Environment

Bill would ban sale of single-use plastic water bottles at New York state parks

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany
UPDATED 1:40 PM ET Oct. 22, 2021

The sale of single-use plastic water bottles would be banned at state parks in New York under proposed legislation announced Friday by two state lawmakers.

The bill, which is yet to be formally introduced, would bar the sale of plastic water bottles at any site managed by the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation as part of an effort to reduce plastic waste.

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NY Assemblyman Magnarelli on getting to zero emission transit: 'You’re talking about billions of dollars'

BY Susan Arbetter New York State
UPDATED 5:56 PM ET Oct. 21, 2021

Upstate public transit systems have to begin (or continue, as the case may be) preparing to decarbonize in order to meet the goals under New York's 2019 Climate and Community Protection Act (CLPA).

The CLCPA requires New York state to achieve 100% zero-emission electricity by 2040, and to reduce carbon emissions by at least 85% below 1990 levels by 2050. That’s going to mean eliminating diesel and investing in zero-emission transportation.

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Advocates: Take New York homes off fossil fuels

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Advocates in a letter to Gov. Kathy Hochul urged her to back a plan that would shift millions of residential homes in New York from fossil fuels to renewable energy by the start of the next decade.

The push by more than 200 advocacy organizations comes as the state is working toward a timetable in the coming decades of switching to renewable energies, as well as phasing out gas-powered vehicles.

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Greenidge Generation permit renewal draws supporters, critics over cryptocurrency mining

BY Susan Arbetter City of Albany

A hearing for a run-of-the-mill air permit renewal saw significant attention in Albany and the Finger Lakes.

Greenidge Generation, a power plant and cryptocurrency mining operation in Yates County that employs 45 people, needs to renew an existing Title V air permit with the state of New York. On Wednesday, the Department of Environmental Conservation held a hearing on the issue, attended by both advocates and critics.

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How the swans at Lake Eola became an iconic piece of Orlando

BY Rachael Krause Orlando

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — If you’ve walked around Lake Eola, you may have marveled at their beauty or shrank away from their bite.

For more than a century now, the city of Orlando has been home to swans — some sassy, some sweet, some with a salacious past but over the years, they've come to be an iconic piece of the city beautiful's identity.

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PFOAs in Poestenkill: Is it another Hoosick Falls?

BY Susan Arbetter Rensselaer County

Five years after residents of the Rensselaer County community of Hoosick Falls learned their drinking water was contaminated by the man-made toxin PFOA, the residents of Poestenkill, 25 miles to the south, have received similar alarming news.

This time, PFOA was detected in January 2021, in the drinking water at the Algonquin Middle School, as well as several surrounding homes.

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Hochul says climate change fight is personal

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Fighting to reduce the effects of climate change is "personal" given that her own community growing up faced pollution troubles, Gov. Kathy Hochul on Thursday said.

Hochul announced this week she is backing an additional $1 billion for what had been a $3 billion bond act for shoring up the state's environmental infrastructure, with a focus on clean water and air projects around the state.

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Biden EPA completes rule to phase out gases used as refrigerants

BY Associated Press and Spectrum News Staff Nationwide

In what officials call a key step to combat climate change, the Environmental Protection Agency is sharply limiting domestic production and use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), highly potent greenhouse gases commonly used in refrigerators and air conditioners.

The new rule, which follows through on a law Congress passed last year, is intended to decrease U.S. production and use of HFCs by 85% over the next 15 years, part of a global phaseout designed to slow global warming.

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DEC commissioner: Hochul is making New York’s climate initiatives a priority

BY Susan Arbetter New York State

Gov. Kathy Hochul unveiled four major climate initiatives over the past few days in honor of Climate Week, a moment when the international community focuses on accelerating climate action. New York and other cities across the globe are trying to raise awareness of the climate crisis ahead of the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26), which kicks off in Glasgow, Scotland on Nov. 1.

