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This entry was published on 2020-01-03
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SECTION 75-0111
Climate justice working group
Environmental Conservation (ENV) CHAPTER 43-B, ARTICLE 75
§ 75-0111. Climate justice working group.

1. There is hereby created within the department, no later than six
months after the effective date of this article, a "climate justice
working group". Such working group will be comprised of representatives
from: environmental justice communities, the department, the department
of health, the New York state energy and research development authority,
and the department of labor.

a. Environmental justice community representatives shall be members of
communities of color, low-income communities, and communities bearing
disproportionate pollution and climate change burdens, or shall be
representatives of community-based organizations with experience and a
history of advocacy on environmental justice issues, and shall include
at least three representatives from New York city communities, three
representatives from rural communities, and three representatives from
upstate urban communities.

b. The working group, in consultation with the department, the
departments of health and labor, the New York state energy and research
development authority, and the environmental justice advisory group,
will establish criteria to identify disadvantaged communities for the
purposes of co-pollutant reductions, greenhouse gas emissions
reductions, regulatory impact statements, and the allocation of
investments related to this article.

c. Disadvantaged communities shall be identified based on geographic,
public health, environmental hazard, and socioeconomic criteria, which
shall include but are not limited to:

i. areas burdened by cumulative environmental pollution and other
hazards that can lead to negative public health effects;

ii. areas with concentrations of people that are of low income, high
unemployment, high rent burden, low levels of home ownership, low levels
of educational attainment, or members of groups that have historically
experienced discrimination on the basis of race or ethnicity; and

iii. areas vulnerable to the impacts of climate change such as
flooding, storm surges, and urban heat island effects.

2. Before finalizing the criteria for identifying disadvantaged
communities and identifying disadvantaged communities pursuant to
subdivision one of this section, the department shall publish draft
criteria and a draft list of disadvantaged communities and make such
information available on its website.

a. The council shall hold at least six regional public hearings on the
draft criteria and the draft list of disadvantaged communities,
including three meetings in the upstate region and three meetings in the
downstate region, and shall allow at least one hundred twenty days for
the submission of public comment.

b. The council shall also ensure that there are meaningful
opportunities for public comment for all segments of the population that
will be impacted by the criteria, including persons living in areas that
may be identified as disadvantaged communities under the proposed

3. The group will meet no less than annually to review the criteria
and methods used to identify disadvantaged communities and may modify
such methods to incorporate new data and scientific findings. The
climate justice working group shall review identities of disadvantaged
communities and modify such identities as needed.