Virginia Governor Northam on March 3 signed into law a bill creating the Virginia Council on Environmental Justice. The measure, HB 1042, had passed the House of Delegates February 3 by a 55-43 vote, and passed the Senate on February 17 by a 25-15 vote. Previously, an Environmental Justice Council existed under a Governor’s Executive Order.
The new Council will have 27 members, consisting of 21 non-legislative members appointed by the Governor and six ex officio members who are cabinet members or their designees. The stated purpose of the Council is to “advise the Governor and provide recommendations that maintain a foundation of environmental justice principles intended to protect vulnerable communities from disproportionate impacts of pollution.”