|Earth Day releases: Statements from Schneiderman, DiNapoli, Cuomo, Williams Rodriguez, Woerner, Avella. Heastie Assembly bills package, de Blasio OneNYC plan, environmental group summary of NY's advances over last 45 years.|
|Text of April 22 press releases.|
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 22, 2015
New York City Press Office / 212-416-8060
Albany Press Office / 518-776-2427
STATEMENT FROM A.G. SCHNEIDERMAN IN RECOGNITION OF EARTH DAY
NEW YORK – Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today released the following statement to mark the celebration of Earth Day:
“In the forty-five years since the first celebration of Earth Day, this country has made tremendous strides in protecting our environment. Legislation to safeguard our water, air and endangered species has been enacted and signed into law and a global movement has led to increased awareness about the dangers of a shifting climate and the need to maintain a healthy and stable environment.”
“But despite the progress we have made, we need to continue to act aggressively to protect our environment. With problems such as severe weather and storms, a strained water supply in many areas of the country and an ever fragile ecosystem, we cannot afford to delay. So today on Earth Day we must recommit ourselves to become better stewards of our environment, and ensure that our planet will remain healthy and sustainable in the future.”
Contact: Matt Sweeney, 212-383-1388
For release: Immediately, Earth Day, April 22, 2015
COMPTROLLER DiNAPOLI STATEMENT ON EARTH DAY 2015
On Earth Day 2015, New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli urged businesses and government to seek creative solutions to climate change that create economic opportunities.
“Earth Day commemoration provides an important opportunity to focus attention on the health of our planet,” DiNapoli said. “We are facing unprecedented challenges from climate change across the globe. On Earth Day, it’s important we recognize that those challenges present opportunities, not just for improving the environment, but for strengthening the economy. Environmental protections go hand in hand with smart, sustainable business. Finding solutions to climate change opens doors to cleaner, alternative energy sources, new infrastructure and other economic prospects. From a household budget to a quarterly spreadsheet we must find creative ways to lighten our environmental impact that help raise the bottom line.”
As trustee of the $176.8 billion New York State Common Retirement Fund, DiNapoli has taken a leading investor role in seeking better corporate environmental practices. He has consistently engaged major corporations in the Fund’s portfolio to change corporate practices to promote a more environmentally sound, low carbon economy and to end practices that threaten public health, damage the environment and lead to climate change. In recent months, DiNapoli persuaded agricultural giant Archer Daniels Midland to commit to a “No-Deforestation” policy among its suppliers of palm and soy products. Last week, he called on the Securities and Exchange Commission to require fossil fuel companies explain what steps they are taking to address the challenges climate change presents.
In the coming weeks, DiNapoli will be calling on several energy companies at their annual meetings to report how they are responding to climate change and the risks it presents. The Fund is currently participating in a study, conducted by Mercer with other global institutional investors, of the impacts that various climate change scenarios could have on investments. The study will help the Fund manage its asset allocation to meet risks.
As New York State Comptroller, DiNapoli has worked to make New York state government a model of sustainability through audits and in depth reports on key environmental programs such as the state Brownfields Program, the Environmental Protection Fund, Open Space Conservation, Green Purchasing Programs, Farmland Protection and Funding for Environmental programs. Through audits of local governments and school districts the Comptroller has promoted energy efficiency, use of safe non-toxic cleaning products in schools and cost effective use of renewable energy. The Comptroller has worked to protect the resources of the New York State Environmental Protection and Spill Compensation Fund to ensure that the state has an adequate source of funding to cleanup spills and compensate people who are damaged by spills.
For Immediate Release: 4/22/2015
GOVERNOR ANDREW M. CUOMO
State of New York | Executive Chamber
Andrew M. Cuomo | Governor
STATEMENT FROM GOVERNOR ANDREW M. CUOMO ON EARTH DAY
"As we celebrate Earth Day, we recommit ourselves to protecting the environment and preserving New York’s tremendous natural resources. This is both an opportunity to reflect on the beauty of New York’s many scenic locations, and a time to reimagine our state amid the new reality of extreme weather. To paraphrase an old Native American saying, we did not inherit the Earth from our parents; we have borrowed it from our children. It is with that idea in mind that our administration continues to build a New York State that is cleaner, greener and rising to meet the challenges of a changing climate. I encourage all New Yorkers to join us in that effort – together we will ensure that our state remains a healthy and vibrant place to live and work for generations to come."
For Immediate Release: 4/22/2015
GOVERNOR ANDREW M. CUOMO
State of New York | Executive Chamber
Andrew M. Cuomo | Governor
ON EARTH DAY, GOVERNOR CUOMO ANNOUNCES GREEN PRACTICES AT STATE AGENCIES LEAD TO $13 MILLION IN COST SAVINGS
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that implementation of green policies at state agencies have saved New York taxpayers $13 million while substantially reducing paper use and waste, and increasing recycling. A new report released today found that state agencies have made great strides in avoiding and minimizing the use of pesticides and increased purchasing of green products. This announcement comes in honor of Earth Week, April 19-25, which Governor Cuomo proclaimed as a weeklong celebration of New York’s commitment to protecting our environment.
“New York has a leading role in making state operations more eco-friendly by reducing waste and increasing recycling, which in turn saves taxpayers money,” Governor Cuomo said. “By using green strategies, our state agencies are setting the example that sustainability leads to both success and long term savings. As we celebrate Earth Day and reflect on the bountiful natural resources we have here in this state, I encourage every New Yorker to think about how they can contribute to a cleaner future."
Key achievements by state agencies include:
· a 40-percent reduction in copy paper purchased by state agencies since 2011 has saved taxpayers $13 million dollars bringing total savings since 2008 to $27.4 million;
· a 53-percent reduction in waste generated since 2008;
· a steadily increasing recycling rate, reaching its highest level of 71 percent in both FY 12-13 and 13-14, and averaging 63 percent since 2008;
· a steadily increasing purchase of 100-percent, post-consumer recycled content copy paper, which reached 50 percent of all copy paper in FY 13-14, an increase from 22 percent in FY 08-09; and
· widespread adoption by agencies of non-chemical means of controlling pests on turf and ornamental plantings, a practice that protects pollinators, which reached 70 percent of all agencies in FY 13-14, an increase of 22 percent since 2011.
The report is available at: http://www.ogs.ny.gov/EO/4/Default.asp.
Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens said, “State agencies are actively adopting a wide range of green practices, including reducing waste and toxic chemical use. Governor Cuomo’s commitment to protecting public health and the environment has led to even higher levels of performance and innovation.”
State Office of General Services Commissioner RoAnn Destito said, “New York’s experience continues to show that sustainable practices are good for the bottom line. They do not cost more, and can even save significant amounts of money, especially in the area of waste reduction.”
Claire Barnett, Director of the Healthy Schools Network said, “I applaud the Governor, and all of New York’s partners who are working together to green state operations, especially using less chemicals. As today’s sustainability report demonstrates, New York has expanded its high standards and is committed to using environmentally preferable cleaning products. Now agencies in six northeastern states, as well as schools in New York and throughout New England, can take advantage of the contract to purchase healthy products at great prices.”
Overall, 89 percent of reporting state agencies now use green cleaning products, 99 percent have implemented policies to reduce energy use, and 83 percent use Integrated Pest Management to prevent indoor pests.
Programs to reduce waste, improve energy efficiency, avoid the use of toxic chemicals and conserve water in state operations are part of a larger strategy to protect our land, air and water. New York is a leader in combating climate change by reducing harmful greenhouse gas emissions, protecting open space, and enhancing water quality in all regions of the state.
BROOKLYN, NY: Council Member Jumaane D. Williams (D-Brooklyn), Deputy Leader and Chair of the Council's Housing and Buildings Committee, released the following statement regarding Earth Day.
STATEMENT BY COUNCIL MEMBER WILLIAMS
"Since the first Earth Day 45 years ago, our City has made immense progress to create a cleaner, more sustainable future for generations to come. This year alone, District 45 has expanded sanitation efforts by partnering with the DOE Fund and will soon open a Community Garden for constituents to relax and congregate. The DOE Fund's Ready, Willing and Able Program has already launched and services streets and sidewalks along major corridors in the district. The Community Garden, being planned by the East 43rd St. Block Association, is in its final phases and aims to launch later this spring. The Block Association will need volunteers to help with the launch, so stay tuned to find out how to get involved.
"Earth Day reminds us that we should aim to pass this world on to our children better than we found it. With consistent individual efforts and aggressive policy pushes, we can ensure a sustainable future for all."
Office of Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez
Still recovering from the unusually long and cold winter this year brought, today we celebrate Earth Day. I wanted to remind you of the many actions already being taken, and ask you for a call to action so you can join us in pushing for a more sustainable city.
This morning Mayor De Blasio released the "OneNYC" plan, his plan to make New York City the most sustainable big city in the nation, and in the world. The Mayors plan had 6 main policy focuses related to sustainability - decrease emissions 80% by 2050, zero waste to landfills by 2030, best air quality for a large city by 2030, cleanup brownfields, mitigate neighborhood flooding, and ensure New Yorkers have access to useful, accessible and beautiful open space. Want more info about the sustainability or all other areas of focus, see nyc.gov/onenyc
We at the Council have also been working hard to create a sustainable future for our city. This fall, the Speaker committed to reducing New York's carbon emissions by 80% by 2050 and has put forward numerous policy recommendations to achieve that noble goal. Policies like a tax on plastic bags will ensure that we clean our roadways, and reduce emissions from production to waste management. I am proud to cosponsor this legislation and look forward to working together with advocate groups to have free bag giveaways throughout District 10 so that our residents can learn the habits necessary of a sustainably focused city.
As an environmentalist I have used my chairmanship of the Transportation Committee to push for causes that will make our city more sustainable and environmentally friendly. Just last week we passed legislation to incentivize the implementation of Bus Rapid Transit and reduce the city fleet by requiring car sharing practices. Cities across South America have seen the environmental benefit of using Bus Rapid Transit, and we in New York are among the leaders in our own country. By speeding our buses, we will not only reduce bus related emissions but also incentivize their use lessening the amount of cars on our roadways and therefore reducing congestion and emissions. Car sharing has long been considered an environmentally and cost efficient practice. It is due time that our city employ these methods to ensure that we act as sustainably as possible. The legislation passed last week by the Council would require the City to employ these methods to reduce the city fleet by 25% in 5 years. By reducing the amount of vehicles used by our city, our city recommits itself to environmentalism.
With OneNYC our city has a framework to achieve our goals of a more environmentally friendly city. Under the leadership of Mayor De Blasio and Speaker Mark Viverito we are taking great strides to making New York a national and international environmental leader.
As a member of our great community in Northern Manhattan, I strive to continue to allocate funding to our Parks, mass transit and community cleanup initiatives. This year, we have expanded our efforts to ensure a cleaner neighborhood. I have been proud to partner with the Doe Fund and other local community based organizations to clean up our major corridors and plazas so we can enjoy our public spaces.
Now I challenge you to take one step today towards advancing your own personal environmental agenda. You can chose to walk instead of taking the subway, take the subway instead of a taxi, shop one of our amazing local green markets, or recycle old textiles during this year's Spring Clean. There are many small steps you can take towards being a responsible environmentalist yourself. Your neighbors and government are making great strides to create a more sustainable city, don't forget to do your part.
Happy Earth Day!
For Immediate Release: March 18, 2015
Contact: Mark Luciano (518) 495-4860
*** Press Release ***
Assemblywoman Carrie Woerner is working to green our community
In an effort to conserve natural resources and protect our quality of life, Assemblywoman Carrie Woerner (D-Round Lake) announced the Assembly has passed several measures as part of a package in honor of Earth Day.
“I am working to build on New York State’s long legacy of protecting our environment,” said Assemblywoman Woerner. “The Earth Day legislation we passed would work to reduce the impacts of climate change, ensure fairness in siting of industrial facilities and phase-out the use of dangerous, unhealthy products.”
The Earth Day package contains several measures that would help improve our community’s quality of life. One measure would require the state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to establish limits on greenhouse-gas emissions and create a greenhouse-gas reporting system (A.6072). This measure would allow the state to take effective action on climate change, noted Assemblywoman Woerner.
Industrial facilities are sometimes disproportionately located in working-class neighborhoods. The Earth Day package contains two measures to ensure fairness in siting new industrial facilities. One would require state agencies to adopt and abide by environmental justice policies and the other would require DEC to publish a list of “high local environmental impact zones” (A.3063, A.3382).
Additional measures would prohibit the sale of dangerous products that are polluting our environment and are putting our children’s health at risk, including banning sales of:
· cosmetics that contain microbeads that are polluting our rivers and are impacting recreational fishing (A.5896);
· toys that contain dangerous toxins that our children could ingest (A.5612); and
· light-bulbs that contain excessive amounts of mercury, which pose a health-hazard if broken (A.5844).
As part of an ongoing efforts by Woerner to protect the environment, she supported the 2015-16 state budget that includes $177 million in appropriations for the Environmental Protection Fund (EPF), which is a $15 million increase over the previous fiscal year. The EPF helps protect working farms, develop new recycling programs, protect historic sites and enhance parks and outdoor activities. The budget also includes $200 million over three years to assist municipalities in rebuilding sewer and water lines, helping to keep our region’s water sources clean.
As part of the state budget, Assemblywoman Woerner also helped secure nearly $4.5 million in additional funding for the Capital Region Transit Authority (CDTA) to help it address record ridership of its buses and a growing demand for transit services. Woerner noted that public transit is a convenient, environmentally-friendly way of getting around our community.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, April 22, 2015
Contact: Kelsey Durham
**RELEASE** AVELLA MARKS EARTH DAY
BY INTRODUCING BATTERY RECYCLING BILL
(ALBANY, NY) Today, State Senator Tony Avella was joined by Eliot Seol, an 11-year-old student from Queens, to introduce a bill (S.4522) that would require New York State to establish a recycling stewardship program for all “single use” batteries. The bill was drafted by Senator Avella, who serves as Vice Chair of the Senate Environmental Conservation Committee, after Eliot brought the idea to the Senator’s attention.
Last year, Eliot – now in fifth grade at PS 205 in Douglaston, Queens – contacted Senator Avella’s District Office and requested a meeting where he could relay concerns with how batteries are potentially harmful to the Earth if not correctly recycled. His commitment to bettering the environment was recently rewarded when he was named the Region 2 Honorable Mention winner of the 2014 President’s Environmental Youth Award. Eliot presented his ideas to Senator Avella, who decided to introduce legislation modeled off the student’s concerns about a lack of battery recycling stations and the impact it has on the environment.
The legislation would require that all batteries be properly recycled in order to cut down on the environmental impact of certain chemicals and toxic metals they may contain from being dumped into landfills as garbage. New York State law currently requires that only rechargeable batteries be recycled, leaving millions of other household batteries each year to ultimately be disposed of in landfills and other garbage areas. This practice creates unnecessary waste from items that could in fact be recycled and reused.
Many household batteries that are used in every day electronics can contain metals such as zinc, lead, cadmium, nickel and manganese. These elements can emit high amounts of contamination into the environment when batteries are thrown away as garbage instead of properly disposed of through a safe recycling program. If passed, this legislation would mandate that New York implement a “single use” battery recycling program, similar to ones already in place in Vermont and Connecticut, to ensure that all batteries are recycled in a manner that is safe for the environment.
“When Eliot first came to me to discuss his concerns about protecting our environment, I was blown away by his dedication to this cause at such a young age. Today, I can think of no better way to celebrate Earth Day than to share Eliot’s vision with others. Toxic batteries being thrown away as garbage is just one way our environment continues to be harmed each and every day. If we can reduce the impact these items have on the environment, we can contribute to an ever-increasing, world-wide effort to protect the Earth before it is too late. I am proud to be able to introduce this legislation today, and I urge all New Yorkers, of any age, to follow in Eliot’s footsteps,” said Senator Avella.
