Senate Advances Environmental Protections

The New York State Senate advanced environmental legislation to support renewable energy and strengthen regulatory standards across New York. The legislation includes agreements related to renewable energy development as part of reforestation, exemptions for certain renewable energy generating projects in parklands, and guidance on the exploration of repurposing decommissioned or dormant electric generating sites as renewable energy resources.

Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said, “In celebration of Earth Day, we must remember that our words are only as good as our actions. That is why the Senate Majority is committed to taking decisive action to combat climate change and protect our environment for generations to come. These bills help us address the climate crisis while also forging new economic growth. We are seizing this moment to modernize our energy systems, improve our infrastructure, and rebuild our communities with equity at the forefront. I want to thank the bill sponsors for their commitment to this issue and recognizing the urgency of this situation.”

Read the Senate Majority Release.

Cumulative Impacts Bill Read More

S8830, sponsored by Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, ensures equity of treatment for minority communities, economically distressed areas, and disadvantaged communities while siting environmental facilities. It requires environmental impact statements to assess whether the siting of a facility will cause or increase a disproportionate burden on the location.

Discouraging Major Violations of the Environmental Conservation Law Read More

S1237, sponsored by Senator Michael Gianaris, provides that in addition to the fines, a  person in violation of the Environmental Conservation Law may be enjoined from continuing such violation and any permit or certificate issued may be revoked or suspended, or a pending renewal application may be denied.

Electric Landscaping Equipment Rebate Program Read More

S7453A, sponsored by Senator Liz Krueger, establishes the electric landscaping equipment rebate program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve air quality, and reduce noise pollution by promoting the adoption of quieter, zero-emission landscaping equipment. It also provides for rebates at the point of sale for applicants purchasing or leasing certain equipment.

Bottle Redemption Fraud Task Force Read More

S1103A, sponsored by Senator Todd Kaminsky, Establishes the bottle redemption fraud task force to provide the governor and the legislature with information on the fraud, enforcement, and reporting requirements related to the New York state returnable container act.

Advanced Building Codes, Appliance and Equipment Efficiency Standards Act Read More

S7176, sponsored by Senator Kevin Parker, establishes the "Advanced Building Codes, Appliance and Equipment Efficiency Standards Act of 2021." It adds the promotion of clean energy and the implementation of the climate agenda set forth in the New York state Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act to the state energy conservation construction code. It also increases the efficiency standards of appliances and equipment by the state energy conservation construction code, while increasing the energy efficiency standards of appliances and equipment.

Smart-Share Energy Credit Read More

S6919, sponsored by Senator Tim Kennedy, allows certain customer-generators who generate solar electricity to donate credit for such electricity to low-income families. It also requires electric corporations to create a low-income energy assistance pool for the donation of such credits.

State Parking Plug-In Requirements Read More

S370A, sponsored by Senator Brad Hoylman, requires certain state-owned and operated parking garages, open parking lots and other parking facilities to install and maintain charging stations for plug-in electric vehicles.

Expanding Vehicle Charging Stations Read More

S23A, sponsored by Senator Anna Kaplan, requires the construction of certain parking facilities to be capable of supporting electric vehicle charging stations.

Parkland Renewable Energy Projects Read More

S2995, sponsored by Senator Pete Harckham, provides an exemption from requirements for the alienation of parkland for renewable energy generating projects with a generating capacity not exceeding two megawatts and which are located above real property currently used for vehicle parking.

Carpet Collection Program Read More

S5027B, sponsored by Senator Brian Kavanagh, establishes a carpet collection program and creates a carpet stewardship advisory board.

Renewable Energy on Forested Lands Read More

S659, sponsored by Senator Rachel May, allows the state to provide leases or easements for siting or connecting renewable energy installations on portions of the state's forested lands.

Extending Energy Tax Abatement Read More

S3229A, sponsored by Senator Kevin Parker, extends an existing tax abatement for New York City residents who have electric energy storage equipment installed on their homes on or after January 1, 2024 and before January 1, 2026.

Zero Emission State Fleet Plan Read More

S2838C, sponsored by Senator Kevin Parker, directs the Office of General Services, the Department of Environmental Conservation, and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, to prepare a state fleet procurement plan for the purchase or lease of state agency vehicles. This will help ensure state agency vehicles will be zero emission vehicles over a certain period of time.

Land Protection from Gas Production Read More

S1421, sponsored by Senator José Serrano, prohibits the lease of state forests, wildlife management areas and unique areas for the purpose of gas production.

