The following statement can be attributed to Conor Bambrick, Director of Policy for Environmental Advocates NY:
“The New York state budget has taken a significant stride towards tackling the climate crisis and protecting our most vulnerable communities. Mandating all-electric new construction, a pioneering initiative that will drive the electrification of our building sector, is a crucial step towards reducing emissions and creating a sustainable future. The next step will be the development of a plan to equitably decarbonize existing buildings.
The Governor and the Legislature established a foundation for funding the implementation of the climate law, which includes labor and investment provisions to lower costs and climate pollution while maintaining the integrity of New York’s nation leading law. However, crucial details such as establishing an overall limit on emissions and implementing safeguards to protect disadvantaged communities are still to be determined by the Department of Environmental Conservation.
The authorization of the New York Power Authority to build public renewables and phase out fossil fuel power plants by 2030 is also a welcome move towards reducing emissions. However, state leaders must adopt stronger initiatives to ensure that pollution cuts are prioritized in disadvantaged communities by creating a plan to replace all fossil fuel power plants with a combination of renewable energy sources, energy storage, and ways to transmit the energy.
While solid progress has been made, including financial support to keep the MTA on track, we must continue to take more bold action to achieve the state’s climate goals and secure a just and sustainable future for all New Yorkers. We urge State Leaders to prioritize the NY HEAT Act, Clean Deliveries Act and Green Transit, Green Jobs legislation before the end of the session.”
The following statement can be attributed to Rob Hayes, Director of Clean Water for Environmental Advocates NY:
“New York’s continued investment in clean water is a testament to its commitment to safeguarding public health and creating good-paying jobs. With $500 million allocated towards the Clean Water Infrastructure Act, and a total investment of $5 billion since 2017, we are making critical strides towards addressing the water crisis in our state. To fully meet the pressing needs of communities struggling with pollution and failing infrastructure, we must increase funding in the upcoming years to align with the scale of the problem.
Unfortunately, this budget does not dedicate any funding specifically to replace lead service lines, which are contaminating drinking water across the state. With an estimated 500,000 of these pipes continuing to expose low-income New Yorkers and communities of color to a dangerous neurotoxin, state leaders must prioritize getting the lead out before the end of session by passing the Lead Pipe Right to Know Act. We need decisive action to put our state on track to meet the Biden administration’s goal of 100% lead service line replacement in the next 10 years.
Finally, we applaud the inclusion of additional staffing for the Department of Environmental Conservation and $400 million for the Environmental Protection Fund, which are essential steps towards achieving our climate law mandates and safeguarding public health.”