Photo 1: Senator Tony Avella announces a battery recycling bill designed by 11-year-old Eliot Seol (r.), a fifth-grade student from Douglaston, Queens.
Photo 2: Eliot Seol (l.), an 11-year-old student from Douglaston, Queens, speaks at a press conference to announce a battery recycling bill introduced by Senator Avella.
Photo 3: Eliot Seol stands with his parents and Senator Avella.
CONTACT: Kerri Biché
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
April 22, 2015
Speaker Heastie, Environmental Conservation Chair Englebright Announce Assembly Legislative Package
For 45th Annual Earth Day Observance
Pressing Environmental Concerns Addressed by Assembly, Including Chemical Laden Children's Products, Water Pollution and Environmental Justice
Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Environmental Conservation Committee Chair Steve Englebright announced an environmental legislative package that the Assembly is expected to pass today on the 45th anniversary of Earth Day.
“Once again, the Assembly marks the importance of the annual Earth Day observance with the passage of legislation to protect public health and the environment,” said Heastie. “Not only do these measures address pressing environmental challenges, but they also are indicative of the Assembly’s long-standing and unwavering commitment to reducing pollution, safeguarding drinking water and protecting our natural resources.”
“On this milestone anniversary of Earth Day, we are reminded of our inherent link to planet Earth and how a healthy environment is essential to our quality of life and survival,” said Englebright. “The legislative package the Assembly will pass today establishes measures that both protect the public from the harmful impact of contaminants and pollutants and preserve the environment for future generations,” said Englebright.
The Assembly’s 2015 Earth Day Legislative package contains bills that address the growing concern for the health-threatening chemicals found in some children’s products and the presence of microbeads that pollute the state’s water bodies, including the Great Lakes.
The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) would be directed to post on its web site a list of chemicals that are found in items meant for children and pose a risk to human health. The bill would require manufacturers of children’s products to notify retailers when the merchandise they are selling contains one of the DEC listed chemicals, and it also would prohibit the sale of children’s products that contain the most harmful chemicals (A.5612, Englebright).
The Microbead-Free Waters Act would ban the sale or distribution of personal cosmetic products containing microbeads, which are micro-sized pieces of plastic found in some facial and body wash products that slip through municipal water treatment plants and into bodies of water throughout the state. The beads enter the food chain where they can be mistaken for food by fish. These small plastic bits are capable of absorbing toxins that pose a serious threat to human health and wildlife (A.5896, Schimel).
The Earth Day legislation also includes bills that would:
-reduce greenhouse gas emissions by requiring DEC to set specific emission regulations (A.6072; Englebright);
-establish a permanent environmental justice advisory group and an interagency coordinating council to ensure that no group of people, whether based on race, socioeconomic or ethnicity, is forced to bear an unfair share of negative environmental consequences (A.3063, Peoples-Stokes);
-create Environmental Impact Zones to prevent communities from bearing an unfair environmental burden by requiring the DEC to publish a list of areas in the state that are most adversely affected by existing environmental hazards (A.3382, Peoples-Stokes); and
-reduce the public’s exposure to hazardous material by ensuring light bulbs sold in the state do not contain excessive levels of mercury (A.5844, Kavanagh).
Among the environmental bills the Assembly will take up later in the legislative session are the Private Well Testing Act, requiring the Health Department to establish safety standards for the testing of drinking water from privately owned wells (A.2295, Jaffee) and legislation to clarify the handling of certain recyclable materials that are to be separated for recycling (A.4624, Colton). This measure also would ban private and municipal waste haulers from delivering recyclable items to landfills or incinerators.
Another initiative to be acted on this session is the bill establishing the Food Service Waste Reduction Act. The legislation would require contractors hired by state agencies and municipalities to use food service ware that is made from material other than polystyrene foam. Containers made of polystyrene, a known pollutant, can take more than 500 years to fully breakdown. It also would direct the DEC to study the impact of a statewide ban on the use of polystyrene foam in food and beverage containers (A.5743, Kavanagh).
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 22, 2015
CONTACT: firstname.lastname@example.org, (212) 788-2958
REACTIONS: MAYOR DE BLASIO RELEASES ONE NEW YORK: THE PLAN FOR A STRONG AND JUST CITY
NEW YORK—The de Blasio administration announced today the release of “One New York: The Plan for a Strong and Just City,” a comprehensive plan for a sustainable and resilient city for all New Yorkers that addresses the profound social, economic, and environmental challenges ahead.
Visit nyc.gov/onenyc to read the full plan.
Below are some of the immediate reactions to the Mayor’s OneNYC Plan:
“The City Council is committed to making New York a more sustainable City for all New Yorkers,” said Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. “From passing legislation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2050 to encouraging low-carbon transportation options and increasing energy efficiencies, the City Council is proud of its work to strengthen New York City and I thank the de Blasio Administration for their shared efforts to preserve and protect New York City for future generations.”
“As New York City contends with the challenge of combatting climate change, PlanNYC has been an integral component in outlining our vision to become a truly sustainable city,” said Council Member Donovan Richards, Chair to the Committee on Environmental Protection and Co-Chair to the OneNYC Advisory Board. “OneNYC gave the city a unique opportunity to recalibrate and to set ambitious but attainable goals. From legislation to limit unnecessary nighttime illumination, advising new housing developments to be smoke free, building the infrastructure to support and charge electric vehicles and updating the air code, a number of bills will set key legislative standards citywide. Locally, Southeast Queens residents will finally see long- and short-term mitigation measures in their neighborhoods to address flooding along with other expected courses of action to respond to concerns in low and middle income neighborhoods. I commend the administration for developing OneNYC and securing a future for New York City that will certainly be greener than its past.”
“We are one city, and we must have one shared vision for our future that is bold and aspirational for the eight million plus residents that call our five boroughs home. OneNYC is a great seed for a vision of greater equality and sustainability, one that I hope will sprout a robust, collaborative effort that strengthens all New Yorkers. I look forward to working with Mayor de Blasio and his administration on this roadmap and its goals,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.
“This major effort to define sustainability goals for our city is to be congratulated. I look forward to working closely with the administration to execute these ideas,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer.
“I support Mayor de Blasio’s announcement to make our city more strong, sustainable, and resilient as part of the OneNYC plan. Our work to meet our goal to reduce carbon emissions by 80 percent by 2050 will be aided by reducing waste and reducing flood risk. Making our city more sustainable also means accommodating a population within the city. I commend Mayor de Blasio for his strong vision and leadership on this issue,” said Council Member Costa Constantinides.
“OneNYC recognizes that pollution and climate change negatively impact low-income communities the most; and that in order to have a truly sustainable city, jobs, housing and our health must be made sustainable as well. By pairing improvements to infrastructure, creating more, stable employment and integrating government and social services to the elimination of landfills, slashing greenhouse gas emissions and improving air quality, this holistic plan is paving the way to a more equitable and resilient New York City that provides the best environment for residents to live, work and thrive in,” said Council Member Julissa Ferreras.
“Broadband for all New Yorkers, zero waste, faster commutes by ferry and a fully-funded Phase II for Second Avenue Subway are part of a bold vision for OneNYC that will build a sustainable city for future generations,” said Council Member Ben Kallos. “A smart city is one that is fully connected online, whether through public wifi or an at-home connection, to finally close the digital divide. A sustainable city is one that sends zero waste to landfills. A fast city depends on investment in ferry and subways, because public transit is an economic engine that can provide access to millions of jobs within a 45 minute commute. Thank you to Mayor de Blasio for working with elected officials and New Yorkers throughout this city to hear our solutions for OneNYC.”
“I applaud the administration for these positive steps towards environmental responsibility, public safety, and social inclusion. Promoting green building and green job development will keep New Yorkers moving forward and will ensure job security in an environmentally responsible way. Further, the promising work being done to reduce crime will help to refocus our communities so that we can begin to spend less time worrying about petty crime and more time participating in civic activities, which will also be made more accessible through the upcoming civic engagement database. This will empower New Yorkers and truly lift every voice,” said Council Member Andy King.
