non-renewable fuel sources and slow climate change, and 2) supporting environmental justice communities in the Newark area in their fight for environmental equity and sustainable development.

EELC's commitment to Environmental Justice and Equity has well positioned the firm to expand its footprint throughout the state, and to address climate action through clean energy solutions. To meet the growing demand for services in these areas, EELC seeks strengthen the capacity of the firm through the addition of a full-time attorney and a sustained focus on development and the diversification of funding. The stabilization of EELC's Energy and Environmental Justice programs will enable the firm to capitalize on its successes and strengthen Land Use and Conservation programming to protect critical areas in New Jersey.

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