Hochul’s initiatives include two major transmission infrastructure projects, support for more solar power and an historic effort to monitor air quality in disadvantaged communities.

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Why nation's attorneys general want boosted environmental spending

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

New York state Attorney General Letitia James on Tuesday led a coalition of 20 fellow state attorneys general from around the country calling on Congress to included funding for environmental and climate change fighting efforts in a major domestic spending bill now under negotiation.

The James-backed coalition of state AGs called for infrastructure spending in the bill to address a transition to cleaner energy sources, efforts to curtail the worsening effects of climate change, and address the effect environmental hazards have played on low-income communities.

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Environmental advocates have hope for Gov. Kathy Hochul

BY Susan Arbetter New York State

A new governor means new positions on a variety of issues – including climate change.

Environmental activists are hoping that New York Gov. Kathy Hochul is a better ally to them than former Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who has been described by some in the environmental community as a reluctant ally.

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Conservation group to create oyster reef off Phippsburg to improve water quality

BY Associated Press Maine

A group wants to create an oyster reef off the coast of Phippsburg to improve water quality, protect a shoreline from storm surges and act as a habitat for other smaller shellfish.

The oyster reef is part of the fight against “the immense amount of change" that's taking place because of climate change in waters off the Maine coast, Marissa McMahan, a senior fisheries scientist at Manomet, a Brunswick-based conservation nonprofit, told the Times Record.

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New law will require zero-emission cars in New York by 2035

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

A bill that requires passenger cars and trucks sold in New York be zero emission by 2035 has been signed into law by Gov. Kathy Hochul, state lawmakers on Wednesday announced.

The new law also covers zero emission requirements for medium-duty and heavy-duty trucks by 2045.

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How will New York update infrastructure to handle climate change?

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Advocates and officials are rethinking New York's infrastructure in the wake of devastating flooding. And while climate change is a global problem, it's one with statewide reprecussions for New York after storms have led to damaging floods around the state.

"We've had these massive storms that have hit Long Island, they've hit the Adirondacks, they've hit the Capital Region," said Jessica Ottney Mahar, the New York policy and strategy director of the Nature Conservancy.

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Biden sets electric vehicle sales goal of 50% by 2030

BY Austin Landis and Spectrum News Staff Nationwide
UPDATED 4:45 PM ET Aug. 05, 2021

President Joe Biden on Thursday signed an executive order that sets a goal that half of all new vehicles sold in the U.S. by 2030 will be zero-emissions, and he committed to reversing a Trump-era rollback of fuel emissions standards.

"We led in developing this technology. And there's no reason why we can't reclaim that leadership again. But we just have to move, we have to move fast," President Biden said, noting China's advances in the industry.

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Bill regulating PFAS chemicals clears House vote

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

A bill setting new regulatory and cleanup standards for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substance contamination was approved Wednesday in the House of Representatives.

“Thousands of Americans have suffered devastating effects from exposure to PFAS chemicals with little or no action taken by our colleagues in the Senate," said Rep. Paul Tonko, a Democrat from the Capital Region who sponsors the bill. "Today’s vote gives this bold legislation its best chance yet to raise the bar on PFAS safety and protect the health and welfare of all Americans, especially our hardest hit communities.”

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Poison hemlock: What you need to know

BY Chuck Ringwalt Columbus

GALENA, Ohio — It's white, shaped like an umbrella and can be deadly. Poison hemlock (Conium maculatum) may be spotted in your backyard.

"It's a non-native, invasive species," botanist Andrew Gibson said.

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NY Sen. Parker on climate advisory panels: Legislature, governor have final say on policy

BY Susan Arbetter City of Albany
UPDATED 6:21 PM ET Jul. 08, 2021

According to reporting by New York Focus, both the Climate Action Council (CAC) and the multiple advisory committees that were created to inform CAC’s final scoping document are “stacked with numerous industry representatives” who are slowing down the process.