“Income inequality and climate change are the twin crises of our generation, so it is both smart and morally compelling to fight them together. By moving toward a Zero Waste NYC – through expanding organics recycling, improving commercial waste collection, and dramatically reducing plastic bag waste – cutting our fossil fuel consumption, improving air and water quality, and expanding mass transit, while at the same time creating good jobs, affordable housing, and helping lift New Yorkers out of poverty, we can insure a vibrant, sustainable, inclusive city for our kids and grandkids. I’m also pleased to see recognition of the pressing need to build a resilient city by strengthening both the physical infrastructure and the civic capacity of our communities. I look forward to working with Mayor de Blasio and his Administration as we move diligently to implement this bold plan,” said Council Member Brad Lander.
“Communities across our city are hungry for better transit resources to move them more efficiently to their errands and shopping centers, their child’s schools, and their places of work. We at the Council Transportation Committee are incredibly excited that Mayor de Blasio has joined our call for a more efficient transit network and join his call today to have the average New Yorker reach 25 percent more jobs within 45 minutes,” said Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez. “With a joint effort from the Council and the Administration, we will achieve these ambitious goals and ensure that the MTA capital plan attains the funding it needs and our transit network is improved and expanded to the communities hungry for resources.”
“A lot changes in eight years, especially in New York City – our city has transformed significantly since the last time a vision for its future was drafted and set in motion. Today, led by a new generation of New Yorkers and a new Mayor, a bolder and broader plan will set New York on a 20-year path to sustainable growth, responsible planning, economic equality and environmental accountability. Mayor de Blasio’s One New York vision for the city guarantees future generations a safer, affordable and more resilient New York City and I welcome the opportunity to help him make it a reality,” said State Senator Martin Malavé Dilan.
“Earth Day is about the kind of communities we leave as our legacy to our children, our grandchildren, and all the generations that will succeed us. Mayor de Blasio’s One New York represents a crucial part of building a positive legacy for future New Yorkers. It presents an integrated approach to key challenges New York City faces. By incorporating long-term thinking that requires a patient, persistent, proactive approach to our problems, Mayor de Blasio has outlined a course worthy of our city,” said State Senator Jesse Hamilton. “We should not wait for the next Superstorm Sandy or a long run of Code Red air quality days to tackle these challenges. We need to look to avert the next crises. We need to pursue the kind of joined-up policy planning that ensures a high quality of life for future generations of New Yorkers. And we need to build a positive legacy for the next New Yorkers.”
State Senator Brad Hoylman said, “Mayor de Blasio’s OneNYC plan is a visionary plan that our city deserves. A greener, more sustainable and resilient city that helps combat the causes and effect of climate change is possible, and OneNYC will help get us there.”
“Mayor de Blasio’s OneNYC plan goes beyond a mere update of the previous administration’s program and works to ensure New Yorkers in every ZIP code can reap the benefits of a sustainable and thriving city, fostering economic development through the creation of jobs and affordable housing. This commitment to a resilient and fair city is absolutely necessary if New York is truly to be the world’s gold standard for sustainability,” said Assembly Member Rodneyse Bichotte.
“I look forward to working with Mayor de Blasio and his administration in their efforts to address the urgent environmental needs of our City as our population continues to grow. I applaud the Mayor for understanding that addressing poverty and inequality is an integral part of dealing with these challenges that lie ahead,” said Assembly Member Jeffrey Dinowitz.
“I want to thank the Mayor for focusing on important issues of delivery of services in his One New York plan. The needs of our most vulnerable New Yorkers are a shared priority and I am pleased to see that the Mayor will be taking real steps to ensure that we integrating both access to government and social services and doing so in a way that recognizes the need to have cross agency engagement. I look forward to partnering with the Mayor on this plan,” said Assembly Member Andrew Hevesi.
Assembly Member Brian Kavanagh said, “By bringing together the best thinking about our many disparate challenges in a single comprehensive vision for ‘One NYC,’ this plan is another great step toward a fairer and more resilient city. I look forward to continuing to work with Mayor de Blasio on key issues like housing, infrastructure, and storm preparedness in the years ahead.”
“I commend Mayor de Blasio for taking the right track by creating a new economic development plan for New York City. His efforts to improve the waterfront, increase housing, and address major environmental concerns are welcome news. We are especially eager to see work done to support economic and job programs. Industrial areas need remedial cleanup work, including Brownfields,” said Assembly Member Felix Ortiz.
“PlaNYC has been an important program for the City of New York since it was first introduced in 2007, and in order for the City to have a successful future we must ensure that we do not repeat the mistakes of the past. I am encouraged by Mayor de Blasio’s expansion of this program to incorporate a more people-centric message. While the focus on infrastructure remains an important part of the plan, it has for many years not focused enough on making sure that all New Yorkers have a future. The Mayor started this last year with his push for universal pre-K, but we will continue to make progress by working to increase the minimum wage, create healthy neighborhoods, provide access to mental health services, and guarantee fairness in our criminal justice system. These are things we must plan for now, so that future generations of New Yorkers can have the same opportunities that so many others had,” said Assembly Member Luis Sepulveda.
“The NYC population is expected to surpass nine million by year 2030,” said Assembly Member David I. Weprin. “To that end, we must constantly find innovative new means to modernize our aging infrastructure, and seek additional ways to combat growing inequality in our city. And that is what has been proposed by the de Blasio Administration today as part of the Mayor’s efforts to reduce poverty through an integrated initiative that combines all elements of sustainability. I fully endorse the Mayor’s new vision of OneNYC.”
“I applaud Mayor de Blasio’s ambitious plan to find eco-friendly solutions to one of the greatest challenges of our time. The problems caused by climate change are real. We must continue to protect the world we live in, and I support the Mayor’s latest initiative, OneNYC, which will invest in clean energy jobs while preserving our environment. The future of our planet is in our hands,” said Congressman Charles Rangel.
“I applaud Mayor de Blasio’s updated OneNYC initiative, which is an effort to help ensure that environmental sustainability and economic growth go hand in hand,” said Congressman Eliot Engel, a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Power. “By strengthening our city’s infrastructure to create jobs while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and waste, we will position NYC to remain the envy of the world for generations to come.”
“This is a clear, progressive vision for our city’s future,” said Congressman José E. Serrano. “By focusing on resiliency, equity, and sustainability, the OneNYC plan will help many people and address issues in the Bronx that have too often been ignored. I commend the Mayor for seeking to help all residents of New York City with this important blueprint.”
Congressman Steve Israel said, “OneNYC builds on the strength and resiliency of New Yorkers to shape a better and stronger future. I am proud to work with Mayor de Blasio to ensure New York remains a strong and sustainable social, economic and environmental leader for generations.”
“I commend Mayor de Blasio on his leadership and look forward to partnering with him to combat climate change and make our region more resilient,” said Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “The bold vision outlined in OneNYC is why cities across the country and the world continue look to New York as a model for the future.”
“Mayor de Blasio’s One NYC Plan recognizes the link between poverty and pollution, while providing concrete steps that will make New York City one of the most environmentally sustainable cities in the nation. As Hurricane Sandy illustrated, poor people are often disproportionately impacted by pollution and the impacts of climate change,” said Judith A. Enck, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Regional Administrator. “The OneNYC Plan’s focus on driving down greenhouse gas emissions and working toward zero waste are examples of environmental protection policies that also provide huge economic benefits.”
“New York’s today presented ‘OneNYC, or One New York: The Plan for A Strong and Just City’ connects all perspectives of resilience: inclusive and sustainable, comprehensive and innovative, adaptive and future proof. I applaud the Mayor and his team for connecting the social, environmental and physical needs and matching this connection with an ambitious and innovative approach that captures the work the City in partnership accomplished over the years, thus starting anew by embracing the past and the future. I am of course proud to see that the Rebuild by Design ambitions are embedded in this step forward,” said Henk WJ Ovink, Special Envoy for International Water Affairs, Kingdom of The Netherlands.
