Establish an Environmental Justice Interagency Coordinating Council.

On December 23, 2019 Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed legislation (S.2385/A.1564) to create a permanent Environmental Justice Advisory Group (EJAG) and Interagency Coordinating Council (EJICC). The Interagency Coordinating Council will provide guidance to each state agency implementing environmental justice policies.

A comprehensive, and ongoing list of EJICC members can be found here.

Actions Taken:


Statutory Language: 

EJ Law § 1 adds new ECL §48-0111(1): "There is hereby established an environmental justice interagency coordinating council which shall have the power and duty to:

(a) coordinate the activities of agencies required to adopt an environmental justice policy pursuant to section 48-0109 of this article in development and implementation of such policies;

(b) make annual reports to the governor and the legislature concerning the implementation and effectiveness of agency environmental justice policies, including the adequacy of funding available and difficulties encountered; and

(c) serve as a clearinghouse for state agencies and the public for information on environmental justice policies, environmental justice coordinators in state agencies and related activities of state agencies, and maintain information services, including but not limited to an Internet site and a toll-free telephone number, to inform the public on environmental justice."

Members of the Interagency Coordinating Council:

EJ Law § 1 adds new ECL §48-0111(2): "The environmental justice coordinating council shall include the commissioner; the commissioner of the department of economic development; the commissioner of the department of transportation; the president of the environmental facilities corporation; the president of New York state energy research and development authority; the chairman of the public service commission; the chairman of the power authority of New York state office of science, technology and academic research; or their designees; and every staff member chosen by an agency to serve as environmental justice coordinator pursuant to section 48-0109 of this article. The council shall consult with the permanent environmental justice advisory group; representatives of minority and low-income communities, including community-based organizations that advise or assist minority and low-in-come communities on environmental matters; representatives of businesses that hold permits or otherwise operate subject to this chapter; representatives of local governments; representatives of local, state, or national organizations promoting environmental conservation; researchers and educators; and any other parties the council deems appropriate."

When They Meet/ Who Attends

EJ Law § 1 adds new ECL §48-0111(3): "The coordinating council shall meet at least quarterly and shall designate one of its members to serve as chairperson and one of its members to serve as secretary for the development and dissemination of minutes and reports. All such meetings shall be subject to the open meetings law. At least one meeting annually shall be held jointly with the permanent environmental justice advisory group established pursuant to section 48-0105 of this article. Each member shall be entitled to designate in writing a representative to attend meetings in his or her place and to vote or otherwise act on his or her behalf in his or her absence."