Environment

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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