Co-authored with Isabel Friedman
NRDC has been hard at work with our partners in New York State. New York has, for years, taken strong positions on climate, and the strides made this past year will continue this critical leadership. These are some of our 2022 accomplishments:
- $400 million of the NYS Environmental Protection Fund was allocated, directing more money for ocean conservation, clean water infrastructure, and parks in underserved communities.
- New York State passed the Environmental Bond Act which sets the stage for a historic investment of $4.2 billion in clean and safe water, public health, land conservation, and environmental justice.
- Governor Hochul announced a plan to achieve 2 million climate-friendly, electrified or electrification-ready homes by 2030. She also proposed legislation to guarantee that all new building construction reaches zero-emissions by 2027 which would ensure that more than 800,000 low-to-moderate income households receive clean energy upgrades.
- Governor Hochul has signed legislation making New York only the second state, after California in 2010, to require that carpet manufacturers establish a convenient program for collection and recycling of discarded and unused carpeting.
- Governor Hochul signed the Cumulative Impacts bill, landmark environmental justice legislation that ensures that cumulative impacts are taken into consideration in the State’s environmental permitting processes when potentially polluting facilities seek permits in disadvantaged communities. It’s a historic move, making New York the second such in the nation with such a law, following New Jersey in 2020.
- New York adopted the Advanced Clean Cars II rule, which ensures that by 2035 every new car and truck sold in the state will be zero-emission. This will result in a reduction in harmful greenhouse gas emissions that exacerbate climate change and a reduction in air pollution that contributes to respiratory illnesses.
- Following the lead of California, Governor Hochul signed Senate Bill 6291A which will ban toxic "forever" PFAS chemicals in clothes. Many leading clothing companies have already eliminated or have committed to removing these harmful chemicals from their products, including leading brands like Levi’s, Patagonia, Gap, Jack Wolfskin, Zara, and H&M. New York's actions will have impacts throughout the supply chain, reducing PFAS exposures from production to disposal.
- Governor Hochul signed into law a two-year moratorium on cryptocurrency mining operations in the state. The law requires the New York Department of Environmental Conservation to study the environmental impacts of the crypto industry.
- The Codes and Standards bill signed into law by Governor Hochul will provide a $15 billion savings for NY consumers in the next 15 years with more efficient appliances and building codes reform to measure GHG emissions in life-cycle analysis.
- The EPA strengthened wetland protection by replacing a regulation issued by the Trump administration that would have would have eliminated federal Clean Water Act protections for millions of miles of streams and tens of millions of acres of wetlands.
- NYS Executive Order 22 radically strengthened NYS agencies' green purchasing criteria. It's priorities align with the Climate Act by covering a range of procurement commitments and guidelines for climate and environmental priorities including embodied carbon reduction in new construction.
- NY Public Service Commission adopted the regulatory portion of the Gas Transition bill and committed to design a formal plan to transition away from gas heat. In doing so, they issued two orders that will facilitate this planning process: (1) "Gas Planning Order" (2) "CLCPA Implementation Order"
- Governor Hochul signed a bill that comes in response to increasing floods due to the effects of climate change. This bill requires landlords to tell potential renters a home's flood risk and its flooding history. New York joins only seven other states that have given renters these rights.
- This session, New York became the first state in the nation to pass a broad “right to repair” electronic equipment bill. Under the Fair Repair Act, manufacturers of electronic products like cellphones and computers are required to make diagnostic information and repair parts available to independent repairers and consumers.
- Governor Hochul announced $150 million in funding for the City of Mount Vernon to fix its failing sewer infrastructure, marking unprecedented state action to combat an environmental justice crisis less than a 30-minute drive from New York City.
- The Delaware River Basin Commission, which is responsible for safeguarding the water quality of the Delaware River Basin, has moved to further protect the 13,579 square-mile watershed fracking. The Commission finalized new rules that, among other things, ban the discharge of fracking wastewater.
- In a separate NYS budget allocation, Governor Hochul included $500 million in clean water infrastructure investment, bringing the State's total clean water investment to $4.5 billion since 2017.
While we’re thankful for these victories, we know that there is still much more work to be done in 2023. We must continue to move forward on New York’s climate and clean energy goals.