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, which was extended to August 5, 2022. The CJWG voted to approve and adopt the final disadvantaged communities criteria during a meeting on March 27, 2023.
A fact sheet on the final criteria will be translated and, along with an interactive map and final report, will be made available online as soon as practicable.
How to Navigate the Map
When loading the map, users will be taken to a layer that shows census tracts in New York State. Tracts identified as disadvantaged communities are shaded purple. Additionally, users can toggle to the individual indicator layers by selecting "individual indicator" layers to the right. This will produce a drop-down table where users can pick a single indicator and the map will dynamically update to the percentile values of the selected indicator. Note – disadvantaged communities are not scored on individual indicators but a combination of all of them (see the "Technical Documentation" for more detail).
Users can zoom in and out of areas and/or pan using the tools on the left toolbar. Indicators are grouped by their associated factor, and within each factor category the indicators are listed alphabetically.
Users can also select a census tract that will bring up a table of all indicators' percentile values within a census tract below the map. These indicators are sorted by factor and value. By selecting that census tract again, users can clear their current search.
Disadvantaged Communities Criteria Maps
- Disadvantaged Communities by Region [PDF]
- Capital Region Map
- Central New York Map
- Finger Lakes Region Map
- Long Island Region Map
- Mid-Hudson Region Map
- Mohawk Valley Region Map
- New York City Region Map
- North Country Region Map
- Southern Tier Region Map
- Western New York Region Map
Disadvantaged Communities Fact Sheets
Disadvantaged Communities Criteria Documents
- List of Disadvantaged Communities [PDF]
- Technical Documentation Appendix: Disadvantaged Communities Indicators Workbook [XLSX]
- Download Disadvantaged Communities Data and Shapefiles
Draft Disadvantaged Communities Materials
- Technical Documentation on the Draft Disadvantaged Communities Criteria [PDF]
- Frequently Asked Questions [PDF]
Archive of Past 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 was given to written and oral comments. The following table reflects the schedule and recordings for the draft disadvantaged communities criteria hearings.
Wednesday, May 18, 2022
|6:00 PM||WebEx – Long Island|
Wednesday, May 25, 2022
|12:00 PM||WebEx – New York City|
Thursday, May 26, 2022
Thursday, June 2, 2022
|6:00 PM||WebEx – Finger Lakes / Southern Tier|
Friday, June 10, 2022
|6:00 PM||Lower Hudson Valley|
Tuesday, June 14, 2022
|6:00 PM||New York City|
Wednesday, June 15, 2022
|6:00 PM||WebEx – Central New York / Mohawk Valley|
Tuesday, June 21, 2022
|12:00 PM||WebEx – Capital Region/North Country|
Thursday, June 23, 2022
Wednesday, June 29, 2022
|12:00 PM||WebEx – Hudson Valley|
Thursday, June 30, 2022
|12:00 PM||WebEx – Western New York|
Archive of Past 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: