NC Executive Order Focuses on Environmental Justice, Public Input
Wednesday, January 12, 2022
Gov. Roy Cooper has signed a new executive order that directs cabinet agencies to consider issues of environmental justice when taking actions related to climate change, resilience and clean energy. Conservation groups are applauding the move.
The state will appoint an Environmental Justice Lead at each cabinet agency, tasked with increasing local residents' participation when projects are likely to affect their neighborhoods.
Daisha Williams, environmental justice manager with the group CleanAIRE NC, said providing a "point person" to tackle these issues will boost collaboration between state agencies.
"When they work together," she said, "it will result, of course, in more direct engagement with not only the agencies themselves but impacted communities to implement the needed remedies to foster the creative solutions that we need."
The order also called for more funding to increase public awareness about the health-related effects of climate change, and provide public updates on air pollution and heat-related illness risks and their disproportionate effects on Black and Brown communities.
Bonita Green, president of the Merrick Moore Community Development Corp., said she supports the executive order, adding that residents in her historically Black and increasing gentrified neighborhood feel they've been shut out of conversations on proposed development.
"The community is frustrated," she said, "the fact that development is just being shoved down our throats, and we have nothing to say about how our neighborhoods or communities are being developed."
Ron Ross, president of the Northwood Estates Community Organization in Charlotte, said families there are dealing with chronic health conditions from a lifetime of breathing polluted air. He said he believes the governor's latest action is a step in the right direction "for the communities that I live in - that are surrounded by highways, industrial facilities and so forth, and continue to be exposed to those situations on a daily basis."
The order also requires the state to update a greenhouse-gas inventory, to measure current levels of greenhouse-gas emissions and seek potential pathways to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.
get more stories like this via email
The Nevada primary election is June 14, and early voting starts tomorrow and runs through June 10. Mail balloting is now permanent, so every active …
Democrats in the Florida Legislature are reviving calls for stricter gun-control laws, following the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas. Florida's …
This week, in honor of World Otter Day, conservation groups are looking to raise awareness about efforts to restore sea otters along more areas of …
Health and Wellness
With the unofficial start to summer, pools around Ohio are opening this Memorial Day weekend, and when it comes to swim time, experts encourage …
Memorial Day weekend marks the beginning of water recreation season, and before putting on a swimsuit, Iowa environmental experts say being mindful …
As the nation processes the horrific shooting in Uvalde, where 19 children and two teachers were killed, teachers' unions across Illinois and America …
The cost of heading out of town this Memorial Day weekend will be higher than past years, with higher gas prices and inflation hitting travelers…
Health and Wellness
One of Connecticut's largest health systems launched a new resource in Hartford this month, aimed at helping patients access healthy and nutritious …