Environmental Advocates NY Responds to Governor Hochul’s Budget Proposal

For Immediate Release: February 1, 2022

Leading Environmental Group Also Presents Testimony to the Joint Legislative Budget Committee. 

Clean Water Infrastructure 

Theexecutivebudget includes a new $500 million for the Clean Water Infrastructure Act (CWIA), which supports over a dozen different programs, including helping local governments fix water mains, combat sewage overflows, and replace lead pipes. 

“While we’re pleased to see Governor Hochul proposing $500 million in clean water infrastructure spending, the need is so great that this is unfortunately just a drop in the bucket. Our research clearly demonstrates that this funding level will not meet local governments’ demand and that critical clean water programs may go underfunded and shovel-ready projects put on hold. That’s why we are asking for a minimum investment of $1 billion this year to ensure communities across the state can protect public health and create thousands of good-paying jobs. We look forward to working with the Governor and the Legislature to make this investment a reality and to secure additional critical funding for private well testing and water bill assistance,” saidRob Hayes,Director ofCleanWater. 


According to a NYSERDA estimate, New York needs a minimum of $10 billion in annual spending to put the state on track to meet its climate commitments found in the landmark climate law, the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA). However, the Governor’s budget proposal fails to properly fund the implementation of this law. 

“We are pleased to see the Governor moving on some of the recommendations of the Climate Action Council by electrifying school buses, modernizing building codes and appliance standards, and requiring the construction of zero-emission buildings However, it is disappointing, especially at a time when our state enjoys sizeable surpluses, that the Governor’s budget proposal misses the mark on climate funding. 

Without dedicated financial support for the state climate law, New York will fall farther behind in building the infrastructure necessary for a transition off fossil fuels. We need state leaders to instead jumpstart this transition with an unprecedented upfront investment in our clean energy future that will result in billions of dollars in climate and health impacts avoided,”saidConor Bambrick, Director of Climate Policy. 

The budget proposalalso transfers $23 million of funds from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) to the state’s General Fund and $5 million to the state Environmental Protection Fund (EPF). 

“Enough. The time has long since passed for the state to stop nickel and diming the state’s sole climate fund. These transfers only serve to supplant clean energy funding when they should be used to supplement programs benefiting disadvantaged communities. These raids must stop this year,”saidConor Bambrick, Director of Climate Policy. 


Extended Producer Responsibility for Paper & Packaging  

The executive budget proposal includes an extended producer responsibility program for paper and packaging materials.  

“New York has been experiencing a solid waste and recycling crisis for far too long without meaningful steps taken to produce the systemic changes needed to produce less waste, hold producers responsible for the life-cycle of their products, and make recycling easily understandable for households and economically viable for municipalities. Tackling the waste problem is not only a community problem but a climate change problem.  

We are encouraged that the Executive has recognized paper and packaging is a significant part of the problem and proposed a program that would hold producers accountable. However, the proposal lacks strong waste, plastic reduction and reuse components and lacks targets for recyclability and post-consumer content, all of which are necessary for meaning progress and leadership,” said Deputy Director KateKurera.


Environmental Protection Fund& Clean Water, Clean Air, and Green Jobs Environmental Bond Act 

Theexecutivebudgetproposalincreases funding for theEnvironmental Protection Fund (EPF) from $300 million to $400 million.   

“Funding for the EPF had remained stagnant for too long. We strongly support Governor Hochul’s proposal to increase its funding by $100 million. A $400 million EPF will advance work that will protect our environment and improve quality of life in every county of New York State,” said KateKurera, Deputy Director.


Theexecutivebudgetproposalincreases funding for the Clean Water, Clean Air, and Green Jobs Environmental Bond Act from $3 billion to $4 billion.  

“We’re excited that Governor Hochul has announced an increase of the proposed NY Bond Act to $4 billion. The Bond Act investment will support a variety of critical environmental projects and priorities, including electrification of our transportation sector, protecting source waters, ensuring communities across the state have the tools to withstand a changing climate, creating and maintaining more greenspaces, and so much more. We look forward to getting the word out to New Yorkers to ensure they are aware of this opportunity on the November ballot,” said KateKurera, Deputy Director.