Building Healthy Communities from the Ground up

Environmental Justice Equity Principles for Green Hydrogen in California

California is investing heavily in hydrogen; billions of dollars will be spent building out hydrogen infrastructure that will shape the future of energy in California. At this historic moment, it is critical that decision-makers work closely with environmental justice communities to ensure that the injustices perpetrated by the fossil fuel industry against those vulnerable communities do not repeat themselves. 

We are a collection of environmental justice organizations representing heavily polluted communities across California. Our friends, neighbors, and communities are disproportionately burdened by the toxic health impacts of living near polluting operations such as oil drilling, oil refineries, and gas-fired power plants. We will not allow hydrogen facilities to create more health and safety threats to our neighborhoods. 

In a series of learning sessions and workshops conducted with environmental justice partners, we analyzed the current science and risks of hydrogen production, delivery, storage, and end-use. Through this process, we developed a series of shared positions to guide our community advocacy and legislative work on hydrogen. 

Our goal is to create an equitable clean energy future for all Californians. To do that, we need to ensure that low-income communities of color have a voice leading our transition away from oil, gas, and dirty energy.


Our position is broken down into the following categories: 

  • Production: We reject any dirty hydrogen production method that increases pollution in EJ communities and/or creates adverse climate impacts. 
    1. We oppose all hydrogen production that is not green hydrogen production, and we agree that green hydrogen is produced by means of electrolysis using surplus water and additional renewable electricity and complies with the three pillars of Additionality, Deliverability and One Hour matching.
    2. We uniformly oppose “dirty” hydrogen production methods including those employing polluting electricity sources like fossil fuel and factory farm gas to power electrolysis, using methane during production, and the implementation of carbon capture and sequestration. 
    3. Green hydrogen is produced using surplus water. Electrolysis projects must use EJ protections related to water use, and should never impact California’s already-stretched water supply. 
  • Delivery and Storage: Hydrogen delivery and storage infrastructure’s impacts on environmental, health, and safety necessitate special attention and precautions.
    1. Hydrogen pipelines and storage infrastructure projects should be equipped with safety and leak detection technologies and strictly monitored.
    2. Existing methane infrastructure is not equipped to deliver hydrogen safely. Hydrogen should never be mixed with methane delivery systems. 
    3. Data gaps should be addressed before hydrogen delivery projects are permitted.
  • End-Uses: We can only support use of hydrogen that does not keep fossil fuel infrastructure online.  
    1. We must prioritize equitable direct electrification with renewable energy; green hydrogen should only be used when electrification is not an option. 
    2. Hydrogen should not be combusted in to produce electricity.
    3. Additional research is needed regarding the use of green hydrogen in maritime transport, port infrastructure, long-haul trucking, aviation, fertilizer production, long-duration energy storage, and hard-to-electrify industrial manufacturing.
    4. We must minimize harm, and center community voice and environmental impacts in our consideration of any end-uses that could use green hydrogen as a resource or feedstock.
  • Decision-making and Inclusion: We demand community consent and involvement in the development of any hydrogen project.  
    1. All hydrogen production, delivery & storage, and end-use projects must include community involvement and consent.
    2. The voice of communities that may be impacted by any hydrogen project should be prioritized in the decision-making process.
    3. We reject opaque and non-transparent decision-making processes, proposals and projects such as California’s ARCHES proposal to DOE that continue to undermine equity and environmental justice in their decision-making process.  
    4. Hydrogen projects must center Tribal consultation and consent for projects considered on or near ceded and unceded Tribal territories.
    5. The cost of infrastructure to produce, deliver, and use hydrogen should be clear and transparent to ratepayers and consumers. 

Our full Equity Principles for Hydrogen are available at:


  • Asian Pacific Environmental Network 
  • California Environmental Justice Alliance 
  • Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice 
  • Center on Race, Poverty & The Environment 
  • Central California Asthma Collaborative
  • Central Valley Air Quality Coalition
  • Communities for a Better Environment 
  • Environmental Health Coalition 
  • Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability 
  • Pacoima Beautiful 
  • Physicians for Social Responsibility Los Angeles