New York

Tugboat and cargo ship on the Hudson River in New York

NRDC was born in New York City in 1970 and soon thereafter became active on statewide environmental issues. For more than four decades, our work here has anchored our overall Northeast regional advocacy efforts, including spearheading campaigns to protect residents from the threats of pollution, whether in West Harlem or Albany. And, with NRDC’s help, New York City has set an example for the rest of the country on everything from public transit to drinking-water protection to air-pollution reduction.

Some of our accomplishments:

  • Litigated key environmental justice cases, including successfully representing Albany neighborhoods contaminated by lead from a state-operated garbage incinerator and securing a landmark federal court settlement with the New York City Housing Authority on chronic mold problems, which will help the 400,000 public-housing residents.
  • Helped secure a ban on natural gas fracking in New York, while also helping to enact landmark renewable energy, energy efficiency, and green building programs.
  • Worked directly with the New York City Department of Education and the Urban School Food Alliance—a coalition of the nation’s largest school districts—to start serving antibiotic-free chicken to nearly three million students as well as replace 225 million polystyrene lunch trays with compostable plates.
  • Drafted legislation and led coalition to enact and enforce New York City’s landmark recycling law.
  • Launched the Dump Dirty Diesel campaign and helped convert the nation's largest bus fleet to clean fuels.
  • Helped stop the slaughter of elephants by passing the New York State ivory ban to shut down trafficking in New York City, the nation's largest ivory market.
  • Successfully pushed for comprehensive watershed-protection program to protect New York City’s irreplaceable water supply.