“OneNYC puts New York City in the global forefront of sustainable development. The City’s new plan is bold, comprehensive, creative, and most important, achievable. It will be a model for cities around the world as all nations take up the new Sustainable Development Goals at the UN this Fall. The vision, reach, and detailed groundwork of this plan will help to ensure that NYC achieves its visions of prosperity, justice, sustainability, and resiliency in the coming generation,” said Jeffrey D. Sachs, Co-Chair of the OneNYC Advisory Board and Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University.
“This is a broad and ambitious plan to make New York a more sustainable city and a better place to live,” said Eric Goldstein, New York City Environment Director at the Natural Resources Defense Council. “Perhaps most notably, this is the first time ever the City’s sustainability plan approaches these issues through an equity lens. That’s key because many urban environmental problems, including climate change, hit poor and working class New Yorkers the hardest. Critical to this plan’s success, of course, will be putting it into action. We look forward to working with the de Blasio administration to accomplish that objective.”
“New York has always maintained its leadership as a global city through its ability to grow and adapt,” said Steven Spinola, President of The Real Estate Board of New York. “With the population expected to be over 9 million people by 2040 and the impacts of global climate change hitting our shores, the Mayor’s OneNYC plan provides a necessary blueprint to guide us to a more productive, sustainable, resilient and equitable city.”
“OneNYC continues the important long-term planning work that is so essential to our city’s future. The de Blasio Administration has appropriately added a regional lens to the city’s long-term plan,” said Kathryn Wylde, President and CEO of the Partnership for New York City. “This reflects that our tri-state economy is increasingly interconnected and we need a vision and infrastructure that supports a coordinated approach to economic development, transportation and resiliency.”
“The fact that PlaNYC is aiming to upgrade signals to existing lines is very important to the riders in Community Board 1 because the majority of the residents in the area ride mass transit. This will make our subways more safe for our riders. The focus on resiliency and sustainability to adapt to extreme climate events is extremely important. Our community supports sustainability and we know it is important in order to keep our city livable,” said Catherine Hughes, Chair of Manhattan Community Board 1.
“The Mayor’s plan reaches past the goals of sustainability, resiliency and planning for the City’s future, as it focuses also on our unmet goals of ensuring a reduction in income inequality and the delivery of quality health care and educational opportunity for all residents of this City,” said Cedric L. Loftin, District Manager of Bronx Community Board 1.
“Because equity directly correlates with opportunity and environment, impacting current and future generations, we need a full-scale effort to develop policies and programs that materially improve wages and living conditions. OneNYC is such a plan. It builds on the demonstrable efforts of Mayor de Blasio and his administration over the last 16 months and boldly moves the City from the role of poverty alleviator to poverty reducer. We at the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies commend Mayor de Blasio for taking decisive steps to achieve a just and equitable city where upward mobility is truly possible, and we look forward to working with this administration to realize the goals of OneNYC,” said Jennifer Jones Austin, CEO of The Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies.
“We commend Mayor de Blasio for committing to integrate equity into the fiber of OneNYC. The plan’s ambitious zero waste goals and acknowledgement of the need to re-assess our commercial waste system are a significant step toward a more sustainable and equitable city for all New Yorkers. The NYC Environmental Justice Alliance and our allies will be combing through the fine details of the plan in the weeks ahead to fully assess its impacts on environmental justice communities. We look forward to working with the Administration throughout the next steps of OneNYC,” said Eddie Bautista, Executive Director of NYC Environmental Justice Alliance.
“Mayor de Blasio’s commitment to reducing poverty and near-poverty by 800,00 people over the next decade is truly historic,” said Joel Berg, Executive Director of the New York City Coalition Against Hunger. “To achieve that groundbreaking vision, the federal and state governments, as well as the private sector, will all need to play significant roles. We couldn’t agree more with the mayor that the central challenge of our time is reducing poverty and boosting opportunity, and we are thrilled that he is advancing such an ambitious agenda to tackle that challenge.”
Michael Berkowitz, President of 100 Resilient Cities, pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation, said, “To truly build resilience a city must not only consider sustainability and disaster response, but also take into account social and economic issues, and it needs to consider them together. By considering social, physical and economic issues together, the city will be able to address not only the challenges it knows are coming, but those it doesn’t. In other words, making a city stronger overall, in good times and bad, makes the city better able to withstand all types of shocks. This holistic plan that New York has developed, interweaving social, economic, and physical resilience, puts the city on the forefront of urban planning worldwide.”
“The Professional Staff Congress applauds Mayor de Blasio’s OneNYC plan. As members of the faculty and staff union at the City University of New York, we work every day to make this great city one city. The people of New York are as precious a resource as the air we breathe, the water we drink and the land we inhabit. With equity as its guiding principle, the OneNYC plan promises to ensure that the City’s investments in sustainability and resilience are also investments in opportunity and economic justice. We are inspired by the capacity of CUNY students’ to imagine a better and more just city. OneNYC can help make that city a reality,” said Barbara Bowen, president of the Professional Staff Congress, the faculty and staff union at CUNY.
“This new plan provides for NYC’s focus on both the physical and human capital necessary for it to remain a World Class City. The report expands the focus on what NYC must do to ensure its resiliency to natural events as part of a regional solution to issues beyond just its control, and balancing those issues with the importance of how to improve the lives of thousands of city residents is a blueprint for building the greatness of our city,” said Louis J. Coletti, President and CEO of the Building Trades Employers’ Association.
“Nontraditional Employment for Women (NEW) is proud to support Plan One New York and the City’s focus on expanding meaningful opportunities for the hardworking tradeswomen and tradesmen of New York City – opportunities that strengthen and transform women’s lives and the lives of their families through meaningful careers that provide equitable wages in the industries that build, move, power, green, and maintain New York,” said Kathleen Culhane, President of Nontraditional Employment for Women.
“OneNYC moves us in the right direction by planning for the future with a vision of addressing the issues of income inequality, climate change, and resiliency,” said Hazel Dukes, President for the New York State NAACP.
“I commend the administration for its commitment to enhance the resiliency of the energy sector to address growing climate change risks – especially the pursuit of a regional strategy for the New York tri-state area and its initial focus on access to liquid fuels and related power supplies. OneNYC presents an exciting opportunity for key stakeholders to proactively plan for the availability of reliable, sustainable energy sources prior to the third anniversary of Hurricane Sandy and at the same time provide a model for other urban areas facing pressing climate challenges,” said Bob Hallman, Fellow, Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University and former Deputy Secretary for Energy and the Environment.
“The Human Services Council greatly appreciates the Administration including the human services voice in PlaNYC for the first time, and for the bold goal of committing to reducing the number of people at or near poverty by 800,000. HSC also applauds the inclusion of recognizing the important role nonprofits play in disaster preparedness and response in plans to improve the City's disaster planning efforts. OneNYC is a testament to Mayor de Blasio’s commitment to equity and building stronger communities,” said Michelle Jackson, Associate Director, Human Services Council.
“Persistent poverty continues to keep too many New Yorkers from moving ahead economically,” said David R. Jones, President and CEO of the Community Service Society of New York. “Mayor de Blasio has staked his administration on addressing income inequality and the needs of the segments of our city who are struggling. And now he’s setting a milestone and a plan for how to get there. It's an ambitious plan, with the goal of lifting one in five poor New Yorkers out of poverty by 2025. But we should be setting ambitious goals. More than 20 percent of our city lives in poverty, with 40 percent living below twice the poverty threshold. Two-thirds of New Yorkers are worried about a disappearing middle class. Raising the minimum wage and expanding higher education opportunities, such as making college more affordable, are measures New Yorkers believe can help improve the economic prospects of low-income residents.”