The Climate Action Council was created by passage of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA), a law passed in 2019 that sets an initial goal for New York state of reducing carbon emissions by 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030.

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How climate change goals in New York can be tracked

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany
UPDATED 5:46 PM ET Jun. 29, 2021

New York has some ambitious goals to halt the effects of climate change. But how will we know if the state is meeting them?

Liz Moran, the environmental policy director of the New York Public Interest Research Group, is calling for a dashbaord or scorecard to track progress in the coming years.

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Bill boosting water quality for schools heads to Cuomo's desk

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

A bill meant to boost water testing requirements in schools, as well as increasing the frequency of testing and ending exemptions, will soon head to Gov. Andrew Cuomo's desk.

State lawmakers this month gave final passage to the lead testing bill, which also lowers thresholds for taking action on lead levels in drinking water.

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Katko wants stronger testing, prevention for lead exposure

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

U.S. Rep. John Katko on Friday called on the the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to boost efforts to prevent lead poisoning and strengthen testing for children following a report that found a decrease in blood lead level testing for children during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Katko, in a letter to the CDC, urged officials to place a renewed emphasis on blood level lead testing as pandemic-related restrictions start to subside. The letter also comes after the city of Syracuse was slow to implement a new measure combating child lead poisoning.

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Aaron Mair on the Adirondack Council’s new 'Forever Adirondacks' initiative

BY Susan Arbetter City of Albany
UPDATED 7:58 PM ET Jun. 21, 2021

Aaron Mair has spent his life fighting for environmental justice, all while holding a day job as a public health analyst for the state of New York.

He was integral to shutting down the toxin-belching ANSWERS plant in Albany that was visibly polluting the poor, predominantly Black neighborhood of Arbor Hill. He was a vocal advocate for cleaning up PCBs from the Hudson River. Mair was a member of the White House Council on Environmental Quality. And in 2015, he was tapped to be the first African American president of the National Sierra Club.

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PFAS emissions could be easier to identify under new federal rule

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

The Environmental Protection Agency will be required to identify and publicly share the sources of PFAS emissions under a new provision announced Tuesday by U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand.

The move comes as PFAS chemical contaminations have been at issue in upstate New York communities in recent years and as policymakers have sought a more active role in monitoring potential issues, especially in drinking water.

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Bill banning coal tar-based sealants heads to Cuomo's desk

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

State lawmakers this month advanced a bill that would enact a statewide ban on the use of coal tar-based sealant products commonly used for driveways and parking lots.

At issue is the chemcials found in the sealcoats, including concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons that are considered toxic to aquatic life and lawmakers say are cancer-linked.

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Bill to protect Adirondack lakes from aquatic invasives passes both houses

BY Susan Arbetter City of Albany

A key law that protects lakes in the Adirondack Park from invasive species had expired this week, worrying environmentalists about the future of the park’s waterbodies on the cusp of the summer boating season.

But lawmakers in both houses passed S7010A/A7735 — bills that makes boat inspection inside the Adirondack Park mandatory.

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Bill would aid farmers in climate change fight

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

State lawmakers on Wednesday called for the final passage of a bill meant to enlist farmers in the fight against climate change by expanding sustainable soil efforts in the state.

The measure is aimed at increasing carbon sequestration in order to meet New York's climate goals in the coming years while also boosting water quality and resilience to issues like extreme weather at the farm and in surrounding communities.

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Congress makes renewed push for PFAS bill

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Congressional lawmakers this month are making a renewed effort to crack down on PFAS chemicals in U.S. waterways with the reintroduction of a bill that would have those substances apply to the Clean Water Act.

The bill, backed by U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and Rep. Antonio Delgado, was first proposed as multiple upstate New York communities faced water contamination issues stemming from PFAS pollution.

