NYLCV Releases Inaugural Federal Policy Agenda

Each year, NYLCV and the NYLCV Education Fund work closely with New York’s leading environmental, public health, conservation, energy, environmental justice, and transportation organizations to identify pressing priorities on fighting climate change, conserving land and water, and protecting public health. These collaborations result in the formulation of statewide and local agendas that guide our advocacy efforts.

For the first time, we have decided to add a federal agenda to our advocacy portfolio. Many of the biggest threats to environmental policy and funding in New York are coming from Washington, posing a significant challenge to local officials. At the same time, we see opportunity. New York’s congressional delegation includes leaders on both sides of the aisle who can play an important role in their respective caucuses in ensuring that New York does not get left behind.

While we recognize that the League cannot single-handedly protect the Clean Power Plan or the Paris Agreement, we can be a key driver in pushing the New York delegation to fund the Gateway Program and regional conservation initiatives from the Great Lakes to the Long Island Sound. Our 2017 Federal Agenda comprises issues that significantly impact New York where we believe our representatives can make a difference.

Though much of our energy is focused on preventing defunding and rollbacks of past successes, we are emboldened by a resolution calling for action on climate change put forward by a number of Republicans in Congress, including four from New York. We see space for achieving a bipartisan conservation agenda and look forward to advancing the dialogue to reach agreement on bold solutions.

Top Priorities:

Clean Air and Climate Change: New York has made tremendous progress reducing air pollution that harms human health and contributes to climate change, and it is vitally important that we do not roll back the laws and regulations that have allowed us to reach this point. NYLCV also strongly supports investing in clean energy, including offshore wind, that will both reduce greenhouse gas emissions and create jobs in a globally competitive field.

Clean Water: NYLCV supports increasing funding and maintaining currentfunding formulas for the Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds, which provide low-interest loans that leverage state and private money to a wide variety of water projects, including wastewater treatment, green infrastructure, pipe replacement, and source water protection. The CWSRF returns $2.31 for every $1 invested.

Food and Farms: The Farm Bill will be up for renewal in 2018. NYLCV strongly urges maintenance or increases in funding for conservation programs including the Regional Conservation Partnership Program, Environmental Quality Incentives Program, Agricultural Conservation Easement Program, and Conservation Reserve Program.

Funding for Regional Initiatives: New York benefits from many federally-funded programs that must be supported, including the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, the Delaware River Basin Conservation Initiative, Chesapeake Bay Program, Lake Champlain Basin Program, and the National Estuary Program. NYLCV also supports passage of the Long Island Sound Restoration and Stewardship Act to improve the coordination and management of programs that benefit the Long Island Sound.

Sustainable Transportation: Investment in mass transportation pays dividends for both the environment and the economy, and expanded federal funding for projects including the Gateway Tunnel, East Side Access, and the Second Avenue Subway is vital to the economy of the entire region. Specifically, the federal budget must continue to support New Starts, Small Starts, and TIGER grants through the Department of Transportation.

You can download our 2017 Federal Policy Agenda here.