Climate Dispatch: April 22, 2022: An Update on the Environmental Justice Bill in the House

Today’s Episode

Happy Earth Day! In today’s Climate Dispatch, VCV’s Lauren Hierl is joined by Representative Kari Dolan and VPIRG’s Sebbi Wu for an update on S.148, the Environmental Justice bill, which is currently making its way through the Vermont House after recently passing the Senate with a strong 28-1 vote.

The House Committee on Natural Resources, Fish, and Wildlife, which Representative Dolan sits on, is currently in the midst of taking testimony on the bill. They plan to vote it out of committee as soon as early next week. Hear from Representative Dolan how this bill builds upon the important work of the Just Transitions Subcommittee of the Vermont Climate Council. She also provides a brief overview of its key components, including codifying the definition of Environmental Justice in state statute, creation of an Interagency Committee and Advisory Council for implementation, and establishment of a critical public engagement framework.

Sebbi also shares an update on the broad coalition working to support this bill – including a recent letter of support provided to House members, and the groundwork laid by other states that have passed similar legislation. The Environmental Justice bill is must-pass legislation this session, and will be critical in bringing Vermont in line with other states working to design meaningful solutions for justice through deep public engagement and partnership with those most impacted by undue environmental harm.

Call to Action

Please take a few moments to reach out to your Representatives and ask them to support S.148, the Environmental Justice Bill. It is past time that we get this law in place. As Representative Dolan noted in today’s episode, we must pass this bill so that Vermont can ensure in statute that every Vermonter is able to access environmental benefits and none are overly burdened by environmental harm. Thank you for asking your representatives to support the long-overdue Environmental Justice Bill this Earth Day! 

We’ll be back next week to give an update on the progress of all the exciting bills moving through the legislature as this session begins to wrap up, including an update on the Clean Heat Standard bill in the Senate. In the meantime, check out this NEW video on how the Senate improved the Clean Heat Standard, and why we support this bill!