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Big rebate driving more sales of electric and hybrid vehicles

BY Olivia Leach Newburgh
UPDATED 11:54 AM ET May. 27, 2021

They’re environmentally friendly, have quiet electric motors and you can operate them using a tablet on your dashboard. These are some reasons why more drivers are purchasing hybrid or electric vehicles.

Since 2010, more than 81,000 electric vehicles have been purchased statewide.

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Congress considers funds for infrastructure facing climate change risk

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Highways in New York and across the country at risk for being damaged by rising sea levels, floods and other climate-induced disasters would receive improvements to guard against future problems under a bill backed by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand.

The bill backed by Gillibrand would also provide incentives for highway infrastructure to be protected against future floods and potential natural disasters as a means of long-term savings. The bill is also meant to harden bridges and tunnels.

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Regulators pushed to go big on clean energy plan

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Environmental groups and labor unions this month are pushing the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority to adopt more than 1,500 megawatts for projects in order to meet the goals set under the new clean energy standard.

Not doing so would create a "tale of two grids" in New York — as upstate power producers are on track for the goals set under a measure meant to shift the state to cleanr energy in the coming years, while the downstate region still has a ways to go.

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Funding could be boosted for PFAS testing in private wells

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Owners of private wells could soon be in line for federal funding to test and clean up PFAS contamination in drinking water based on an amendment backed by U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand.

The amendment was attached to a drinking water infrastructure approved this month by the U.S. Senate. The provision also includes funds to replace lead service lines, drinking water and clean water state revolving funds and a pilot program for the Environmental Protection Agency for low-income water assistance.

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What role can government play in fighting climate change?

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

The federal government over the last year has marshalled resources as part of Operation Warp Speed to deliver millions of shots in arms to vaccinate people for COVID-19.

But David Van Slyke, the dean of the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University, said the effort existential threat of our time, fighting climate change, cannot use the same tools.

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New York officials pushed to adopt clean fuel standard

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

A coalition of 67 organizations composed of environmental groups, energy firms and car manufacturers on Tuesday is set to release a letter calling for the adoption of a clean fuel standard for New York.

The standard would be set as a means of reducing the effects of climate change in New York as the state moves toward reducing carbon usage over the coming decades.

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Indian Point shuts down, but the nuclear power debate continues

BY Susan Arbetter City of Albany
UPDATED 7:41 PM ET Apr. 30, 2021

The last Indian Point nuclear reactor, located 25 miles north of midtown Manhattan, will stop making nuclear power at 11 p.m. Friday.

At the height of its capacity, the 60-year-old Westchester County plant provided about 25 percent of New York City’s power. But its age, proximity to a population center, reduced revenues and political pressure forced Indian Point’s owner, Entergy, to enter into a negotiated agreement to close the facility with New York state and the environmental group Riverkeeper.

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New York lawmakers seek to boost water quality laws

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

The state Senate on Tuesday approved a package of measures meant to bolster water quality in the state, including bills that would lead to testing for lead in public parks, a ban on pesticide usage at children's camps and a ban on coal tar.

The legislation was approved as part of a recognition of Water Week, and cheered by environmental organizations.

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NY environmental groups laud Biden climate goals

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

As President Joe Biden's administration moves to cut fossil fuel emissions in half within eight years, environmental advocates in New York are praising the move.

The effort dovetails with a push in New York under a law that is meant to transition New York to clean energy by the middle part of the century.

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Sen. Kevin Parker talks climate change bill

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

New York state Sen. Kevin Parker, of Brooklyn, calls his proposal the next step in reducing the state's carbon footprint.

His proposal would place a tax on corporations that pollute and direct the revenue to low-income communities and communities of color that have been affected by pollution and climate change.

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How the Adirondacks fared in New York's budget

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

The Adirondack Park is home to one of the largest wilderness areas on the East Coast, as well more than 100,000 year-round residents. Balancing the human and natural concerns has never been easy.

In the Adirondacks, there's been two competing concerns: economic development and land preservation. Republican state Sen. Dan Stec said the new $212 billion state spending didn't hurt the park or its residents.

