Legislation signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo Monday has established an Environmental Justice Advisory Board and an Interagency Coordinating Council in the state of New York.
The board will ensure that residents have a right to fair treatment and involvement in developing environmental regulations and policies, regardless of race, income, gender and national origin.
"For too long, low-income and minority communities disproportionately shouldered some of the worst environmental impacts, in some cases leading to severe asthma rates and other lifelong health issues,” said Cuomo. "Empaneling these advisory bodies will help right that historic wrong by ensuring those very communities have a seat at the table as we develop environmental justice policies and other measures to combat climate change."
The 16 members of the Environmental Justice Advisory Board will be appointed by the governor and legislative leaders, and will include five representatives from community-based organizations who assist minority and low-income communities, four representatives from the business community and seven representatives from state or national organizations who promote environmental research and education.
The Environmental Justice Interagency Coordinating Council will be comprised of commissioners from various agencies, including but not limited to, the Department of Environmental Conservation, the Department of Transportation and the Environmental Facilities Corporation.
The council will provide guidance to each state agency implementing environmental justice policies.