Sabin Center for Climate Change Law
Environmental justice is a very hot topic. Yesterday's New York Times on the front page of the Metropolitan section had a story stating: Mid-Sized Plants Headed to Poor Areas.1 The story stated, "The Pataki administration acknowledges in its own study that the electric generators that it wants to install around New York City would go into poor heavily minority communities, a finding that supports some of the arguments of the project's opponents.2 This is quoting an unreleased environmental justice analysis that may or may not be valid, but it certainly shows how hot a topic it is. This morning I would like to say a couple of words about what environmental justice is, on what is the over-arching law on the subject at the federal level, and then to speculate a little bit-we're still at such an early stage that only speculation is warranted-as to how it will affect SEQRA [State Environmental Quality Review Act] and related processes.
Michael B. Gerrard,
Reflections on Environmental Justice,
Alb. L. Rev.
Available at: https://scholarship.law.columbia.edu/faculty_scholarship/904