STATE OF NEW YORK
January 6, 2020
Introduced by Sen. PARKER -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
printed to be committed to the Committee on Rules
AN ACT to amend the environmental conservation law, in relation to
establishing a permanent environmental justice advisory group and an
environmental justice interagency coordinating council
The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-bly, do enact as follows:
1 Section 1. Article 48 of the environmental conservation law, as added
2 by a chapter of the laws of 2019, amending the environmental conserva-
3 tion law relating to establishing a permanent environmental justice
4 advisory group and an environmental justice interagency coordinating
5 council, as proposed in legislative bills numbers S. 2385 and A. 1564,
6 is amended to read as follows:
7 ARTICLE 48
8 ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE
9 Section 48-0101. Declaration of policy.
10 48-0103. Definitions.
11 48-0105. Permanent environmental justice advisory group.
12 48-0107. Powers and duties.
13 48-0109. Agency responsibilities.
14 48-0111. Environmental justice interagency coordinating council.
15 48-0113. Separability.
16 § 48-0101. Declaration of policy.
17 1. It is hereby declared to be the policy of this state that all
18 people, regardless of race, color, religion, national origin or income,
19 have a right to fair treatment and meaningful involvement in the devel-
20 opment, implementation and enforcement of laws, regulations and policies
21 that affect the quality of the environment.
22 2. It shall further be the policy of the state that no group of
23 people, including a racial, ethnic or socioeconomic group, should be
24 disproportionately exposed to pollution or bear a disproportionate share
25 of the negative environmental consequences resulting from industrial,
26 municipal or commercial operations, or the execution of federal,
27 state[,] or local [or tribal] programs and policies.
EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
 is old law to be omitted.
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1 3. It shall further be the policy of the state that no group of
2 people, including a racial, ethnic or socioeconomic group, should suffer
3 from inequitable allocation of public resources or financial assistance
4 for environmental protection and stewardship, including environmental
5 remediation, pollution prevention, open space acquisition and/or other
6 protection and stewardship activities.
7 4. It shall further be the policy of the state that opportunities for
8 citizen involvement in the development[, implementation and enforcement]
9 of laws, regulations and policies that affect the quality of the envi-
10 ronment be as reflective of the diversity of interests and perspective
11 found within the affected community as possible, including those of
12 racial, ethnic and socioeconomic groups; that [they] such opportunities
13 be provided as early as possible in the decision making process [prior
14 to the selection of a preferred course of action by federal, state,
15 local or tribal agencies]; that [they] such opportunities provide full,
16 timely and accessible disclosure of public records and sharing of infor-
17 mation by the government agency or agencies involved, including the
18 provision of technical data and the assumptions upon which any analyses
19 are based; and that [they] such opportunities allow all people, regard-
20 less of race, color, religion, national origin or income, the opportu-
21 nity to have their views heard and considered, including opportunities
22 for two-way dialogue.
23 § 48-0103. Definitions.
24 As used in this article:
25 1. "Advisory group" means the permanent environmental justice advisory
26 group established by section 48-0105 of this article.
27 2. "Agency" means any state department, agency, board, bureau, commis-
28 sion, division, office, council[, committee or officer of the state], or
29 any public authority or public benefit corporation [at least one of
30 whose members is appointed by the governor].
31 3. "Environmental justice" means the fair treatment and meaningful
32 involvement of all people regardless of race, color, religion, national
33 origin or income with respect to the development, implementation and
34 enforcement of laws, regulations and policies affecting the quality of
35 the environment.
36 4. "Fair treatment" means that no group of people, including a racial,
37 ethnic or socioeconomic group, should be disproportionately exposed to
38 pollution or bear a disproportionate share of the negative environmental
39 consequences resulting from [industrial, municipal and commercial oper-
40 ations or the] execution of federal, state[,] and local [and tribal]
41 programs and policies, and further means that no such group of people
42 should suffer from inequitable allocation of public resources or finan-
43 cial assistance for environmental protection and stewardship, including
44 environmental remediation, pollution prevention, open space acquisition
45 and other protection and stewardship activities.
46 5. "Meaningful involvement" means the provision of opportunities for
47 citizen participation in decision making that are as reflective of the
48 diversity of interests and perspective found within the affected commu-
49 nity as possible, including those of racial, ethnic and socioeconomic
50 groups; that are provided as early as possible in the decision making
51 process [prior to the selection of a preferred course of action by a
52 decision making agency or agencies]; that provide full, timely and
53 accessible disclosure of public records and sharing of information by
54 the government agency or agencies involved, including the provision of
55 technical data and the assumptions upon which any analyses are based;
56 and that allow all people, regardless of race, color, religion, national
S. 6958 3
1 origin or income, the opportunity to have their views heard and consid-
2 ered, including opportunities for two-way dialogue.
