Crucial Environmental Legislation Awaits Governor Hochul’s Signature

By Peter Aronson

The New York League of Conservation Voters is urging Gov. Kathy Hochul to signal a bevy of expenses that handed the Condition Legislature in the 2023 session. These are critical costs in our ongoing combat for a cleaner setting and a lot more sustainable New York. 

These 6 expenses assortment from guaranteeing clear ingesting drinking water for New Yorkers and oversight of New York’s waterways to guarding the state’s food items resources and preparing for the design of more EV charging stations all over the state.

We urge the governor to indication the following expenses as before long as probable:

1. Direct Pipe Right to Know Act (A. 6115/S. 5512): 

This act would call for public water utilities to get support line inventories and make this details quickly offered to the general public. This would help the point out and local communities recognize the total extent of lead service challenges in New York Condition and greater permit the condition and nearby communities to take away the pipes and produce lead-totally free consuming h2o to all New Yorkers.

Specifically, it codifies specifications by the U.S. Environmental Safety Company and steerage from the NYS Office of Health for each and every h2o utility to build a complete inventory of all of the assistance traces in its program by October 2024, and to regularly update all those inventories with new details. It also requires the NYS Department of Overall health to make these inventories available on the department’s web-site, and to develop interactive maps letting New Yorkers to quickly master their danger of lead publicity.

The Federal Environmental Protection Company estimates that there are at least 494,000 lead services strains in the condition, placing New York Condition as a single of the top six states with the most lead services traces.

2. Class C Streams Act (A. 4601/S. 1725-A): 

Class C streams, which are selected to assistance fisheries and other non-get in touch with pursuits, are not at the moment protected underneath New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation’s Protection of Waters Regulatory Program (PWRP). This indicates that lots of possibly destructive actions can get location in these waterways without permits or oversight from the point out. This bill, if signed by the governor, would include Class C streams to the PWRP, providing the DEC further resources to secure beneficial and susceptible natural resources. These extra assets would support present resilience against the impacts of climate alter and safeguard critical pure habitats for fish like trout. It is critical that Class C Streams are given the identical regulatory oversight as Class A and B Streams.

3. Highway and Depot Charging Action Program (A. 5052/S. 4830-C): 

In get for New York State to attain its purpose of zero carbon emissions from automobiles, pickups and SUVs by 2025, it’s vital that New York Point out enhance its EV infrastructure about the state by putting in charging ports on highways and in depots. As EV use boosts, motorists need to have to be self-confident that they can “charge up” when required in a hassle-free, price-effective way. 

Not only would establishing a sturdy charging infrastructure lessen reliance on fossil fuels and lessen emissions from gasoline cars, it also would make employment from the manufacturing and installation of charging stations and hasten our changeover to a thoroughly clean energy economy. The invoice establishes a freeway and depot charging motion plan to aid in acquiring targets established forth by the local weather management and group security act.

4. Geothermal Boreholes Expansion (A. 6949/S. 6604):

With increasing expenditure in renewable electrical power sources and developing electrification, it is vital that proper regulations are set so electrical power resources these as geothermal boreholes are used correctly and securely. Geothermal boreholes further than 500 toes supply very economical heating and cooling with floor source heat pumps, and are a critical ingredient in the energy for popular making electrification.

Currently, there are many financial and allowing limitations for geothermal boreholes further than 500 toes in New York Point out. They are grouped with oil and fuel wells in by-nicely regulations even with not posing adverse environmental impacts like oil and fuel wells do, needlessly increasing prices and permitting limitations. This bill would exempt geothermal boreholes from the identical restrictions as oil and gas wells, making sure that investment decision in renewable geothermal electricity is not hindered. This invoice would also permit the Department of Environmental Conservation to established suitable restrictions on geothermal boreholes.

5. Birds and Bees Defense Act (A. 7640/S. 1856-A):

The act would eliminate the use of unnecessary and hazardous pesticides by New York farms. These so-identified as “neurotoxic neonicotinoid” pesticides devastate bees, birds and other pollinators significant to New York’s food protection, agriculture and ecosystem. Pollinators aid in the production of an approximated $1.2 billion worth of New York crops, together with apples, squash, tomatoes, blueberries, and cherries, between some others pollinator-dependent develop. But just past 12 months, the average New York beekeeper dropped extra than 45% of their honey bee colonies— a single of the worst many years on report, with frustrating scientific proof that these pesticides are creating these pollinator declines.

6. Local community Ideal to Know Act (A. 3964/S. 3365): 

The act would have to have the disclosure of insurance policy info, such as the name of the insurance policy enterprise, the sum of protection and what is lined under their program, on permit applications for the construction of pipelines upon any freshwater wetlands. Freshwater wetlands are crucial ecosystems that offer a number of ecological added benefits this kind of as carbon sequestration, drinking water filtration, and wildlife habitat. Pipelines made upon these wetlands can destruction or damage these ecosystems, major to considerable financial and environmental impacts. 

Necessitating pipeline businesses to disclose this information also assures that they are held accountable for any damages or environmental impacts that come with the design of pipelines upon freshwater wetlands. On top of that, New Yorkers have the right to transparency and protection relating to pipeline design in close proximity to their communities. By necessitating the disclosure of insurance policy information, the community can have a far better being familiar with of the protection measures and threats affiliated with pipeline development so New Yorkers can make much better knowledgeable choices. 

We urge all New Yorkers to publish to Gov. Hochul in assist of these 6 essential items of environmental laws.