SECTION 1. Chapter 21A of the General Laws is hereby amended by adding the following section:-
Section 28. (a) “Environmental justice population area”, a neighborhood whose annual median household income is equal to or less than 65 per cent of the statewide median or whose population is made up 25 percent individuals who are minorities, foreign-born, or lacking English language proficiency.
“Foreign-born”, individuals who identify themselves on federal census forms as non U.S. citizens at birth.
“Lacking English language proficiency”, households that, according to federal census forms, do not include an adult proficient in English.
“Neighborhood”, a census block group as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau, except individuals who live in college dormitories or people under formally authorized, supervised care or custody.
(b) The office shall establish an environmental justice policy to identify and assist environmental justice population areas to ensure meaningful involvement in environmental decision making.
(c) Cities or towns where not less than 75 per the city or town’s total population reside in an environmental justice population area shall receive preference in competitive funding opportunities administered by the office.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect 30 days after its passage.
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