The process will be a comprehensive study of environmental justice issues with the goal of developing a citywide Environmental Justice Plan to combat the issues. On February 9, 2021, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the launch of the Environmental Justice for All Report, a comprehensive study of environmental justice issues. The report will study and collect information from various communities on environmental justice issues and work to formulate a plan to end the burden of pollution, the age of fossil fuels, and climate change.
The report effort will focus on low-income areas and communities of color due to the harsher effect environmental degradation, climate change, and the fossil fuel industry has had on those communities. The report will help plan to equitably distribute the benefits of the City’s Green New Deal, the congressional resolution introduced by Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Edward Markey that lays out a new plan for addressing the ever-growing climate issue.
The project will be led by the New York City Environmental Justice Advisory Board, Adriana Espinoza, the Senior Advisor for Environmental Justice in New York City, and an Interagency working group of 19 City agencies. The City is partnering with a multitude of frontline communities and agencies to better shape the agenda of the program. The hope is that the group will inform the future policies, programs, and procedures of future administrations working closely with environmental and health issues.
The Environmental Justice Advisory Board is partnering with the Mayor’s Office to launch a citywide public engagement period. The engagement process will ensure that environmental justice issues being covered are priorities of frontline communities. There will be virtual town halls held on February 25th from 6:00-7:30 pm, as well as a 90-day public comment period. More information and feedback can be provided here.
An interactive map will be established by the Interagency Working Group that will identify environmental justice areas. The map will help facilitate community participation in the study and will become the new city standard for evaluating policy, program, and procedural impacts on environmental justice communities. The map can be found here.
Mayor Bill de Blasio stated, “Change starts at the grassroots, and we will hear from communities most impacted by climate change, pollution and more to end the era of environmental racism and create a more livable future, together.”
Daniel Zarrilli, New York City’s Chief Climate Policy Advisor stated, “As we work to ensure a fair recovery for all New Yorkers, we will accelerate our economic recovery by creating good-paying jobs in clean energy and resilient infrastructure while overcoming environmental injustices. That starts by empowering communities with information and hearing directly from frontline voices.”
Adriana Espinoza, New York City’s Senior Advisor for Environmental Justice stated, “The announcement today is an important first step towards building environmental justice into the fabric of the City’s decision-making, and I look forward to working with the Environmental Justice Advisory Board to make it happen.”
By: Patrick McNeill (Patrick is the CityLaw intern and a New York Law School student, Class of 2022.)