“OneNYC translates the three E’s of sustainability – environment, economy, and equity – into a truly comprehensive vision for a city of opportunity and well-being for all New Yorkers,” says Bomee Jung, Senior Director of Enterprise Community Partners, Inc. and City Planning Commissioner. “Every initiative, from housing, health, and transportation to cultural access, human capital, and broadband, makes concrete commitments to reinforce the civic infrastructure that will help every New Yorker cultivate resiliency, mitigate climate change, and in the long run, thrive despite its effects.”
“In his OneNYC Plan, Mayor de Blasio has set an ambitious solid waste goal and a set of bold strategies that can transform New York City from below average to national leader while recognizing that a sustainable city is one that’s good for the environment, good for workers, and good for all communities. We are excited to work with the Mayor and his administration to make this strong vision a reality,” said Gavin Kearney, Environmental Justice Director, New York Lawyers for the Public Interest.
“OneNYC, is taking the right steps by developing a long-term strategy for dealing with the serious threats that climate change poses to vibrant cities such as New York. To make NYC more resilient, the city is advocating for better mapping so flood insurance can effectively communicate the risks residents face, encourage them to invest in cost-effective mitigation measures while addressing issues of affordability. OneNYC also recognizes the importance of reducing risk via coastal protection as a way of enhancing community resiliency,” said Howard Kunreuther, James G. Dinan Professor and Co-Director of the Wharton Risk Center, University of Pennsylvania.
Roland Lewis of the Metropolitan Water Alliance said, “In the era of climate change, every day needs to be Earth Day. Mayor de Blasio’s OneNYC builds on past plans and expands our city’s commitment for resiliency, a low carbon footprint, and zero waste. This is a long-term challenge and we must continue to secure the resources to make these plans and goals reality now and for future generations.”
“By arming everyday New Yorkers with the practical tools they need to care for their local parks, our Partnerships for Parks community development program will serve as a citywide model for connecting people with the public resources they need to bring sustainable and meaningful changes to their neighborhoods. We look forward to working with Mayor de Blasio’s administration to activate more New Yorkers to play a lead role in caring for their parks and communities and implementing this important plan,” said Heather Lubov, Executive Director of the City Parks Foundation.
“Extreme heat threatens vulnerable New Yorkers,” said Emily Nobel Maxwell, Director of The Nature Conservancy’s New York City Program. “The Nature Conservancy in New York is proud to partner with the New York City Mayor’s Office of Recovery and Resiliency to help the City use trees, green roofs, cool roofs, parks and green infrastructure to lower temperatures in neighborhoods across NYC and to improve the overall quality of life in our communities.”
“This is an ambitious, forward looking plan. Everyone should endorse and support the objectives of the plan. The plan is very innovative and it addresses today’s city issues for the future of tomorrow’s city,” said Victor J. Papa, Executive Director of Two Bridges.
“OneNYC is a clear, continued commitment by the City to the goals of sustainability and resiliency. At the Science and Resilience Institute at Jamaica Bay, the region’s leading universities are excited to partner with the City and the National Park Service to support a healthy and resilient coast in and around Jamaica Bay,” said Adam Parris, Executive Director of the Science and Resilience Institute at Jamaica Bay.
“We applaud Mayor de Blasio for his appropriately ambitious OneNYC plan that comprehensively integrates equity into the City’s sustainability agenda. We welcome his commitment to reduce poverty by 800,000 over the next decade and the importance he attaches to raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour. We know that achieving this wage goal entails a serious re-thinking of how the City pursues economic development and workforce investments,” said James Parrott, Deputy Director and Chief Economist, Fiscal Policy Institute.
“The Center for NYC Neighborhoods applauds Mayor de Blasio for including critical flood resiliency measures in OneNYC, which will be critical to protecting communities and homeowners in the flood zone. From the Far Rockaways to Canarsie to the North Shore of Staten Island, there are thousands of low- and middle-income families living along our shoreline. These communities face increased risks and these families face increased costs. Together, we can ensure New York becomes a more resilient city, and a more equitable one, by protecting affordable housing,” said Christie Peale, Executive Director of the Center for NYC Neighborhoods.
“Opportunities for a Better Tomorrow applauds the Mayor’s new vision for One New York,” said Randy Peers, CEO of Opportunities for a Better Tomorrow. “Connecting sustainability and equity aligns with our goal of reducing poverty by helping New Yorkers become more resilient through job training and advancement. We look forward to partnering with the Administration as it seeks to make the City a greener, more resilient place for communities and residents.”
“OneNYC is remarkable in its explicit inclusion of bikes and bicycling as essential elements of a successful campaign toward a healthier, happier, more egalitarian, more sustainable, and more connected New York City. A plan such as this one – which appreciates the bicycle’s enormous capacity for improving the well-being of a city and its citizens – is visionary and worthy of the active support of our cycling community,” said Ken Podziba, President and CEO of Bike New York.
“OneNYC addresses the increasing risks that climate change poses to the neighborhoods of New York, using the best available science to inform its approach. This is essential to achieving resiliency to heat and coastal flooding throughout the City,” said Cynthia Rosenzweig, Co-Chair of New York City Panel on Climate Change, NASA and Columbia University.
“We support the goals of OneNYC to address systemic issues facing children and families in neighborhoods critical to New York City's sustainability and equitable long-term growth,” said Krystal Reyes, Executive Director of Hunts Point Alliance for Children.
“We applaud the Mayor's zero waste goal and the recognition that addressing this critical issue can create good jobs, healthier communities, and a more sustainable planet. We look forward to working towards this vision together and making New York City an even greater global leader in sustainability with equity,” said Matt Ryan, Executive Director of ALIGN.
“The Arab American Association of New York works daily with low income New Yorkers and we see firsthand the struggles they face. We believe New York City should be livable for all people regardless of socio-economic status and that we can be a national leader in environmental and economic sustainability. We stand behind the OneNYC plan,” said Linda Sarsour, Executive Director of Arab American Association of NY.
“By leveraging the vast human services sector in efforts to strengthen neighborhoods day to day and in times of disaster, the plan brings an important resource to the table. Providers stand ready to contribute to the Mayor’s bold commitment to reduce the number of New Yorkers in poverty by 800,000 and ensure those impacted by disaster recover quickly. This plan truly embodies Mayor de Blasio’s vision for a more equitable city and capitalizes on one of our City’s biggest assets – the resiliency of its people,” said Allison Sesso, Executive Director of Human Services Council.
“We are thrilled to see growth, equity, sustainability and workforce development brought together in this plan. This is Green City Force’s mission and we look forward to supporting the success of this bold vision,” said Lisbeth Shepherd, Executive Director of Green City Force.
“The Mayor’s OneNYC plan is a broad strategic vision for managing this diverse city. We applaud the framework of equity and commitment to environmental justice. We look forward to working with his office on ensuring that metrics and timetables are advanced, so that by next Earth day, we can all be proud of the City’s progress towards a sustainable OneNYC,” said Peggy Shepard, Executive Director of WE ACT for Environmental Justice.
“THE POINT CDC is thrilled and encouraged by the release of Mayor de Blasio’s agenda for addressing environmental and economic injustice through sustainability in the OneNYC initiative. The South Bronx, like so many communities throughout New York City, have suffered the burden of inequitable policies that have resulted in disproportionate health impacts such as skyrocketing asthma rates. We are in need of an agenda that tackles these issues head on through fair share and waste equity, economic democracy, and infrastructure investments, to help our communities confront inequality through creating and sustaining living wage jobs in communities where we can raise our families without fear of displacement. We look forward to continuing to work with our families, community partners, the Mayor, friends in the City Council and all of our elected officials to ensure this vision becomes something real for those of us that need it most,” said Kellie Terry, Executive Director of The Point.
“We are very pleased to see the Mayor apply such targeted focus on reducing poverty in New York City, especially at a time when the divide between those with resources and those without appears to be growing larger by the day,” said Laura Timme, Associate Executive Director of University Settlement. “It’s time to really shine a light on the issues that separate our city, and to build strong bridges that connect us. As a champion of social justice and empowerment for nearly 130 years, University Settlement is grounded in the belief that there is power in partnership and that the best results come from working together, with both dignity and empathy, to pave a path to prosperity for all. We look forward to working in unity with the Mayor on this ambitious and exciting plan for a stronger New York City.”