3 § 48-0105. Permanent environmental justice advisory group.
4 1. The permanent environmental justice advisory group is hereby estab-
5 lished in the department to consist of [seventeen] sixteen members, as
7 (a) Five members shall be representatives of community-based organiza-
8 tions that advise or assist minority and low-income communities on envi-
9 ronmental matters[.]; and
10 (b) Four members shall be representatives of businesses that hold
11 state-issued permits or otherwise operate subject to this chapter.
12 [(c) Two members shall be representatives of environmental conserva-
13 tion offices of local government.
14 (d) The remaining members shall be representatives of state or
15 national organizations promoting environmental conservation, research-
16 ers, educators and members of the general public.
17 (e)] (c) One of the members appointed pursuant to each of paragraphs
18 (a)[,] and (b)[, (c) and (d)] of this subdivision shall be appointed by
19 the temporary president of the senate, and one of the members appointed
20 pursuant to each of paragraphs (a)[,] and (b)[, (c) and (d)] of this
21 subdivision shall be appointed by the speaker of the assembly. One
22 member shall be appointed by the minority leader of the senate and one
23 member shall be appointed by the minority leader of the assembly. The
24 remaining members shall be representatives of state or national organ-
25 izations promoting environmental conservation, researchers, educators
26 and members of the general public. The [remaining] other members
27 appointed pursuant to this subdivision shall be appointed by the gover-
28 nor. The replacement of any member shall be in accordance with the
29 provisions contained in this section for appointment of members.
30 2. (a) Each member of the advisory group shall serve for a term of
31 four years or until his or her successor is appointed. A member
32 appointed to fill a vacancy shall serve the remainder of the term of the
33 member he or she is appointed to succeed. The members of the advisory
34 group shall receive no compensation for their services but shall be
35 reimbursed for their expenses actually and necessarily incurred in the
36 performance of their duties hereunder.
37 (b) The advisory group shall select a chair from among the members.
38 The advisory group shall meet as frequently as necessary, but not less
39 than three times per year. Such meetings shall be held at such locations
40 as the advisory group may determine. All such meetings shall be subject
41 to the open meetings law. At least one meeting annually shall be held
42 jointly with the environmental justice interagency coordinating council
43 established pursuant to section 48-0111 of this article. [Each member of
44 the advisory group shall be entitled to designate in writing a represen-
45 tative to attend meetings in his or her place and to vote or otherwise
46 act on his or her behalf in his or her absence.
47 (c) Staff services for the advisory group shall be performed, insofar
48 as practicable, by personnel of the department. The advisory group may
49 request and shall receive from any state agency such assistance and data
50 as will enable it properly to carry out its activities hereunder and
51 effectuate the purposes set forth herein.]
52 § 48-0107. Powers and duties.
53 The advisory group shall have the power and duty to:
54 1. adopt a model environmental justice policy applicable generally to
55 state agencies that engage in activities or operations that may have a
56 significant effect on the environment, including but not limited to
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1 through the adoption of rules and regulations, issuance of permits,
2 acquisition or maintenance of property, or approval, funding or under-
3 taking of projects. Such policy shall be adopted not later than one year
4 after the effective date of this article. The advisory group shall
5 develop the model policy in consultation with representatives of minori-
6 ty and low-income communities, regulated parties, the environmental
7 justice interagency coordinating council and other state agencies and
8 the public and shall hold a public hearing thereon in each judicial
9 department. Notice of such hearings and notice of the adoption of the
10 model policy shall be published in the state register;
11 2. [advise state agencies of their responsibilities under section
12 48-0109 of this article;
13 3. monitor compliance with the environmental justice policies of state
14 agencies,] make recommendations to the governor, legislature and state
15 agencies on measures to improve such policies[, and report not less than
16 annually on the extent to which agencies are in compliance with the
17 requirements of this article and other state laws and Federal laws and
18 regulations relating to environmental justice];
19 [4.] 3. provide comments on any proposed rule, regulation or policy of
20 a state or federal agency related to environmental justice;
21 [5. accept, as agent of the state, any grant including federal grants
22 or any gift for the purposes of this article. Any monies so received may
23 be expended by the advisory group to effectuate any purpose of this
24 article, subject to the applicable provisions of the state finance law;
25 6.] 4. conduct public hearings with respect to any matter within the
26 scope of its functions, powers and duties; and
27 [7.] 5. adopt, amend and repeal by-laws governing its organization and
28 operation [and such rules and regulations, consistent with this article,
29 as it deems necessary to administer this article; and
30 8. do any and all things necessary or convenient to carry out its
31 functions, powers and duties under this article].