Second Chance Renewable Energy Sites Read More

S1829A, sponsored by Senator James Skoufis, directs the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority to study and make recommendations regarding siting renewable energy resources at decommissioned or dormant electric generating sites.

Member Support Read More

Chair of the Senate Environmental Committee and Bill Sponsor Senator Todd Kaminsky said, “This Earth Day, the Senate Majority’s legislative package will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help protect our planet. This package of bills ensures we continue to safeguard our EJ communities and encourages the growth of the electric vehicle industry. We must continue to advocate for a new, green economy.”

Bill Sponsor Senate Deputy Majority Leader Michael Gianaris said, “I am proud the Senate continues to lead the fight against the climate crisis. We already enacted our nation-leading effort to move away from fossil fuels and towards a clean future by enacting the CLCPA, but much remains to be done to protect our planet. The bills we are passing today will continue our progress and help fulfill our obligations to future generations.”

Bill Sponsor Senator Pete Harckham said, “Climate change is the existential crisis of our time, so we must do everything possible to protect our planet. Each of the 15 bills in the Senate’s Environmental Protection Package, including legislation I introduced to advance renewable energy projects in municipal parks, will help in this effort. Still, we need to keep working together to reduce carbon emissions and reduce greenhouse gases.”

Bill Sponsor Senator Brad Hoylman said, “Today, in honor of Earth Day and thanks to Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, the Senate takes a huge step toward keeping our state environmentally sustainable for future generations. This environmental protection package reflects the immediacy of our current climate crisis. I'm proud to have my state parking plug-in requirements bill, which requires state-owned parking facilities to install and maintain charging stations for plug-in electric vehicles, as part of this historic package.”

Bill Sponsor Senator Anna Kaplan said, “Climate change has the power to devastate life on Long Island, and in order to combat it we must take decisive action and make real investments in the green infrastructure, technology, and jobs of the future. Ensuring that new parking structures are pre-wired for electric vehicle charging is a no-brainer, and it’s what needs to be done to ensure that our infrastructure will be ready to handle the growing number of EVs on the road today and tomorrow. I’m proud to sponsor legislation to get it done, and I’m proud to support the full package of environmental legislation being passed by the Senate Majority. I’m grateful for the leadership of Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins in bringing these bills to the floor, and for ensuring we continue to lead the way in combating climate change and supporting environmental conservation.”

Bill Sponsor Tim Kennedy said, "I am proud that the Senate Democratic Majority is continuing its critical fight against climate change by not only clamping down on pollutants, but advancing community justice in the process. For too long, vulnerable New Yorkers have borne the brunt of this crisis. Through my legislation, and others put forth in this package, we are taking tangible steps to right this egregious wrong. I thank Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins for bringing these bills to the floor, and for being a champion of this cause."

Bill Sponsor Senator Liz Krueger said, “Reaching our climate goals will require a wide variety of policy changes, big and small, throughout our economy and society. The legislation we're moving in honor of Earth Day takes us several steps closer to those goals. I'm proud to have my bill to create an Electric Landscaping Equipment Rebate Program included in this bill package. Gas-powered landscaping equipment emits a stunning amount of greenhouse gasses and co-pollutants, not to mention the noise that blights communities across our state. This bill will make it easier for New Yorkers, particularly landscaping companies, to transition to cleaner, quieter equipment. It's a win for small businesses, workers, communities, and our shared environment.”

Bill Sponsor Senator Rachel May said, “With each Earth Day, the urgency grows for taking substantive action to align our human priorities with the needs of the natural world. That means reining in greenhouse gas emissions, protecting vulnerable communities from the impacts of global warming and other environmental stresses, reducing waste, and protecting public lands. This package of bills will promote renewable energy generation, encourage the adoption of cleaner electric vehicles, buildings, and equipment, and lift up environmental justice communities that have borne the brunt of dirty industries in the past. It also addresses a serious waste management problem through a carpet collection program; as a former board member of my local waste management agency, I know how critical it is, both for the environment and for taxpayers, to move away from our throw-away culture to a more circular economy. I proudly join my colleagues in supporting this wide-ranging package of bills.”

