Daley Mohan Groble - DMG Updates

The Illinois Environmental Justice Act

By Pam Nehring

The Illinois legislature has recently enacted the Environmental Justice Act, effective August 16, 2011. This Act creates a Commission of Environmental Justice which is comprised of 20 voting members. The members will include the Directors of Aging, Commerce and Economic Opportunity, Environmental Protection Agency, Natural Resources, Public Health and Transportation. Several others are appointed by the Senate, House of Representatives and the Governor. The Commission is directed to:

  • Advise State entities on environmental justice and related community issues;
  • Review and analyze the impact of current State laws and policies on the issue of environmental justice and sustainable communities;
  • Assess the adequacy of State and local laws to address the issue of environmental justice and sustainable communities;
  • Develop criteria to assess whether communities in the State may be experiencing environmental justice issues; and
  • Recommend options to the governor for addressing issues, concerns, or problems related to environmental justice that surface after reviewing State laws and policies, including prioritizing areas of the State that need immediate attention.

We have seen the environmental justice movement grow from grassroots neighborhood groups to well-funded environmental activists with support from the United States Environmental Protection Agency. This new Illinois law expands the scope and reach of environmental justice issues even as it provides a forum for transportation and commercial stakeholders.

For more information about the Illinois Environmental Justice Act, please contact Pam Nehring at pnehring@daleymohan.com or 312.422.5876 or your usual contact at Daley Mohan Groble.

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