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Connecticut forms new advisory council on environmental justice


The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection has appointed 18 members to the state’s new environmental justice council.

Known as the Connecticut Equity and Environmental Justice Advisory Council, members will be responsible for advising DEEP on issues related to environmental injustice.

The council includes representatives from state departments, climate organizations, energy companies, and more.

Governor Ned Lamont created the council through an executive order.

Dr. Mark Mitchell will co-chair the group. He said a major concern is how low income communities and communities of color often face a disproportionate amount of pollution.

“[Environmental injustice] refers to the fact that environmental hazards are disproportionately located in low income communities and even more so in communities of color,” Mitchell said. “In Connecticut, the greatest predictor of where environmental hazards are located is the percentage of people of color.”

Yolanda Stinson, a community organizer in Bridgeport who is a member of the council, said her city's West End neighborhood bears a disproportionate amount of the state’s pollution because of the facilities in the area.

“They have the water pollution control authority, you know, the rock crushing and the waste-to-energy polluting and terrorizing the neighborhood,” Stinson said.

Molly is a reporter covering Connecticut. She also produces Long Story Short, a podcast exploring public policy issues across Connecticut.