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. 

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 marked the beginning of a 120-day public comment period for New Yorkers to provide feedback on the draft before the criteria is finalized. The public comment period was extended to August 5, 2022. 

Draft Disadvantaged Communities Criteria Overview Fact Sheet

Draft Disadvantaged Communities Criteria Documents

Supplemental Materials

Public Hearings

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, in partnership with NYSERDA held 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 were conducted to receive public input.

Equal weight is given to written and oral comments. The following table reflects the schedule for the draft disadvantaged communities criteria hearings.

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. 

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 three virtual and in-person information and educational sessions on the State’s draft disadvantaged communities (DAC) criteria on Wednesday, April 13, Tuesday, April 19, and Tuesday, June 21.

The 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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