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For Release: Thursday, June 30, 2022

New York State to Hold Western New York Virtual Public Hearing on Draft Disadvantaged Communities Criteria on June 30

What: Western New York Virtual Public Hearing

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

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, voted in December to release the draft criteria for identifying disadvantaged communities for public review with a 120-day public comment period that ends July 7, 2022. The State is holding a total of 11 public hearings with four in-person hearings and seven virtual hearings.

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.

Pre-registration for virtual hearings is strongly encouraged but not required. Each participant will be given two minutes to provide public comment. 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 using the WebEx link for the meeting (leaves DEC website).

When: Thursday, June 30 at 12 p.m. ET

Where: 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:

All persons, organizations, corporations, and government entities are encouraged to attend the public hearings and submit oral or written comments. Lengthy statements should be submitted in writing and summarized for oral presentation. PowerPoint presentations are not allowed, but individuals may provide written supporting documents or visuals.

Members of the public who want to provide oral comments must attend either in-person or join a virtual hearing. Equal weight will be given to oral and written statements. All hearings will be professionally recorded and transcribed as part of the official record and posted on the Climate Act website (leaves DEC website).

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

For more information about the Climate Justice Working Group (leaves DEC website), visit the Climate Act website.

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