In order to protect New York’s underserved and low-income communities from environmental hazards like polluted air, toxic waste, and contaminated drinking water, the state must first identify exactly which communities are bearing the brunt of these environmental hazards and risks.
Defining NY's “disadvantaged communities” (DACs) is an essential part of directing resources to the right neighborhoods and helping create a just future for historically marginalized communities across the state. The one-click tools below allow you to customize and submit letters offering constructive feedback on the state’s current DAC criteria. It’s important that the state hears from communities across New York, so submit—and share—these letters widely!
Click here to submit a letter on the DAC map. This letter underscores the importance of race as a primary factor in DAC criteria development and suggests improvements to the map tool itself in order to make it more accessible and accurate.
Click here to submit a letter on directing investments to DACs. This letter will allow you to weigh in on how investment standards and strategies should be directed to maximize benefits to frontline communities.
Click here to submit a letter on the systemic impacts of the DAC designation. This letter highlights that the DAC criteria must be developed in a way that looks to dismantle legacies of injustice such as racism, discrimination, lack of opportunities, and lack of political representation.
If you’d like to learn more, you can also watch a recording of a DAC information session held by Catskill Mountainkeeper in partnership with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and New York State Energy and Development Authority (NYSERDA).
Comments close after August 5, so submit your letters—and ask your friends and family to submit theirs—as soon as possible!
Avrielle Miller (she/her) Policy Coordinator, NY Renews