Disadvantaged Communities Criteria

 

New York State is undertaking the most ambitious effort in the U.S. to meet the challenge of climate change. New York’s Climate Act recognizes that climate change doesn’t affect all communities equally. The Climate Act charged the Climate Justice Working Group (CJWG) with the development of criteria to identify disadvantaged communities to ensure that frontline and otherwise underserved communities benefit from the state’s historic transition to cleaner, greener sources of energy, reduced pollution and cleaner air, and economic opportunities.

New York wants to hear from you.

On December 13, 2021, the CJWG voted to release the draft disadvantaged communities criteria for public comment, in addition to an interactive map and a list of disadvantaged communities statewide. March 9, 2022, marks the beginning of a 120-day public comment period for New Yorkers to provide feedback on the draft before the criteria is finalized.  

Supplemental Materials

Public Hearings

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, in partnership with NYSERDA will hold 11 public hearings across the State to receive public input on the draft disadvantaged communities criteria under the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (Climate Act). 

Four in-person hearings and seven virtual hearings will be conducted to receive public input. Pre-registration is encouraged but not required for the in-person hearings. Priority in seating and speaking will be given to those who pre-register. Priority in speaking will be given to those who pre-register based on their place of residence for the regional hearings.

Pre-register for in-person hearings

Please pre-register for the virtual hearings using the WebEx links in the below table.

Members of the public who want to provide oral comment must attend either in-person or join a virtual hearing. It is not necessary to speak at multiple hearings, as equal weight is given to statements made in each forum. Additionally, equal weight is given to written and oral comments.

The following table reflects the schedule for the draft disadvantaged communities criteria hearings. Attendees are encouraged to arrive 30 minutes prior to the hearing for registration.

Venue-specific information (capacity, parking and public transit options, health and safety protocols) will be supplied for the remaining venues as site visits are completed.

Location and Schedule

The below schedule reflects the start times for the public hearings. These meetings will last until the last attendee has the opportunity to provide comments. 

Date

Time

Location

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Register for Long Island virtual hearingLink opens in new window - close new window to return to this page.

6:00 PM

WebEx – Long Island

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

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12:00 PM

WebEx – New York City

Thursday, May 26, 2022
Beulah Baptist Church
92 Catharine St
Poughkeepsie 12601
845-473-1662

6:00 PM

Poughkeepsie

Thursday, June 2, 2022

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6:00 PM

WebEx – Finger Lakes / Southern Tier

Friday, June 10, 2022
Grace Baptist Church
52 S 6th Ave., Mt. Vernon, NY 10550

6:00 PM

Lower Hudson Valley

Tuesday, June 14, 2022
DEC Region 2 Offices, Queens
4740 21st St, Long Island City, NY 11101

6:00 PM

New York City

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

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6:00 PM

WebEx – Central New York / Mohawk Valley

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

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12:00 PM

WebEx - Capital Region/North Country

Thursday, June 23, 2022
PUSH Buffalo, School 77, 429 Plymouth Avenue, Suite 1
Buffalo 14213
716-884-0356

6:00 PM

Buffalo

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

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12:00 PM

WebEx – Hudson Valley

Thursday, June 30, 2022

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12:00 PM

WebEx – Western New York

Virtual Information and Educational Sessions

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), in partnership with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), hosted two virtual information and educational sessions on the State’s draft disadvantaged communities (DAC) criteria on Wednesday, April 13, and Tuesday, April 19.

The April public education sessions were an opportunity for interested stakeholders to review the CJWG’s process and methodology for selecting DACs and to answer technical questions on the draft criteria and maps. These were not public hearings to receive public comments. The recordings of those sessions are available here:

Session 1: Wednesday, Apr. 13, 2022 - 12:00 pm E.T.

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Session 2: Tuesday, Apr 19, 2022 - 6:00 pm E.T.

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Public Comment Period

New Yorkers are encouraged to comment on the draft disadvantaged communities criteria during the 120-day public comment period, beginning March 9, 2022 and ending July 7, 2022. Six (6) public comment hearings will be held to allow for public input on the draft criteria, interactive map, and draft list of disadvantaged communities. Details on the public comment hearings will be announced soon. In addition, the Department of Environmental Conservation will post a recorded information session explaining the purpose of the criteria and its relevance to the Climate Act prior to the public comment hearings. A list of census tracts and supporting materials have been developed to assist individuals in understanding the proposed disadvantaged communities criteria. You can submit comments via the below form.

Public comments can also be submitted via email, to DACComments@dec.ny.gov and via U.S. mail, to:

Attention: Draft DAC Comments
NYS DEC, Attn. Office of Environmental Justice
625 Broadway, 14th Floor, Albany NY 12233