2020 Priorities Action Agenda

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the first “Earth Day” and the promises of clean water and air are still unfulfilled, with new environmental crises impacting us every day. As another generation marches to demand action to save the planet, our leaders must respond by maintaining this critical momentum. We are calling on our leaders to be big and bold in our funding commitments to the environment and to solve systemic challenges the state faces in respect to solid waste. Specifically, we ask our leaders to:

  • Secure at least $1 billion annual new funding for clean water infrastructure necessary to provide transformational and systemic upgrades to our crumbling water infrastructure;
  • Commit to at least $1 billion to jumpstart our economy-wide shift off fossil fuels; and
  • Advance solutions to the solid waste crisis.

Clean and Abundant Water for All

Ensuring clean and abundant drinking water supplies for all New Yorkers is a central component of EANY’s vision for creating a healthier and more vibrant and resilient New York. Our water action agenda aims to protect New York’s water supplies from source to tap.

To do this, we are calling for:

  • At least $1 billion in new funding for clean water infrastructure, including $100 million for the Lead Service Line Replacement Program.

Further, we call for:

  • Increased transparency about what’s in our drinking water by establishing strong Maximum Contaminant Levels for PFOA, PFOS, and 1,4-dioxane, establishing an emerging contaminant monitoring list, and mandating testing for New York’s private well users.
  • Protection of our source waters through legislation that reduces emerging contaminant and pesticide contamination.
  • Protection of our watersheds through legislation that extends protections to New York’s Class C streams and wetlands.

Climate Security for All

New York’s enactment of the historic Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) in 2019 was a tremendous victory. EANY is dedicated to ensuring New York State meets the legally binding goals of the CLCPA aimed to transition New York’s economy off fossil fuels. To get to a fossil-fuel free New York by 2050 in a just and equitable manner that does not leave front-line communities behind the CLCPA must be backed by sufficient funding.

First and foremost EANY calls for:

  • Establishing a $1 billion climate fund to build the infrastructure necessary for the clean energy economy, enhance access to clean transportation, and to deliver resources to help communities and the state’s workforce transition off fossil fuels. Ensuring a just and equitable transition off fossil fuels begins with aligning the state budget with our climate priorities and $1 billion is a necessary first step to match the urgency of the climate crisis.

In addition, we call for other important alignments with the CLCPA, including:

  • Amendment of the rules governing implementation of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) so that at least 35% of RGGI auction revenues are prioritized for frontline, environmental justice, and disadvantaged communities.
  • Development of a Climate Action Plan that sets a clear path to meeting the CLCPA clean energy and climate mandates and equity screens.
  • Jumpstart electrification of the transportation sector, by working at the local, state, and regional levels to accelerate adoption of electric vehicles, especially transit buses.

Clean and Vibrant Communities for All

We also must solve the solid waste and plastic pollution crisis facing New York. We are drowning in trash and plastics that are wreaking havoc in our environment and communities. We must institute policies that hold producers responsible for the life-cycle management of products that inevitably end up as trash, shift consumer behaviors, and make common sense reforms to recycling and container deposit law policies that have not been updated in years.

Our solid waste and plastic pollution crisis must be a priority for the State Legislature and the Executive. EANY calls for a suite of solutions that will propel New York leadership to reduce solid waste:

  • Shift the responsibility for product waste onto product manufacturers by adoption extended producer responsibility frameworks for packaging, carpets, and other products.
  • Expand container deposit laws to more containers, increase the deposit charge and ensure local curbside recycling programs are supported.
  • Ban key single-use materials such as plastic water bottles and polystyrene containers, and encourage changes in consumer behavior by, for example, removing barriers and allowing people to bring and use reusable containers at food establishments.

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