WE ACT Puts Support Behind Environmental Justice Bill at City Council

For Immediate Release
January 28, 2016
WE ACT for Environmental Justice, 212-961-1000 ext. 320

NEW YORK, NY – WE ACT Executive Director, Peggy Shepard will join Council Member Inez Barron Donovan Richards, members of the Black, Latino and Asian Caucus and environmental groups to announce the support for Intro 886, also known as the Environmental Justice (EJ) bill.

This legislation will require city agencies to develop plans to ensure environmental justice throughout their programs, projects and policies; ensure equitable distribution of environmental benefits, conduct and improve research and data collection relating to the health of disenfranchised and low income populations and establish a working group and advisory board.

“A united New York is one where all residents are living in healthy communities and have the ability to participate meaningfully in the decision making process for policies and practices affecting their homes. Unfortunately, low and medium income communities of color have not always been afforded this opportunity. By passing Intro 886 we can bring life to OneNYC’s goal for equity and environmental justice by requiring the city to have a clear plan for addressing the many issues our communities are facing.” Said Peggy Shepard, Executive Director of WE ACT for Environmental Justice.

“I am proud to be the sponsor of this legislation that was introduced almost ten years ago by former Council Member Charles Barron. It is critical that City Agencies ensure and promote adequate environmental justice measures. This bill will help to protect the most vulnerable New Yorkers and our precious natural environment,” said Council Member Inez Barron.

“It is our job as elected representatives of this city to stand up and empower our vulnerable residents by making progress to improve our environment for all New Yorkers, especially those who have been gasping for air and treading water for far too long,” said Council Member Donovan Richards. “Today’s bill will allow us to move in the direction of ensuring that the communities suffering from the highest risk get the most attention. I would like to thank Council Member Barron for leading the charge on this issue and I look forward to making New York City environmentally just for all,” noted Council Member Donovan Richards

“We must ensure that our environmental policies provide equitable distribution of environmental benefits to all. Intro 886 will help provide that all communities have the same access to green space, open air, resiliency measures, and green infrastructure. I am proud to co-sponsor this bill and commend Council Member Barron for her leadership on this important issue,” said Council Member Costa Constantinides, Chair of the Council Environmental Protection Committee

The bill will be heard in the Committee on Environmental Protection at 1:00pm. The hearing will take place at 250 Broadway on the 16th floor.

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