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Zack Hutchins
Director of Communications
518.465.7511

January 7, 2002

State releases recommendations on "environmental justice"

The state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has released a series of recommendations to address concerns about how minority and low-income communities are treated in environmental decision-making.

The report was developed by an 18-person Environmental Justice Advisory Group which included representatives from environmental and "environmental justice" organizations, businesses (including The Business Council and several member firms), municipalities, and state agencies.

While the report focuses on the incorporation of "environmental justice" considerations into the environmental permitting process, it addresses other aspects of state environmental programs as well, including state financing of environmental projects.

Key recommendations include:

These recommendations will undergo a public review and comment period before the DEC makes any decision regarding implementation. DEC will accept public comments until Feb. 22, and will schedule public workshops to get public input.

Ken Pokalsky, The Business Council's Director of Environmental Programs, was on the advisory committee. He can be reached, with comments and questions, at ken.pokalsky@bcnys.org or by phone at 1-518/465-7511. The DEC press release, and a copy of the report in PDF format, can be found at www.dec.state.ny.us/website/ej/announcingreport.html.