“Sustainable South Bronx welcomes Mayor de Blasio to Hunts Point for the unveiling of the new plan for New York City: OneNYC. The framework provided through OneNYC presents an exciting opportunity to bolster city-wide initiatives such as zero-waste, building retrofits and the overall reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, while simultaneously addressing the environmental overburden on the city's most vulnerable communities. The plan makes the connection between the environment and economics that is at the heart of what we do at Sustainable South Bronx, and we look forward to working with the Administration on these issues,” said Angela Tovar, Sustainable South Bronx.
Terry Troia, Executive Director of Project Hospitality said, “The OneNYC plan is both visionary and necessary to ensure that for all the citizens of this city enjoy quality of life, safe and affordable housing and the opportunity for all people to work and receive a just wage. To dare conceive that we can raise up 800,000 people out of poverty by 2025 is an exciting task of profound magnitude. The plan for affordable housing is ambitious and necessary and the key to ending poverty. I am deeply grateful to the Mayor for the depth of his vision and the breadth of his commitment to make OneNYC possible. I will be do everything I can to help see OneNYC become a reality in my home borough of Staten Island.”
“United Neighborhood Houses applauds Mayor de Blasio for making increased equity a central part of the City’s long term vision in One New York. Community based organizations including settlement houses and community centers will continue to be part of the work of creating opportunities that will lift low-income New Yorkers out of poverty, reduce incarceration and reduce premature death. We look forward to working with the City to ensure a strong and stable non-profit sector that can contribute to making these goals a reality,” said Nancy Wackstein, Executive Director of United Neighborhood Houses.
“Frontline communities in NYC and around the world will be most affected by climate change. A plan that prioritizes the intersection of injustice and climate change puts NYC on the path of necessary solution-oriented just transitions and meaningful community engagement strengthens resilience and puts people first…good stuff,” said Elizabeth Yeampierre, Executive Director of UPROSE.
“The plan announced today is welcome news. Single-bin recycling will eliminate the public’s confusion over the sorting of recyclables and will have an immediate impact on removing recyclables from the mainstream. As for the expansion of composting, I am hopeful that if the public embraces the composting effort we can reduce the need for landfills,” said Harry Nespoli, President of the Uniformed Sanitationmen’s Association. “This plan is welcome news. We will do everything in our power to make it work.”
“We support Mayor de Blasio’s OneNYC vision that has made equity and infrastructure investment critical for the City’s long term environmental plans. From resiliency efforts to subway funding, we look forward to continuing our work with this administration on the depth and structure of these significant policy initiatives,” said Gary LaBarbera, President of Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York.
“We support this shared vision of New York City, where good jobs and strong communities prevail, where we can lift 800,000 people out of poverty and where office buildings, apartment buildings, schools and other properties are clean, green and safe and upgraded to support the myriad services and industries that keep our city growing and thriving,” said 32BJ SEIU President Hector Figueroa. “We look forward to City Hall actively reaching out and partnering with labor, business and communities to ensure the goals and vision of this ambitious plan become reality. We need all key sectors of the city working together to meet the challenges of the 21st century.”
“Nurses and healthcare workers passionately support Mayor de Blasio’s bold vision for a healthy, just, safe and sustainable future for our great city. As caregivers, we especially applaud the concrete goal of having the best air quality of any large U.S. city by 2030. Our members treat patients who have health problems related to air pollution, and we live in communities disproportionately afflicted by asthma and other diseases. Investment in public transportation, good jobs with living wages, criminal justice system reform, expanding cultural resources, access to quality healthcare for all – these are the values that make our city a global leader in progressive urban policy. With Mayor de Blasio’s forward-thinking leadership, we can ensure New York City is a place where everyone – working families, immigrants, students, seniors and creatives – can thrive,” said Maria Castaneda, Secretary Treasurer of 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East.
“Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plan to lift the working class and New Yorkers out of poverty is an ambitious step that eventually, will lead to the end of the tales of two cities. Members of UNITEHERE support de Blasio’s initiative and commitment for equality,” said Jose Maldonado, Secretary-Treasurer of UNITEHERE.
Teamsters Joint Council 16 President George Miranda said “Mayor de Blasio sees the connection between environmental injustice and economic injustice. From Zero Waste and commercial waste collection zones, to investing in Hunts Point Market, protecting maritime uses on the waterfront, and supporting New York’s air freight industry, OneNYC tackles some of the major problems facing our city. The goals are ambitious, but we can and will achieve them together.”
“OneNYC provides a blueprint for healthier communities by setting bold environmental and public health goals that can be achieved if we all work together. A sustainable city is one where we see poverty rates plummet, asthma and preventable diseases dramatically decreased and accessibility to excellent health care increased. Additional housing, decreased unemployment and raising people out of poverty also aids in keeping patients and communities healthier. Mayor de Blasio has outlined a vision that we share, and we, the members of Doctors Council SEIU as frontline doctors of New York City, applaud this effort and are committed to working with our colleagues in labor and in healthcare to realize this vision,” said Frank Proscia, M.D., President of Doctors Council SEIU.
“Mayor de Blasio understands it’s the people of New York – our neighborhoods and our churches – that make a strong and resilient city. I applaud the Mayor for including wages, housing and equity in OneNYC and his continued effort to support and improve our communities,” said A.R. Bernard Sr., President and CEO of the Christian Cultural Center.
“Our city’s mayor Bill de Blasio has laid out a strong and bold plan for the future. OneNYC is inclusive of all New Yorkers. This plan recognizes the present need for long-term sustainable measures that will benefit future generations. It is comprehensive, environmentally, economically and socially accountable. It is vital that all New Yorkers support this initiative as we take our place in leading cities around the world,” said Reverend Dr. Demetrius S. Carolina, Senior Pastor, First Central Baptist Church.
Reverend Daniel Delgado, Executive Director of Third Day Missions, Inc. said “The projected vision of this administration captures the needs of our city and my borough of Staten Island which for decades has been under served. Its execution will require collaboration beyond the walls of politics. Collaboration between politics, faith, and citizens who desire and believe in a better New York. We can achieve this together.”
For Immediate Release: April 22, 2015
Travis Proulx (Environmental Advocates): 518-462-5526 x238
John Sheehan (Adirondack Council): 518-432-1770
Cliff Weathers (Riverkeeper): 914-478-4501 x239
On 45th Anniversary of Earth Day, Renewed Push to
Return New York to Forefront of Environmental
Coalition reflects on successes and need for action in 2015
Albany – On the 45th anniversary of Earth Day, New York’s environmental and public interest
community reflected on the progress made, as well as the need to return New York to its status
as the national environmental leader with implementation of key policy initiatives in 2015.
Since the first Earth Day in 1970, New York has been a national environmental leader on several
• implementation of the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQR), which ensures
local environmental impacts are considered before development occurs which could
endanger public health.
• environmental bond acts in 1986 and 1996.
• enactment of the nation’s first acid rain law curbing emissions of sulfur dioxide and
nitrogen oxides from all power plants, and the subsequent Clean Air Compliance Act of
• passage of the Bottle Bill, and subsequent Bigger Better Bottle Bill to encourage
recycling of beverage containers.
• implementation of the nation’s first multi-county, private land-use plan (Adirondack Park
Private Land Use and Development Plan) and multi-county planning/regional zoning
board (Adirondack Park Agency)
• enactment of the Environmental Protection Fund.
• enactment of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a nine-state collaborative
which reduces climate altering carbon emissions and raises funds for clean energy
• passage of e-waste recycling laws which reduces toxic metals and plastics disposed of in
• ban of high-volume hydraulic fracturing (fracking).
