Environmental Justice and Siting Reform

Environmental Justice and Siting Reform Credit WBUR.jpg

Too often polluting power plants, electrical substations, and gas compressor stations are concentrated in communities where people of color, low-income people, and limited English proficient speakers live and work. EJ populations experience higher rates of pollution, disease, and other public health emergencies. COVID-19 has further shown that high concentrations of pollution can lead to increased mortality from respiratory disease.

Bill HD3679, SD1418 will add Env. Justice, public health, and climate to the Siting Board’s responsibilities and require community engagement prior to filing for environmental or Siting Board review of a petition to construct a generating facility or an oil, gas, or substation facility. The bill will also require a cumulative impact assessment and an EJ impact statement before approval of any electricity generating facility or oil, gas, or substation facilities. Most importantly, the bill will prohibit the approval of electricity generating facilities or substations if the EJ impact statement shows that they will result in public health or other harms to EJ populations, protecting vulnerable communities and ensure that everyone’s voice is heard. 

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