A06530 Summary:

COSPNSRThiele, Lavine, De La Rosa, Simon, Epstein, Rosenthal L
Add Art 58 §§58-0101 - 58-0111, En Con L
Requires applicants for major projects located near an environmental justice community to submit an enhanced public participation plan.
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A06530 Actions:

03/19/2021referred to environmental conservation
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A06530 Committee Votes:

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A06530 Memo:

submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
SPONSOR: Barnwell
  TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the environmental conservation law, in relation to requiring applicants for major projects located near environmental justice communities to submit an enhanced public participation plan   SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section 1: Declaration of legislative findings and intent. Subdivision 58-101: Adds definitions related to environmental justice communities and major projects. Subdivision 58-103: Adds provisions related to the Enhanced public participation plan. Subdivision 58-105: Adds provisions related to environmental assessment Subdivision 58-109: Adds provisions related to addressing concerns raised by the environmental justice community. Subdivision 58-111: Adds prohibitions Section 2: Adds immedi- ate effective date.   JUSTIFICATION: Environmental Justice Areas (EJAs) are disproportionately affected by environmental pollution and residents of EJAs tend to face significant health problems. As such, large-scale projects that are built and devel- oped in EJAs are subject to more stringent community participation guidelines in New York State. These guidelines, known as Commissioner Policy 29 (CP-29), are among the strongest regulations on community input in EJAs in the United States. CP-29 recognizes that minority and/or low-income communities, often EJAs, have been excluded from participating in the permit process for large-scale energy projects in their own neighborhoods that directly affect their health. In order to clarify and fortify public participation in EJAs for major projects, this bill adds many aspects of CP-29 to environmental conser- vation law and strengthens certain provisions. This bill includes reforms to the enhanced public participation plan, such as the require- ment that such a plan list sensitive receptors in the environmental justice community, including hospitals, schools, elder care facilities, day care facilities, parks, and other sensitive areas identified by the community. Other reforms include requiring at least three public infor- mation meetings, attended by a DEC representative to answer questions from the public. Such public information meetings shall provide members of the community an opportunity to make statements, raise issues, and ask questions. Upon completion of the enhanced public participation plan, the applicant shall submit written certification to the department and include how the applicant has addressed issues raised by the environmental justice community. In the interest of public safety and environmental justice, this legislation ensures that only large-scale environmental projects that have followed the DEC's guidelines regarding community partic- ipation may move forward.   PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New Bill   FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: To be determined.   EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.
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