Link here to view more environmental Justice areas in Jefferson County
BP alternative energy decided to pursue the development of their Cape Vincent Wind project under Article 10 of the Public Service law. This law, governs the siting of major electric generating facilities statewide. This new law takes the decision making away from communities and puts it into the hands of an appointed board.
The first step of this process requires the developer to file a document called a Public involvement Program or (PIP) for community outreach. September 17, 2012 BP Alternative energy submitted a PIP for their Cape Vincent Wind project to the Public service commission
The Public service Commission's answer to BP's PIP made specific recommendations to BP regarding the inadequacy of their PIP . The Public Service Commission also noted that the project area includes a part of the Town of Cape Vincent that was recently identified by the N.Y.S DEC as a potential Environmental Justice (E.J) area.
Environmental justice areas require enhanced Public Participation Plans.
Link here to DEC website, information regarding the E J Public Participation Plan
Not long ago, there was a story on the COAX website about environmental justice groups and their concern for the new article 10 power plant siting law.
Representatives of a local E.J (environmental justice) groups in NYC addressed the DEC
( Department of Environmental Conservation ) concerning the agency’s new, proposed regulations for power plant siting. These groups represented Southern Brooklyn, Northern Brooklyn, the South Bronx, West Harlem and less directly, all “E.J communities” and anyone now or potentially exposed to power plant pollution.
Link here to read the N.Y.S ,DEC recently adopted Environmental Justice Regulations
The purpose of Article 10 is to both limit C02 emissions from power plants and to create further protections for low income, minority and environmentally burdened communities from new or expanding power plants that generate at least 25 MWs in or near residential areas. Article 10 requires applicants of power plant permits to conduct an E.J analysis, which will include demographic variables as well as existing environmental variables.
In New York State Environmental discrimination is not only based on ones ethnicity it is based on socioeconomic status as well. Over the last few years poorer communities in New York State have been systematically targeted for wind development. The people in these communities have less resources and time to learn about wind facilities and the environmental risks and hazards . Consequently, these communities have been targeted by big wind.
The DEC Environmental Justice Policy CP-29 amends the DEC environmental permit review process by identifying Potential Environmental Justice Areas and establishing requirements for proposed projects affecting those communities.
A condition of environmental justice exists when environmental risks and hazards and investments and benefits are equally distributed without direct or indirect discrimination at all jurisdictional levels and when access to environmental investments, benefits, and natural resources are equally distributed; and when access to information, participation in decision making, and access to justice in environment-related matters are enjoyed by all."
An environmental injustice exists when members of disadvantaged, ethnic, minority or other groups suffer disproportionately at the local, regional (sub-national), or national levels from environmental risks or hazards, and/or suffer disproportionately from violations of fundamental human rights as a result of environmental factors, and/or denied access to environmental investments, benefits, and/or natural resources, and/or are denied access to information; and/or participation in decision making; and/or access to justice in environment-related matters."