Vt. lawmakers look to create statewide environmental justice policy

Published: Jan. 10, 2022 at 4:57 PM EST
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MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) - Vermont lawmakers want state policy to be examined through a lens of social and economic equity.

A bill in Montpelier would create a statewide environmental justice policy.

Sponsors of the initiative point to data showing low-income Vermonters and Vermonters of color are more susceptible to the effects of pollution, a lack of housing and severe weather.

The environmental justice bill would create a new advisory panel, require the creation of an environmental justice mapping tool, and would require state agencies to incorporate environmental justice into their work.

“This process of inquiry should be part of any state department to help explain the root causes of inequities, oppressions and power structures that continue to create vulnerabilities and risks to particular populations,” said Bindu Panikkar of the University of Vermont.

According to Renewable Energy Vermont, the state of Vermont is one of eight states without an environmental justice policy.

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