Key Environmental Legislation on the Line as Session Nears End

As the legislative session reaches its final week, the New York League of Conservation Voters is pleased to provide an update on the progress of several priority bills. First, we are thrilled to report that the Lead Pipes Right to Know Act has already passed both the Senate and Assembly. However, there is still crucial work to be done on other important measures such as a clean fuel standard, offshore wind energy targets, waste reduction, and more. In this critical juncture, we urge conservation voters like you to make your voices heard and call on legislators to prioritize and pass these crucial bills.

Packaging Reduction and Recycling Infrastructure Act (A. 5322-A/S. 4246-A)(Support Memo):
The Packaging Reduction and Recycling Infrastructure Act, one of NYLCV’s top priorities in 2023, is currently under review by the Senate Finance Committee and the Assembly Environmental Conservation Committee. This legislation aligns with our mission to reduce waste sent to landfills by 90% by 2040, as outlined in our 2023 State Agenda. With the average New Yorker generating five pounds of trash daily and the state accumulating 15 million tons of waste each year, this bill would hold producing companies accountable by requiring them to reduce packaging waste, toxins, and contribute to municipal recycling efforts.

Take action to pass the Packaging Reduction and Recycling Infrastructure Act.

Just Energy Transition Act (A. 4866-B/S. 2935-B)(Support Memo):

The Just Energy Transition Act is an essential opportunity to simultaneously address environmental concerns and environmental justice. This comprehensive plan for replacing and redeveloping New York State’s fossil fuel facilities and their sites by 2030 places a strong emphasis on equity and fairness. By placing a focus on historically disadvantaged communities, the bill will maximize health benefits and ensure those who have been disproportionately impacted by fossil fuel power plants are prioritized. Moreover, this measure would achieve a cost-effective phasing-out of such facilities while providing a just transition for the existing workforce. The bill is currently under review by the Senate Finance Committee and the Assembly Corporations, Authorities, and Commissions Committee.

Establishing new targets for offshore wind electricity generation (S. 6327/A. 7407)(Support Memo):
This legislation aims to raise New York’s offshore wind energy goals. The current target of 9 gigawatts (GW) by 2035 would increase to 9.9 GW, with three additional ambitious targets set for 2040 (15.8 GW), 2045 (18 GW), and 2050 (20 GW). By elevating these goals, New York can lead the nation in offshore wind energy production, create thousands of union labor jobs, and stimulate significant economic benefits while fulfilling the requirements of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act.

Clean Fuel Standard (A. 964/S. 1292)(Support Memo):
The Clean Fuel Standard legislation, currently on the Senate Floor Calendar and with the Assembly Environmental Conservation Committee, aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in New York State’s transportation sector. Given that the transportation sector is the largest single source of carbon pollution in the state, this bill would mandate fuel suppliers to decrease carbon levels in their products by 20% below 2017 levels by 2031.

Take action to pass the Clean Fuel Standard.

The NY HEAT Act (A. 4592-A/SB 2016)(Support Memo):
The NY HEAT Act, also known as the Home Energy Affordable Transition Act, offers a transformative path for gas utilities to comply with New York’s Climate Act while assisting customers in transitioning to affordable zero-emissions heating and cooling options. Currently in the Senate Finance Committee and the Assembly Corporations, Authorities and Commissions Committee, this bill seeks to cap energy bills for low-income customers, avoid substantial investments in new gas infrastructure, and promote energy-saving home improvements. Passing the NY HEAT Act would eliminate the “100-foot rule” for new gas hookups, safeguard low- and middle-income ratepayers, and accelerate our shift away from fossil fuels.
Take action to pass the NY HEAT act. 

EV Charging In Public Lots bill (A. 4871/S. 1535)(Support Memo):
To achieve New York State’s goal of zero carbon emissions from cars, pickups, and SUVs by 2025, it is imperative to enhance the state’s electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure. Drivers should have confidence in the availability of convenient and cost-effective EV charging stations. We urge state and local legislators, as well as municipalities, to prioritize the installation of EV charging stations throughout the state. The EV Charging In Public Lots bill has successfully passed the Senate and is currently with the Assembly Ways and Means Committee.

Birds and Bees Act (A. 7640/SB 1856)(Support Memo):
The Birds and Bees Act, currently on the Senate Floor Calendar and in the Assembly Ways and Means Committee, aims to eliminate the use of unnecessary and harmful pesticides by New York farms. These pesticides, known as “neurotoxic neonicotinoids,” pose a significant threat to crucial pollinators such as bees and birds. Given their role in ensuring New York’s food security, agriculture, and environment, protecting these pollinators is of utmost importance. The act seeks to safeguard pollinator-dependent crops, which are valued at an estimated $1.2 billion in the state, including apples, squash, tomatoes, blueberries, cherries, and more. The alarming decline in pollinator populations necessitates urgent action to halt the harmful effects of these pesticides.

As the legislative session draws to a close, NYLCV urges conservation voters to mobilize and make their voices heard. While the Lead Pipe Right to Know Act passed, other critical bills remain on the line. The Packaging Reduction and Recycling Infrastructure Act, Clean Fuel Standard, NY HEAT Act, EV Charging In Public Lots bill, establishing new targets for offshore wind electricity generation, Just Energy Transition Act, and Birds and Bees Act are all vital measures that demand swift action from legislators. 

By reaching out to your representatives and advocating for these bills, we can secure a cleaner, more sustainable future for New York State. Together, let us champion environmental legislation and drive positive change for the benefit of our environment, communities, and future generations.