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For Release: Tuesday, June 14, 2022

New York State Encourages Participation in Public Hearings, Education Session on Draft Disadvantaged Communities Criteria

New In-Person Education Session Added in Buffalo on June 21 to Give Opportunity for Public to Ask Questions on Criteria Development Process

Five Remaining Virtual and In-Person Hearings to be Held in June

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), in partnership with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), will hold virtual public hearings on June 21, June 29, and June 30, 2022, and an in-person public hearing tonight in Queens and in Buffalo on June 23 to receive input on the Draft Disadvantaged Communities Criteria (leaves DEC website). The hearings will help advance the finalization of the criteria to help guide the implementation of the State's nation-leading Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act.

In addition, a new education session on the disadvantaged communities criteria will be held on Tuesday, June 21, at 6 p.m. at the Buffalo Museum of Science, 1020 Humboldt Parkway Buffalo, NY 14211. This session is an opportunity to review the Climate Justice Working Group process and to ask technical questions about the criteria and interactive map. The education session being held in advance of the Buffalo public hearing on June 23 is not a hearing and comments will not be taken for the record. This in-person session is in addition to two virtual education sessions held in April (leaves DEC website). Recordings of the earlier sessions can be found at Climate Act's website (leaves DEC website).

New York's Climate Justice Working Group (CJWG), which consists of representatives from environmental justice groups from across the state and representatives of several State agencies, developed the draft criteria for identifying disadvantaged communities and voted to release it for public review. The State is holding a total of 11 public hearings with four in-person hearings and seven virtual hearings. All persons, organizations, corporations, and government agencies are encouraged to attend the public hearings and to submit oral or written comments.

All New Yorkers are encouraged to provide input on the criteria that will help advance environmental justice and guide the climate programs and projects to reduce air pollution and climate-altering greenhouse gas emissions, provide economic development opportunities, and target clean energy and energy efficiency investments.

Individuals attending in-person and virtual hearings and providing comments will be given two minutes to speak. Lengthy statements should be submitted in writing and summarized for oral presentation. If in-person hearings cannot be held due to changing COVID-19 health and safety guidelines, hearings will shift to virtual at the same date and time.

Virtual Public Hearing Capital Region/North Country

Tuesday, June 21, 2022, 12 p.m. ET

Event Address: Via WebEx (leaves DEC website)

Call-in Number: 518-549-0500

Event Password: DACHearing-2022 (32243275 via phone)

Event Number: 2340 052 0495

Buffalo Education Session (In-Person)

Tuesday, June 21, 2022, 6 p.m. ET

Buffalo Museum of Science

1020 Humboldt Parkway

Buffalo, NY 14211

*The education session is not a hearing and comments will not be taken for the record.

Buffalo Public Hearing (In-Person)

Thursday, June 23, 2022, 6 p.m. ET

PUSH Buffalo

School 77, Suite 1

429 Plymouth Avenue

Buffalo, NY 14213

Capacity of Venue: Up to 75 may attend this hearing.

Attendees are encouraged to pre-register for June 23 at NYSERDA's website (leaves DEC website)

Transportation:

Vehicle Parking:

There is free on-site parking and street parking is available.

Public Transportation:

Please see the NFTA bus route schedule (leaves DEC website).

Health and Safety:

Masks are required when entering the building.

Disposable face masks and hand sanitizer will be available at the event.

Virtual Public Hearing Hudson Valley

Wednesday, June 29, 2022, 12 p.m. ET

Event Address: Via WebEx (leaves DEC website)

Call-in Number: 518-549-0500

Event Password: DACHearing-2022 (32243275 via phone)

Event Number: 2343 251 4676

Virtual Public Hearing Western New York

Thursday, June 30, 2022, 12 p.m. ET

Event Address: Via WebEx (leaves DEC website)

Call-in Number: 518-549-0500

Event Password: DACHearing-2022 (32243275 via phone)

Event Number: 2349 601 1561

Information for All Hearing Attendees:

Pre-registration is encouraged but not required for the hearings. Priority in speaking will be given to those who pre-register based on their place of residence for the regional hearings. Individuals can pre-register for virtual and in-person hearings at the Climate Act website (leaves DEC website). All hearings will be professionally recorded and transcribed as part of the official record and posted on the Climate Act website (leaves DEC website).

Members of the public who want to provide oral comment must attend either in-person or join a virtual hearing. Equal weight will be given to oral and written statements. American sign language and language interpretive services shall be made available upon written request at no charge. Requests for interpretation must be received at least 10 days before the hearing date and directed by mail to NYSDEC, Office of Communication Services, 625 Broadway, Albany, New York 12233-4500), by telephone (518-402-8044), or by email to language@dec.ny.gov.

Written comments can be submitted through July 7, 2022 via the online public comment form (leaves DEC website), via email to DACComments@dec.ny.gov, or via U.S. Mail to Attention: Draft DAC Comments, NYS DEC, Attn. Office of Environmental Justice, 625 Broadway, 14th Floor, Albany NY 12233.

Visit the Climate Act website for more information about the draft disadvantaged communities criteria (leaves DEC website) and for information on the Climate Justice Working Group (leaves DEC website).

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