Volume 13, Issue 3
Dear ,
The NYC-EJA team has been hard at work this March. We've been gearing up for the NYS Climate Action Council (CAC) draft scoping plan public hearings, had a congressional delegation visit, rallied for the state budget in Albany, organized rallies across the city and participated in a panel discussion. Read more about what we have been up to this past month.
New York State Releases Draft Disadvantaged Communities Criteria to Advance Climate Justice
On March 9th, New York State announced the release of draft criteria developed by the Climate Justice Working Group (CJWG) for identifying disadvantaged communities. The draft criteria will guide the equitable implementation of New York’s ambitious Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (Climate Act). Pursuant to the Climate Act’s disadvantaged community provisions, the draft includes an interactive map and a list of communities the criteria would cover for directing programs and projects to reduce air pollution and climate-altering greenhouse gas emissions, provide economic development opportunities, target clean energy and energy efficiency investments and the allocation of 35-40% of NYS’s climate investments called for by the CLCPA for Disadvantaged Communities. NYC-EJA Executive Director Eddie Bautista served on the Climate Justice Working Group, which worked for two years during the pandemic to develop the draft criteria.

There will be a public comment period of at least 120 days. In addition to this comment period, DEC will host a minimum of six regional public hearings during the public comment period on the draft list and criteria. Following the public comment period, the CJWG will vote on the final list of disadvantaged communities and criteria. This list and criteria will be reviewed at least annually by the CJWG. For further information, please contact Alanah N. Keddell-Tuckey, Director of NYSDEC Office of Environmental Justice
(518) 402-8107 or [email protected].

NYS Draft Scoping Plan: Public Hearings 2022
Throughout April and May, New York's Climate Action Council will hold 10 public hearings across the state to gather input from the public on the Draft Scoping Plan—the blueprint for NY’s climate future. These public comments will affect the Final Scoping Plan, which will ultimately guide the implementation of the nation-leading climate goals set forth under the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act. The next public hearing will take place on April 12th in Binghamton, at 4pm.

The fossil fuel industry will be sending lobbyists and front groups to push for "false solutions" (i.e. fossil fuel based technologies such as renewable natural gas and hydrogen combustion for power plants). So, we plan on packing the hearings with testimony for an equitable and swift transition off fossil fuels and against false solutions. This is a big moment in our long fight to implement the CLCPA, and we are planning on having a presence at every single hearing.
Testimony is only two minutes, and we even have a call to prepare folks for it! Let’s encourage our communities to weigh in on this public process.

Last but not least, we’d love to get as many testimonies as possible at these hearings, which is why we’ve put together a Testimony 101 document. We hope you find this guide useful to submit testimony.

Let’s make this critical moment ours!
NYC-EJA staff at the Bronx CAC Scoping Plan Hearing.
Albany Rally For Climate Funding in
NYS Budget
On March 8th, we had one of the largest NY Renews actions in history. Five hundred people came together from across the state to demand $15 billion for climate justice in the budget. Dozens risked arrest by blocking the two main doors to the Capitol Building, putting their bodies on the line to underscore the urgency of the climate crisis and environmental injustice. Across the street, hundreds rallied, and we were joined by nine our of legislative champions and community and coalition members.
NYC Congressional Delegation Visit
On March 11th and 12th, Chair Carolyn B. Maloney of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform and Chair Raúl M. Grijalva of the House Committee on Natural Resources held a field hearing and press conference examining H.R. 2021 – The Environmental Justice for All Act. NYC-EJA Executive director Eddie Bautista testified and spoke at the press conference. NYC-EJA staff then toured the Ravenswood power plant, the city's largest power plant, with the Congressmembers, their staff and other advocates.

The Chairs also took a tour of Sunset Park's industrial waterfront, which was organized by NYC-EJA member UPROSE and included a presentation of UPROSE's Green Resilient Industrial District (GRID).
ElectrifyNY Electric School Bus Rallies
In March, NYC-EJA and ElectrifyNY, alongside parents, students, and elected officials, held four rallies throughout New York to urge Governor Kathy Hochul to include funding for electric school buses in the NY State Budget for 2023. During her State of the State speech, the Governor established a goal to electrify New York State's entire school bus fleets by 2035 and required that all new school bus purchases be electric school buses starting in 2027.

The call by advocates included $300 million in this upcoming year’s budget to jumpstart the state’s nearly 50,000 school bus fleet conversion to all-electric. The rallies were held in Astoria, Hunts Point, Albany, and Manhattan.
At press time, NYC-EJA just learned that the mandate to electrify every single school bus in New York by 2035 is set to pass as part of the budget. In the budget deal, $500 million is being earmarked in the Environmental Bond Act to help pay for the transition!
NYC-EJA at Athena Film Festival Panel
On Sunday, March 13, our Research Analyst Victoria Sanders spoke at a panel discussion at the 2022 Athena Film Festival held at Barnard College following their featured STEM film Exposure. The panel focused on the impacts of climate change on everyday life, the role of film in scientific education, and much more. Watch the full panel discussion here!
Be sure to check for more exciting news from NYC-EJA about our ongoing work, on our website and in future newsletters! And if you like what you read, please consider making a tax-exempt donation to support our work.

Eddie Bautista
Executive Director
New York City Environmental Justice Alliance