- Constitutional Right to Clean Air, Water Passed by Assembly

For Immediate Release: April 24, 2017

Constitutional Right to Clean Air, Water Passed by Assembly

Earth Day Legislative Package Guarantees Protections in Wake of Federal Attacks

Albany – On the first day back after April recess, the New York State Assembly passed its package of Earth Day legislation which includes a groundbreaking bill to establish a Constitutional right to clean air, clean water, and a healthful environment – a particularly important move after many communities have been grappling with toxic pollution undermining their health. The package includes several common-sense bills which buttress New York’s safeguards in the wake of dangerous and unprecedented rollbacks and cuts to federal protections.

The following statement is attributable to Peter Iwanowicz, Executive Director of Environmental Advocates of New York:

“This is the kind of environmental leadership New Yorkers want to see more of!

The Assembly continues to pass some of the most visionary pieces of legislation in the country – crafting, and passing legislation that prioritizes our health, our water, our communities, and our lungs above polluter profit.

President Trump is assaulting decades of progress. The nation needs New York to lead, and there is a great deal we can get accomplished before session ends in June with everyone working together. We applaud the Assembly, in particular Speaker Heastie and Chairman Englebright, for doing the heavy lifting and placing these issues on the negotiating table. They recognize the status quo won’t cut it in the Trump era. There are eight weeks left in this year’s session which is ample time for Governor Cuomo and the Senate leaders to join the Assembly and set these protections into law.”

Assembly Earth Day Package:

  • A6279/S5287 (Englebright/Carlucci): Establishes a right to clean water, clean air, and a healthful environment in the New York Constitution.
  • A1862/S3199 (Peoples-Stokes/Serrano): Ensures public health reviews for communities (Environmental Justice Zones) hosting polluting facilities in order to guide future development, facility siting, etc.
  • A1773/S1515 (Fahy/Avella): Requires crude oil storage facilities to demonstrate financial security to meet responsibilities associated with a possible spill or disaster.
  • A2875 (Kavanagh): Enhances the phase-out of toxic mercury in lightbulbs, which compromises public health and local waters when disposed of.