Challenge: Decisions for energy and transportation facilities may inadvertently affect environmental justice communities because of compounding impacts and/or cumulative effects of various stressors. Multiple agencies may have responsibilities in this arena, with minimal coordination among them.
Background: Impacts of energy and transportation infrastructure — including waste disposal, rights-of-way (ROW) locations and management, and transmission corridors on environmental justice communities — are varied. They may range from emissions and depositions of pollutants to the more intangible “disrupting the cohesiveness of a community.” While many agencies have responsibilities to evaluate environmental justice considerations, both the methodology and the parameters of the analysis vary. To ensure a continued commitment toward addressing environmental justice issues, an adaptive management framework for identifying, recommending, and implementing environmental justice policies and solutions should be established.
Approach: Establish a statewide environmental justice advisory panel that will serve as a “think tank” and resource center for environmental justice issues. The advisory panel will work with and advise all entities throughout the state on environmental justice issues. It will develop and submit additional policy recommendations on environmental justice issues for consideration in future State Energy Plan revisions. The panel could also consider necessary changes in state policy related to energy and environmental justice.