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Progressive think tank finds support for climate change measure

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

A progressive think tank and polling firm found broad support among New York voters for a proposed measure that is meant to combat climate change in part by taxing corporations that contribute to pollution.

The poll was released as the state Senate later Tuesday morning is scheduled to hold a public hearing on the proposal, known as the Climate and Community Investment Act.

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New York Voters Will Consider $3B Environmental Bond Act

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Next year, New York voters will decide whether to borrow $3 billion to bolster infrastructure for waterways and sewers around the state -- all in anticipation of the effect of flooding and damage due to climate change.

"We know climate change is going to be impacting us in that way," said Julie Tighe, the president of the New York League of Conservation Voters. "New York is likely to see more intense storms and more frequent storms and we need to be prepared for that."

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How New York's Budget Responds to Climate Change

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Clean water infrastructure, funding for parks, and a priority for renewable energy are among the measures funded in the state's new $212 spending plan announced on Tuesday by lawmakers and Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

All told, a combined $29 billion in public and private sector funds will be used for "green infrastructure" efforts that are meant to bolster the state against the worsening effects of climate change.

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Florida Bill Would Prevent Cities from Banning Natural Gas for New Construction

BY Mitch Perry Florida

As a way to combat climate change, local governments in California and other progressive enclaves over the past two years have passed ordinances banning the use of natural gas as an energy source in new construction – but a bill (SB 1128) making its way through the Florida Legislature would preempt any local government from ever doing so in the the Sunshine State.

Environmentalists testified against the measure during the Senate Commerce Committee meeting this week, saying the proposal will make it harder for local governments in Florida to move towards a clean energy portfolio.

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Officials: More Action Needed on Norlite After DEC Report

BY Erika Leigh Cohoes

The state Department of Environmental Conservation's months-long study into PFAS compounds in soil around the Norlite facility in Cohoes is complete, after concerns were raised about incineration of firefighting foam containing the material in 2018 and 2019.

"What’s important about the results is it seems like there are minimal concentrations of PFAS materials, which would be impacting human health, so that’s a positive, but we have much more work to be doing," said Assemblymember John McDonald.

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DEC: Norlite Operations Do Not Pose Health Risks

BY Dennis Yusko Cohoes

Soil and water samples taken from around the Norlite incineration facility in Cohoes found no indication that its prior burning of firefighting foam poses negative health risks to residents of the city or surrounding communities, the state Department of Environmental Conservation announced in a study released Tuesday.

The DEC conducted the tests in response to community concerns and to determine if toxic PFAS chemicals, mercury, and other metals were present due to operations performed at Norlite.

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Final Passage Given to Constitutional Clean Air and Water Guarantee in New York

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

The state Assembly on Monday gave final approval to a constitutional amendment guaranteeing New Yorkers have clean air and water, sending the sweeping environmental "bill of rights" to voters in a referendum in November.

For environmental groups, the amendment's advancement is a victory that could lead to further action on climate change and boosting drinking water standards. But, lawsuit reform groups fret the measure could lead to a torrent of lawsuits citing the amendment's lofty goals.

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Groups Want to Revive Environmental Bond Act

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

A coalition of more than 175 organizations in the conservation and business sectors are calling for environmental programs to be bolstered in the upcoming state budget season.

And their push includes reviving the proposed Environmental Bond Act, which was shelved earlier this year amid the financial downturn created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Oil Barge Anchorage Ban in Lower Hudson Advances

BY Nick Reisman New York State

A provision that would permanently ban new oil barge anchorage in the lower Hudson River has advanced through the House of Representatives, Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney on Tuesday announced.

The measure was included in a larger omnibus bill for defense spending that now goes to the U.S. Senate.

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Cuomo Signs Road Salt Measure for Adirondacks

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Road salt usage in the Adirondack Park could be reduced starting next year under a bill signed on Wednesday by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

The measure will create a pilot program for alternatives to road salt in the vast region beginning in October of next year and running through 2024. If successful, alternative road salt usage in the park could become the norm.

