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LAWS (LEGISLATION OR STATUTES) ENACTED BY A LEGISLATIVE BODY & ONLY THAT BODY CAN CHANGE OR REPEAL ENFORCEABLE BY SOMEBODY (GOVERNMENT AGENCY, ATTORNEY.

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Presentation on theme: "LAWS (LEGISLATION OR STATUTES) ENACTED BY A LEGISLATIVE BODY & ONLY THAT BODY CAN CHANGE OR REPEAL ENFORCEABLE BY SOMEBODY (GOVERNMENT AGENCY, ATTORNEY."— Presentation transcript:

1 LAWS (LEGISLATION OR STATUTES) ENACTED BY A LEGISLATIVE BODY & ONLY THAT BODY CAN CHANGE OR REPEAL ENFORCEABLE BY SOMEBODY (GOVERNMENT AGENCY, ATTORNEY GENERAL, PRIVATE PERSONS) PROVISIONS ARE LESS DETAILED THAN REGULATIONS (OFTEN DIRECTS AGENCY TO DEVELOP REGULATIONS) CARRIES GREATER AUTHORITY THAN REGULATIONS OR POLICIES REGULATIONS ENACTED BY A GOVERNMENT AGENCY THROUGH FORMAL RULEMAKING PROCESS & ONLY THAT AGENCY CAN CHANGE OR REPEAL USUALLY ONLY ENFORCEABLE BY THE AGENCY, SOMETIMES CAN BE ENFORCED AGAINST THE AGENCY PROVISIONS VERY DETAILED—FILLS IN GAPS IN LAWS CARRIES LESS AUTHORITY THAN LAWS BUT MORE THAN POLICIES (CANNOT CONFLICT WITH LAWS) POLICIES ENACTED BY A GOVERNMENT AGENCY WITHOUT FORMAL RULEMAKING & ONLY THAT AGENCY CAN CHANGE OR REPEAL USUALLY NOT ENFORCEABLE-MEANT TO PROVIDE GUIDANCE TO AGENCY OR OTHERS PROVISIONS CAN BE DETAILED OR VAGUE CARRIES LEAST AUTHORITY

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3  CCEJ officially began in Hartford in1998 around issues of: › North Hartford Landfill › Asthma › Power Plants › Trash Incinerator  Similar issues, if not always same players in other CT cities › English Station Power Plant in New Haven › Bridgeport Harbor Power Plant

4  Lack of effective and timely community or local governmental notification  If notified, community and government not understand consequences of proposed facilities  EJ communities and governments not able to respond due to lack of appropriate resources and local politics  Disproportionate environmental and health impacts

5  Inadequate notification processes and disproportionate impact are perfectly legal and customary, › therefore upheld judicially  DEP Environmental Equity Policy unenforceable  Regulations harder to pass than legislation

6  Republican governor and administration  Democratic legislature  Public officials and communities unfamiliar with EJ  CCEJ had good experience in legislature › Asthma and diesel › Mercury laws › Sooty Six  People of Color rarely seen in capitol

7  Started out to codify DEP’s Environmental Equity Policy  Required EJ Action Plans for DEP, DMV, and certain other state agencies submitted for comment to state civil rights agency  13 co-sponsors, no apparent opposition  Passed out of committee as study bill and eventually died

8  Progressives did not like it because it only required plans, not actions  Conservatives thought that review by the civil rights agency implied intentional discrimination  DEP wanted more guidance on how the process would evolve  The opposition to the bill was very well hidden

9  Require DEP to identify and notify communities that are environmentally overburdened (no reference to race, income)  Require DEP, the utilities regulator and other agencies to develop EJ rules and regulations and to reduce pollution in overburdened communities  Business opposed it as anti-business, over regulatory  DEP opposed it as politically unworkable

10  Similar to overburdened communities  Built up coalition  More events at the capitol › Breakfasts › Press events › Lobby days  More in-district calls, activities in key districts

11  Required DEP, public utilities, trash incinerator, and other agencies to consider EJ and how to reduce pollution from existing facilities  Because it applied to several agencies, it had to go through many legislative committees  Bill did not make it through all of the committees before the end of the session

12  DEP Commissioner, Gina McCarthy, met with us and suggested ways for us to decrease opposition to the bill by › Making it more specific, › Defining overburdened communities › Drawing maps showing overburdened census tracts › Deciding which facilities would be included in the bill › Only consider new facilities, not existing ones › Consider using a less pejorative label than “overburdened”  The idea was that those communities and industries that were not included in the bill would no longer oppose it

13  Similar to 2006  Used “environmentally stressed community” instead of “overburdened”  Developed race and income census tract maps with Council of Governments  Defined income in a way that covered all the EJ communities we were concerned about  Required agencies provide environmental benefits to communities if a fourth or more polluting facilities are proposed or expanded within one mile of an EJ community  Required preference for state grants to EJ communities

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15  Killed in Transportation Committee by construction industry because it included asphalt and concrete batching facilities  Chair of committee owned construction company  Surprise vote in the hallway outside of House chambers  Lost by 2 votes

16  Had new energetic urban legislator as champion  Had support of DEP to identify and solve problems  Limited scope of legislation to DEP and another agency to limit number of needed committees  Exempted some powerful interests  Accepted an amendment from Republicans limiting placement of asbestos waste next to homes  Passed 139 to 9 in House after 90 minutes of debate, unanimous in Senate

17  Defines EJ Community  Defines facilities of concern “Affecting Facilities”  Requires permit applicants for a new or expanded affecting facility to › get approval of an expanded public outreach plan from DEP › Host community meetings at least 60 days before a public hearing on a proposal › Consult with the mayor of a town about the need to provide environmental benefits

18 The types of new or expanded affecting facilities include:  Electric generating facilities with capacities of more than 10 megawatts;  Sludge and solid waste incinerators or combustors;  Sewage treatment plants with a capacity over 50 million gallons per day;  Three types of solid waste facilities (intermediate processing centers, volume reduction facilities, and multi- town recycling facilities) with a combined monthly volume in excess of 25 tons;  New or expanded landfills, including those that contain ash, construction, and demolition debris or solid waste;  Medical waste incinerators; and  Major sources of pollution under the Clean Air Act (e.g., large factories).

19  There is a lot of hidden opposition to racial bills  Need to build a broad based coalition to help plan and support the bill  Know your opposition  There is no substitute to being in the capitol  Need backing from leadership, but a champion who has time to follow-up and negotiate with the opposition  You need someone in the capitol shepherding the bill almost every day  Be persistent !

20 Mark A. Mitchell M.D., MPH Mitchell Environmental Health Associates

21 The End Thank You The End


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