Article - Environment
(a) On or before December 31, 2023, the Department, in consultation with the Commission on Environmental Justice and Sustainable Communities, shall:
(1) Subject to subsection (b) of this section, adopt a methodology for identifying communities disproportionately affected by climate impacts;
(2) Develop specific strategies to address geographical impact concerns, reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and co–pollutants, and build climate equity and resilience within communities disproportionately affected by climate impacts;
(3) Set appropriate goals for the percentage of State funding for greenhouse gas emission reduction measures that should be used for the benefit of disproportionately affected communities; and
(4) Report to the Maryland Commission on Climate Change and, in accordance with § 2–1257 of the State Government Article, the General Assembly on the policies and programs developed under this subsection.
(b) In evaluating methodologies under subsection (a)(1) of this section, the Department shall, at a minimum, include:
(1) Underserved communities;
(2) Overburdened communities; and
(3) Areas that are vulnerable to climate impacts, such as flooding, storm surges, and urban heat island effects, due to low levels of tree coverage, high levels of impervious surfaces, or other factors.
(c) In carrying out its responsibilities under this section, the Department shall:
(1) Solicit input from all segments of the population that will be impacted by the policies developed under subsection (a) of this section, including individuals living in areas that may be identified as disproportionately affected communities under the proposed criteria;
(2) Ensure that equity and geographical impact remedies are key principles; and
(3) Incorporate geographical impact considerations into all recommendations, policies, programs, and funding priorities.