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Groups Continue to Press for Clean Energy Standard

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Dozens of groups in a letter to top state elected officials this week urged them to take up a clean fuel standard for the transportation sector.

The push was initially made at the start of the year. But as the response to the COVID-19 pandemic took center stage this year, advocates are now looking to next year and the coming state budget talks in 2021.

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Environmental Groups Cheer Arrival of Plastic Bag Ban

BY Nick Reisman New York State

New York's ban on single-use plastic bags is being enforced today after months of delays and a court challenge to the cheers of environmental organizations.

“New York’s bag ban has already improved New York’s health by cutting down on plastic pollution," said Kate Kurera, the deputy director of Environmental Advocates of NY. "We look forward to the State beginning enforcement and stores complying with this important law."

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Adirondack Groups Urge Cuomo to Sign Road Salt Reduction Bill

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Governor Andrew Cuomo is being urged by environmental groups to sign a measure meant to reduce road salt usage in the Adirondack Park.

The legislation would create the task force and pilot program for reducing road salt usage within the park from October 2021 to 2024. The program would test measures that have been shown to reduce road salt usage and cost for winter road maintenance.

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Green Jobs Training Program Brings New Skills to Ulster County Residents

BY Olivia Leach Kingston

According to NYSERDA, clean energy jobs in New York grew by nearly 9 percent between 2016 and 2018. Now a Kingston organization wants to help fill those positionswith an apprenticeship program.

"A green job is anything that helps make your home healthier, safer, more efficient so that you're not having dramatic energy bills," said Jessica Clegg, the communications and outreach coordinator for Citizens for Local Power.

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How COVID-19 Could Make Fighting Climate Change in New York Tougher

BY Susan Arbetter New York State

While we’ve been rightly worried about social distancing and whether to freeze our gym memberships, the state’s Climate Council has been meeting to talk about carbon reduction.

Back in July of 2019, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA), which mandates an 85 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, 100 percent carbon-free electricity by 2040, and 70 percent renewable energy by 2030.

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Lawmakers, Environmental Advocates Make Green Transit Push

BY Nick Reisman New York State

State lawmakers and environemtnal groups on Wednesday called for the approval of a pair of bills meant to expand fleets of buses by mass transit agencies that emit zero emissions over the next decade.

The bills come as New York state in the coming decades is being tasked with sharp reductions in its carbon footrpint and greenhouse gas emissions in the coming decades, with benchmark reductions required every several years.

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Adirondacks Face Crowding and Overuse Issues, Report Finds

BY Nick Reisman Northern NY

Overuse, litter, crowding and trail degradation were among the top concerns in a report released Monday by Adirondack stewardship advocates.

The report released by the Leave No Center for Outdoor Ethics called for more funding to implement the changes as crowds flock to popular destinations within the park like the High Peaks Wilderness Area. And it comes as overuse of the Adirondacks, jammed with tourists now year round, has become a growing concern for state officials.

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New York Could Soon Reject Fracking Waste From Pennsylvania

BY Susan Arbetter New York State

While hydrofracking hasn’t moved forward in New York, for years, the state has opened its doors to tons of fracking waste from Pennsylvania.

According to Environmental Advocates of New York, between 2010-17, New York landfills accepted at least 609,000 tons and 23,000 barrels of fracking waste. In 2018, three landfills, in Allegany, Steuben, and Chemung counties, accepted 18,522 tons of waste.

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Cuomo: $3 Billion New York Environmental Bond Act Postponed

BY Susan Arbetter New York State

The Restore Mother Nature Bond Act, which would have been the largest in state history, was supposed to reduce the risk of flooding for vulnerable communities, restore habitat, and prepare the state for climate change.

