Monday, December 28, 2020

175 Organizations Launch Coalition for Environmental Funding, Jobs and Clean Water

The New Yorkers for Clean Water & Jobs coalition is made up of over 175 organizations have joined together to advocate for important environmental programs, supporting hundreds of thousands of jobs, fortifying local economies, protecting clean drinking water, creating new parks, advancing environmental justice, and mitigating an intensifying climate crises. State programs included In the funding are:

  • Environmental¬†Protection Fund (EPF): The EPF supports 350,000 jobs across the state and approximately $40 billion in economic activity each year. The program has a strong track record in preventing pollution, improving water quality, protecting family farms, and expanding parks, trails, gardens, and zoos across the state.
  • Clean Water Infrastructure Act: New York’s drinking water and wastewater systems need tens of billions of dollars in upgrades to ensure our communities have safe drinking water. To date, the State has provided $3.9 billion for water infrastructure programs, including the Clean Water Infrastructure Act, and Governor Cuomo committed an additional $1.5 billion over the next three years as part of the FY19 budget for a total commitment of $5.4 billion. This program is a job generator, with every $1 million in state investment resulting in 17 local jobs.
  • NY Parks 2020 and DEC Capital Funding: Over the last 10 years, Parks 2020 has funded $1 billion in upgrades to NY’s world-class state parks system. Every dollar invested in state parks generates $5 of economic activity. Likewise, the DEC NY Works Program has improved public recreation opportunities throughout the state and ensured the agency can address pollution that threatens both public health and natural resources. ¬†
  • Over the course of the program, $228 million of Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative funds (17% of total funding) have been transferred by NYSERDA to the state General Fund, depriving New Yorkers of funding that could have lowered energy bills and created good jobs. RGGI funds need to be fully dedicated to New York’s climate change initiatives, including meeting the state’s ambitious climate goals.

New Yorkers for Clean Water & Jobs is also calling for a reinstallation of the Environmental Bond Act on the ballot. If this act is reintroduced to the ballot and passed by voters, it would dedicate $3 billion to create jobs, protect clean water, modernize water infrastructure and address climate change. They are also fighting for federal aid for New York while the state deals with its pandemic induced budged deficit.

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