On March 3, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul signed the strongest environmental justice (EJ) law in the United States. While federal guidelines and the laws of some other states — notably California, Massachusetts, and Washington — require analysis, disclosure and consideration of EJ issues, only a New Jersey law adopted in 2020 imposed substantive limitations, as we discussed in our May 12, 2021, column. New York’s new law—building on enactments in 2019 and 2020 — is even more restrictive.
The new law — which we’ll call the EJL — provides that the Department of Environmental Conservation(DEC) “shall not issue an applicable permit for a new project if it determines that the project will cause or contribute more than a de minimis amount of pollution to a disproportionate pollution burden on the disadvantaged community.” Environmental Conservation Law (ECL) Sec. 70-0118.
Environmental Law | Law
Sabin Center for Climate Change Law
Michael B. Gerrard & Edward McTiernan,
New York Adopts Nation’s Strongest Environmental Justice Law,
N.Y.L.J., May 10, 2023
Available at: https://scholarship.law.columbia.edu/faculty_scholarship/3936