It’s become another victim of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Drinking Water Standards Face Delay

BY Morgan McKay City of Albany

A final vote on clean drinking water standards has been pushed back by the state twice, environmental groups said during a press conference on Tuesday.

"Approximately 4.3 million New Yorkers rely on drinking water that has levels of PFOA, PFOS, or 1,4-dioxane above levels considered by health experts to be safe – but that's only where testing has been conducted in larger water systems," Liz Moran, environmental policy director for the New York Public Interest Research Group wrote.

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Budget Sets Stage for Wind, Solar Projects to Go Up in Record Time

BY Susan Arbetter New York State

Upstate New York will see new wind and solar projects being built in record time thanks to a new provision in the budget.

The state’s new spending plan fast-tracks the way renewable energy is sited, something Anne Reynolds, executive director of the Alliance for Clean Energy, says has been needed since last year's passage of climate legislation.

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Coalition Pushes Carbon Reduction Plan in New York

BY Nick Reisman New York State

A coalition formed to push New York into becoming the first state that implements a carbon pricing plan is launching a statewide petition on Friday to further bolster their case.

The group, called CarbonFreeNY, wants the state to enact the plan backed by the New York independent System Operator.

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Business Groups Urge Lawmakers To Reject Styrofoam Ban

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

A coalition of businesses and business organizations this week urged top Democratic lawmakers in the state Senate and Assembly to reject a proposed ban on polystyrene products in Gov. Andrew Cuomo's budget.

The coalition is composed of restaurants, food producers, packaging manufactures and organized labor.

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DEC Agrees To Not Enforce Bag Ban Until April 1

BY Nick Reisman New York State
UPDATED 8:35 AM ET Feb. 29, 2020

The state Department of Environmental Conservation has officially agreed to not enforce the coming ban on plastic bags until April 1, court documents filed on Friday show.

The bag ban is still set to formally take effect on Sunday. But the law is being challenged by the plastic industry as well as bodega owners in state court.

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Fahy Wants A Bigger Bond Act in New York

BY Nick Reisman New York State

Assemblywoman Pat Fahy thinks New York is going to need a bigger bond act.

The Albany Democrat on Wednesday announced she is backing an even larger bond act to bolster the environment and combat climate change in New York than the original proposal of Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

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AG James Joins Multi-State EPA Lawsuit

BY Morgan McKay New York State

New York Attorney General Letitia James announced Wednesday the state is joining a lawsuit being filed against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, alleging it failed to address air pollution problems.

James and attorneys general in multiple states allege the EPA is in violation of the Clean Air Act for not taking action on the pollution coming from other states in the region.

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Plastic Bag Ban Takes Step Forward in New York

BY Nick Reisman New York State

The state's coming ban on single-use plastic bags took a step forward on Monday as state environmental officials issued regulations for the implementation of the new law.

The ban, approved by state lawmakers and Gov. Andrew Cuomo last year, is set to officially take effect on March 14.

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Curbing Traffic in High Peaks Showing Early Results, Adirondack Council Says

BY Nick Reisman Albany/Capital Region

The effort to control overuse of the high peaks region of Adirondack Park is showing early results even as the total number of visitors to the park continued to increase, the Adirondack Council on Monday said.

Environmental groups and state officials over the last year raised concerns about overuse of the park as video and photos showed rows of cars parked along trailheads at popular destinations.

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A Variety Of Groups Launch Clean Fuels Coalition

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

A coalition led by the New York League of Conservation Voters is launching a campaign on Monday meant to push for clean fuel policy in New York.

The groups comprise a range of industries and advocacy issues, including the environmental, public health, scientists, car manufacturers and clean fuel providers.

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Cuomo Back Ban On Single-Use Styrofoam

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday proposed a ban on Styrofoam containers and products like packing peanuts, a move that would restrict their use and distribution in the state.

The ban would effect common items like single-use food containers. And the measure would allow the state Department of Environmental Conservation to limit or ban other packaging material considered harmful to the environment.

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