Peter Iwanowicz, executive director of Environmental Advocates of New York said, “New York
has a great history of leading on environmental issues, with Republicans and Democrats alike
standing up to protect our environment and public health. Yet the greatest challenges are ahead
of us, particularly on climate change and public health issues. New Yorkers have the right to
know what’s going into their food and kid’s products. They have the right to clean drinking
water and sewer systems that work. We need champions in state government, and are looking to
Governor Cuomo and legislators to continue our state’s environmental leadership.”
2015 Environmental Agenda
Climate Action Plan/No More Raids
President Barack Obama has called climate change the greatest threat to the next generation.
Governor Cuomo has pledged to reduce the carbon emissions driving climate change 80 percent
by 2050. Yet, New York State has yet to implement an economy-wide climate action plan. In
fact, in this year’s state budget, the Governor and legislators took a step backwards and swept
$41 million from the state’s only carbon cap program – RGGI – and redirected it to the state’s
General Fund for non-carbon abatement purposes. We need state leaders to take sides on climate
change, finally enact New York’s climate action plan for all sectors of the economy, and pledge
to support programs like RGGI, not undermine their progress with poorly devised raids.
Blair Horner, legislative director at NYPIRG said, “While it may seem hard to believe after this
brutal winter, the planet is heating up. 2014 was the hottest in recorded history. If nations are to
mitigate the damage from this global warming, they must heed the world's experts' advice and
reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by the year 2050. New York can help lead the
way by mandating a plan to meet that goal. We urge action on Assemblyman Englebright's bill.”
Child Safe Products Act
A lack of federal oversight of the chemical industry means that kid’s products like toys and
bedding are made with notorious toxins such as arsenic, mercury and lead. This common-sense
legislation, which would ban the sales of children’s products made with the most egregious
chemicals, enjoys strong bipartisan support. In 2013, the bill had 37 cosponsors, and 40 in 2014;
only 32 votes are needed for passage. While it has passed overwhelmingly in the Assembly, it
has never received a Senate vote.
Children are more susceptible to the harmful effects of smaller amounts of chemicals than adults,
due to their developing systems. Leukemia, brain cancer, and other childhood cancers have
increased by more than 20% since 1975, according to a 2011 report released by the
Environmental Protection Agency, America’s Children and the Environment: Measures of
contaminants, body burdens, and illness. A 2005 study of industrial chemicals conducted by a
non-profit research based organization, the Environmental Working Group, detected 287
chemicals and pollutants in umbilical cord blood, 180 of which cause cancer, 217 are toxic to the
brain and nervous system, and 208 cause birth defects or abnormal development in animal tests.
Senator Phil Boyle (R-Bay Shore), lead sponsor of the Child Safe Products Act (S4102) said, “I
can think of no better way to celebrate Earth Day than to reaffirm my goal of protecting children
from toxic chemicals. Despite market advancements and announcements by major retailers,
voluntary measures just don't get us there. It's up to us, as elected officials, to take action to
protect New York's most vulnerable residents. With Assembly passage imminent and over half
the state Senate cosponsoring the bill, I am even more committed to seeing it enacted in 2015.”
Kathy Curtis, executive director of Clean and Healthy New York said, “Most parents find it
shocking that toxic chemicals are routinely added to common, everyday products, even those
made for our children. People find it even more shocking to hear about how hard it is to get a law
passed to cease this dangerous practice. As we celebrate the 45th anniversary of Earth Day, let's
all agree that it's time to put an end to toxic chemicals in children's products, and that this is the
year to pass the Child Safe Products Act.”
GE Food Labeling
Much of the developed world has taken steps to empower consumers with the ability to make
informed choices by labeling genetically engineered (GE) food products offered for retail sale.
Some 64 countries, including all of the European Union and key trading partners such as Russia,
Brazil, Japan, and China, already require GE food (aka “GMOs”) to be labeled as such.
The mass adoption of genetically engineered crops in the U.S. in recent decades has resulted in a
massive increase in herbicide usage, as the seeds were engineered to withstand sprayings with
the weed killer glyphosate. This has resulted in the emergence of glyphosate-resistant weeds, and
the return to the use of other toxic herbicides such as 2,4-D (one of the active ingredients of
Agent Orange) and dicamba. Glyphosate usage has led to the decimation of the Monarch
butterfly and has negatively impacted soil health. Glyphosate (trade name: Roundup) was
recently classified as "probably carcinogenic to humans" by an agency of the World Health
Organization; it has been detected in food and water, and in air during spraying. Glyphosate has
also been found in the blood of pregnant women and their fetal umbilical cords, and in the blood
and urine of agricultural workers.
Dr. Michael Hansen, senior scientist with Consumers Union, the policy and advocacy arm of
Consumer Reports said, “The recent reclassification of the herbicide glyphosate – used on
virtually all GE crops – as a probable human carcinogen underlines the need to pass a mandatory
GE labeling law, so consumers can make an informed choice about eating such foods.”
Community Clean Water Infrastructure Investments
Statewide, communities are on the hook for at least $36 billion in unmet wastewater
infrastructure needs, including 61 of 62 counties who have identified projects requiring $12.7
billion in immediate financial need. Drinking water infrastructure projects are estimated to cost
tens of billions more. The Office of the Comptroller says there is an $800 million budget gap for
these needs each year. The coalition is urging legislative leaders to work with Governor Cuomo
in the final weeks of negotiation to deliver these funds in the enacted budget.
The current state budget provides $50 million in matching funds available to municipalities for
their upgrades, and $75 million in each of the next two budgets. Now that the program for
including drinking water and sewer investments is part of the state budget, it should be standard
operating procedure every year to identify need and invest in our communities’ drinking and
sewer systems. Our needs are enormous and growing, and advocates are urging ongoing
investments at the levels needed to protect public health, our environment, and facilitate true
Jessica Ottney Mahar, director of government relations for The Nature Conservancy in New
York said, “Clean and abundant water is one of New York's most treasured natural assets and it
is significant that this year's budget included new funding to reduce pollution and protect clean
water for future generations. The Nature Conservancy thanks Governor Cuomo and the state
Legislature for taking this important first step towards addressing the need for water
The nationwide volume of crude oil transported by rail has increased to more than 832,000
carloads in 2014 compared to 9,500 carloads in 2008. Huge amounts of crude oil is increasingly
being transported along railways from production fields in the mid-western United States and
Canada to ports including Albany, New York for transfer to barges and ships to be transported
on the Hudson River to East Coast refineries. In fact, as much as 25% of the highly volatile crude
oil extracted from the Bakken formation is transported through New York State communities.
The State Fiscal Year 2015-2016 budget includes an increase in the fees oil companies will pay
into the Oil Spill Fund and, for the first time, allows a small portion of the fund to be used to
assist communities in their preparation for spills or catastrophic oil train derailments. But, there
is still enormous risk associated with the oil-by rail and oil-by barge industry that is taking root
in New York. With huge risk and no reward, New York must require companies moving crude
oil through the state to have insurance to cover against what could be billions in clean up and
damage mitigation expenses.
Adirondack Council Executive Director William C. Janeway said, “Oil trains threaten the clean
water, wilderness and communities of the Adirondack Park every day, as they carry millions of
gallons of explosive crude oil over more than 100 miles of track along the edge of Lake
Champlain. Any accident involving an oil spill or explosion would be a tragedy to our people,
our drinking water and New York’s rarest and most sensitive wildlife habitat.”
Microbeads, tiny plastic balls used in products such as shampoo and toothpaste, cannot be
filtered out of the water supply by sewage treatment plants. Likewise, they cannot be controlled
before going into local waterways and ultimately the food chain.
In addition to being harmful pollutants themselves, microbeads accumulate other toxic chemicals
once in the environment, including PCBs, DDTs, and flame-retardants. Fish and other aquatic
organisms, including birds and invertebrates, have long been shown to ingest microplastics.
Once ingested, the pollutants can be transferred from the microbeads into an organism’s tissue
with adverse effects.
Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has proposed legislation that would prohibit the production,
manufacture, distribution and sale in New York of any beauty product, cosmetic or other
personal care product containing plastic particles less than 5 millimeters in size.