32 § 48-0109. Agency responsibilities.
33 1. Each state agency that engages in activities or operations that
34 have a significant effect on the environment, including but not limited
35 to through the adoption of rules and regulations, issuance of permits,
36 acquisition or maintenance of property, or approval, funding or under-
37 taking of projects, shall be guided in its decision making on such
38 activities or operations by an environmental justice policy. Each such
39 agency shall adopt rules and regulations setting forth its environmental
40 justice policy not later than [six months] two years after the adoption
41 of a model environmental justice policy pursuant to section 48-0107 of
42 this article. [The agency thereafter shall comply in all respects with
43 the environmental justice policy set forth in its rules and regulations;
44 provided, however, that in the absence of such rules and regulations,
45 the agency shall comply in all respects with the model environmental
46 justice policy.]
47 2. Each state agency subject to the requirements of subdivision one of
48 this section shall:
49 (a) appoint a staff member of the agency to serve as environmental
50 justice coordinator, to provide information to the public on the poli-
51 cies, activities and operations of the agency related to environmental
52 justice and to act as liaison to the environmental justice advisory
54 (b) notify the advisory group of the appointment of an environmental
55 justice coordinator; and
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1 (c) develop an environmental justice training plan which includes the
2 provision of workshops and written materials to appropriate staff
3 regarding environmental justice and implementation of the agency's envi-
4 ronmental justice policy.
5 [3. This section shall apply to any state agency notwithstanding any
6 exemption such agency may have from other laws, including but not limit-
7 ed to any exemption from article eight of this chapter.]
8 § 48-0111. Environmental justice interagency coordinating council.
9 1. There is hereby established an environmental justice interagency
10 coordinating council which shall have the power and duty to:
11 (a) coordinate the activities of agencies required to adopt an envi-
12 ronmental justice policy pursuant to section 48-0109 of this article in
13 development and implementation of such policies; and
14 (b) [make annual reports to the governor and the legislature concern-
15 ing the implementation and effectiveness of agency environmental justice
16 policies, including the adequacy of funding available and difficulties
17 encountered; and
18 (c)] serve as a clearinghouse for state agencies and the public for
19 information on environmental justice policies, environmental justice
20 coordinators in state agencies and related activities of state agencies,
21 and maintain information services, including but not limited to an
22 Internet site and a toll-free telephone number, to inform the public on
23 environmental justice.
24 2. The environmental justice coordinating council shall include the
25 commissioner; the commissioner of the department of economic develop-
26 ment; the commissioner of the department of transportation; the presi-
27 dent of the environmental facilities corporation; the president of the
28 New York State energy research and development authority; the chairman
29 of the public service commission; the chairman of the power authority of
30 the State of New York; [the executive director of the New York State
31 office of science, technology and academic research;] or their desig-
32 nees; and every staff member chosen by an agency to serve as environ-
33 mental justice coordinator pursuant to section 48-0109 of this article.
34 The council shall consult with the permanent environmental justice advi-
35 sory group; representatives of minority and low-income communities,
36 including community-based organizations that advise or assist minority
37 and low-income communities on environmental matters; representatives of
38 businesses that hold state-issued permits or otherwise operate subject
39 to this chapter; representatives of local governments; representatives
40 of local, state, or national organizations promoting environmental
41 conservation; researchers and educators; and any other parties the coun-
42 cil deems appropriate.
43 3. The coordinating council shall meet at least [quarterly] bi-annual-
44 ly and shall designate one of its members to serve as chairperson and
45 one of its members to serve as secretary for the development and dissem-
46 ination of minutes and reports. All such meetings shall be subject to
47 the open meetings law. At least one meeting annually shall be held
48 jointly with the permanent environmental justice advisory group estab-
49 lished pursuant to section 48-0105 of this article. Each member shall be
50 entitled to designate in writing a representative to attend meetings in
51 his or her place and to vote or otherwise act on his or her behalf in
52 his or her absence.
53 § 48-0113. Separability.
54 If any clause, sentence, paragraph, section or part of this article
55 shall be adjudged by any court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid,
56 the judgment shall not affect, impair or invalidate the remainder there-
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1 of, but shall be confined in its operation to the clause, sentence,
2 paragraph, section or part thereof directly involved in the controversy
3 in which the judgment shall have been rendered.
4 § 2. This act shall take effect on the same date and in the same
5 manner as a chapter of the laws of 2019, amending the environmental
6 conservation law relating to establishing a permanent environmental
7 justice advisory group and an environmental justice interagency coordi-
8 nating council, as proposed in legislative bills numbers S. 2385 and A.
9 1564, takes effect.