2021 Priorities Action Agenda
This year the Capitol welcomes a new Legislature and the results of our federal election give us renewed hope and promise. We look forward to reversing the damage of the last four years at the federal level as we build on statewide landmark environmental successes. New York must lead by example and we call on our state leaders to enact just and transformative environmental policies that put New Yorkers back to work by building a renewable energy economy, holding polluters accountable, addressing the urgent threat of climate change, and protecting Black and Brown communities, and other frontline communities, from environmental burdens.
Specifically, we ask our leaders to:
- Secure much-needed funding for water infrastructure in the state budget, to create good-paying jobs, stimulate the economy and ensure clean water for all.
- Reauthorize the Environmental Bond Act to protect our water resources, build our climate resiliency, conserve land and ecosystems, and generate green jobs and economic activity.
- Develop and release for public input the Climate Action Plan required by New York’s landmark climate law, The Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act.
- Adopt the Climate and Community Investment Act to establish a polluter penalty that will fund the just and equitable transition to a renewable energy economy.
- Pass the environmental bill of rights (also known as the Green Amendment) to guarantee all New Yorkers the right to clean air, clean water and a healthy environment.
- Secure and retain funding in the state budget to ensure that state agencies and local governments have the resources to protect our environment and uplift overburdened communities.
Clean Water for All
Clean Water for All is a central component of EANY’s vision for ensuring a more equitable, vibrant and resilient New York where our fresh water is protected from source to tap so all New Yorkers have access to and can afford clean water.
To achieve Clean Water for All, we call for:
- Continued investment in clean water infrastructure in the SFY21-22 state budget, including ongoing appropriations and new investments to rebuild New York’s economy, support local governments, and upgrade and repair our crumbling drinking water and wastewater infrastructure; and
- Reauthorization of an Environmental Bond Act, a once-in-a-generation opportunity to preserve, enhance, and restore New York’s critical water resources and open spaces and to protect our communities from flooding, drought and other impacts of climate change.
Further, we call for:
- Removal of lead service lines across the state by funding the Lead Service Line Replacement Program.
- Strengthening drinking water protections by establishing the legally mandated statewide emerging contaminant monitoring list, ensuring compliance and transparency in existing testing and monitoring protocols, and requiring private well testing to ensure all New Yorkers know what they are drinking.
- Expanding statewide protections for streams, wetlands, and watersheds to their headwaters.
- Extending and strengthening New York’s moratorium on water utility shut-offs during the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure residents have access to clean and affordable water.
Climate Security for All
Ensuring the State meets the legally binding goals of its Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act is a top priority for EANY. The climate crisis is real and its effects are here now so we must fight it with all we’ve got. To get to a carbon-free New York by 2050 in a just and equitable manner, the CLCPA must be funded. Passage of the Climate and Community Investment Act will ensure critical investments are made to advance the clean energy economy, enhance access to clean transportation, and to deliver resources to transition communities and the state’s workforce off fossil fuels.
In addition, we continue to advocate for:
- State programs and actions to attain the pollution reduction, climate justice and equity mandates established by the CLCPA, focusing on direct investments in environmental justice and disadvantaged communities, cutting carbon emissions and co-pollutants, and assessing the impact state actions or inactions have on disadvantaged communities across the state.
- Sustainable and dedicated long-term funding reforms and mechanisms to support the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA). New York City public transit is in a state of crisis and has exposed a fundamentally flawed model for funding the MTA, the lifeblood of the regional economy and an essential component of attaining the state’s bold climate goals.
- Policies that will jumpstart electrification of the transportation sector, one of the largest sources of carbon emissions in the state, including full electrification of public transit fleets, banning the sale of new fossil fueled vehicles by 2035 and adopting California’s vehicle standards for medium and heavy-duty vehicles.
- Leveraging New York’s climate and equity mandates to uplift regional partnerships like the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).
Clean and Vibrant Communities for All
To help achieve, clean, healthy, vibrant and empowered communities for all, we call on the Legislature to secure second passage the Green Amendment to affirm all New Yorkers’ constitutional right to breathe clean air, drink clean water and live in healthy communities. In addition, we call for:
- Tackling the solid waste and plastic pollution crisis by adopting extended producer responsibility frameworks for packaging, paper and carpets; banning single-use plastics accessories, such as plastic straws and utensils; and mandating targets for reusable products and packaging.
- Strengthening environmental legal rights, such as establishing citizen suit provisions across all State environmental laws.
- Eliminating toxic chemicals from our environment, homes, and personal care products.