Bill Memo: Renewable Capitol Act
This legislation amends the executive law and the public authorities law, in relation to the utilization of renewable energy at state-owned facilities in Albany.
The Renewable Capitol Act requires that all operations that power, heat, or cool the State Capitol, Empire State Plaza, the State Museum, the Alfred E. Smith Building, the State Education Building and two state buildings on Sheridan Avenue, Albany must be run on wind, solar, geothermal, and/or hydropower.
The Sheridan Avenue Steam Plant which heats and cools the Empire State Plaza complex, has polluted the low-income communities of color, Sheridan Hollow, Arbor Hill and West Hill neighborhoods, for over a hundred years through the burning of coal, then oil, then garbage, and now fracked gas. Residents of Sheridan Hollow have high rates of health problems including asthma and cancer.
The bill will alleviate pollution impacts on Sheridan Hollow, contribute to achieving the state’s climate goals, and encourage other state and local governments to run their facilities on renewables.
The renovations the existing state facilities must be designed through a planning process, including public hearings and an advisory committee that must include representatives of environmental justice organizations and other groups representing the impacted community near the State Capitol.
Environmental Advocates NY Bill Rating: Beneficial
Memo #: 63