As previously reported, the second quarter of 2022 ushered in a bevy of federal action by the White House, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Department of Justice, and U.S. Department of Heath and Human Services to address environmental justice through numerous agency functions.
Recently, state governments and environmental justice advocates within states have sought to advance environmental justice through permitting processes and other requirements and by implementing statewide emissions monitoring programs.
On July 6, 2022, the Governor of New York announced the launch of the first-of-its-kind statewide air quality and greenhouse gas mobile monitoring initiative in disadvantaged communities — areas the state determines are overburdened by environmental pollution (the Monitoring Program). Emissions data will be collected by mobile sensors on a fleet of vehicles “that measure air pollution on a block-by-block level during different times, days, and seasons.” The Monitoring Program will include emissions of particulate matter, nitrogen dioxide, ozone, carbon monoxide, methane, carbon dioxide, black carbon, and benzene.
New York State will use the “hyperlocal” air quality data from the Monitoring Program to identify proposed mitigation activities in disadvantaged communities and develop strategies to achieve the goals of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act — a state law that requires New York to reduce economywide greenhouse gas emissions 40% by 2030 and no less than 85% by 2050 from 1990 levels.