Bill Sponsor Senator Kevin Parker said, “The impending climate crisis is something that affects every single New Yorker, American, and citizen of the world. It requires our collective action if we are going to successfully stop and reverse its effects. I am incredibly proud to have sponsored legislation that will help tip the scale in our fight, from extending the tax abatement for New York City residents who install electric energy storage equipment, to strengthening the efficiency standards of our buildings and appliances, and pushing for a state vehicle fleet that will soon emit zero emissions. These are common sense, highly impactful changes that prove green energy can power not only our world, but our economy too. I am proud to support this package, and thank the Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins for bringing these bills to the floor.”

Bill Sponsor Senator Jose Serrano said, “As lawmakers, we have a responsibility to protect and safeguard the wellbeing of our communities. The preservation of our natural resources remains fundamental to that goal, as unabated climate change threatens every aspect of life as we know it. This is why I am proud to support this Earth Day package put forth today by Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins and the Senate Democratic Conference, and happy to contribute my legislation S.1421 that would prohibit the lease of state forests, wildlife management and other unique areas for the purpose of gas production.”

Bill Sponsor Senator James Skoufis said, “Meeting New York's ambitious climate goals requires bold and meaningful action. My bill directing NYSERDA to study the potential for siting renewables at decommissioned energy sites is a much needed shot in the arm for New York's renewable energy production. I applaud my colleagues for working together to aggressively move the needle on climate-smart policy by supporting this Earth Day package of legislation.”

Bill Sponsor Kevin Thomas said, “A clean environment and protecting our natural resources are critical to New York’s economy and ensuring our communities are healthy and prosperous. The legislation the Senate Majority has advanced today will protect our environment and improve the resiliency of communities across New York for generations to come.”

Stakeholder Support Read More

Kate Kurera, Deputy Director Environmental Advocates NY said, “It wasn’t so long ago that the only thing that made an Earth Day agenda in the New York State Senate was a brief resolution. Today, Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins, Environmental Committee Chair Kaminsky, and their colleagues have advanced a comprehensive package of legislation in honor of Earth Day that will reduce air pollution while improving the lives and communities that are disproportionately impacted. We thank them for their continued focus on the environment and look forward to working to see these bills become law.”

Julie Tighe, President of the New York League of Conservation Voters said, “The New York League of Conservation Voters applauds our leaders in the State Senate for passing a series of bills geared to protect our environment, take nation-leading climate action, support electric vehicle infrastructure, combat the solid waste crisis, and build the green energy economy of the future. To achieve the bold goals of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA), we need to target reducing the key emitters of fossil fuels: our buildings, transportation, and our sources of energy. With forward-looking legislation, including those targeted at our building and appliance codes, our New York State Senate is at the forefront of bold action. Thanks to Majority Leader Stewart Cousins and Senators Kaminsky, Parker, May, Gianaris, Harckham, Serrano, Skoufis, Krueger, Kaplan, Kennedy, Hoylman, and Kavanagh for sponsoring this series of bills.”

Sonal Jessel, MPH, Director of Policy at WE ACT for Environmental Justice said, “We have seen disadvantaged communities across the state suffer higher rates of illness and mortality during the COVID-19 pandemic, with studies linking the higher incidence of chronic diseases to the adverse health impacts of air pollution and other forms of pollution, which studies also link to the cumulative impacts of exposure in these communities. We need to stop treating these communities as dumping grounds for pollution and other hazards, including lead paint in older homes and mercury and other toxic chemicals in personal care products.”

Zack Dufresne, Executive Director, NYSEIA said, “The New York State Senate is living up to Earth Day expectations with their legislative efforts this year. We look forward to continuing our work with the Senate to deliver a cleaner and greener future for New Yorkers each and every year. When the sun shines on solar energy, every day is Earth Day.”

Rich Schrader, New York Policy and Legislative Director for NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) said, "Among the many environmental bills on the Senate's docket this Earth Day, S7176 stands out as a way to save consumers' money while creating stronger efficiency standards for everyday electronics. S7176 will also strengthen building codes by directing the state to establish new codes for buildings to be designed in a way to reduce carbon emissions. A stronger building energy code will reduce the environmental impact of buildings – the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in New York State."

Jessica Azulay, Executive Director of Alliance for a Green Economy said, “We thank Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and the New York State Senate for their leadership during this Earth Month by, among other things, passing a foundational bill that will set new standards for buildings and appliances, save New Yorkers money on our energy bills, reduce air health-damaging pollution, and bring down greenhouse gas emissions. The Advanced Building Codes, Appliance & Equipment Efficiency Standards Act will save New Yorkers $15 billion by 2035 and will reduce greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to taking 3,700,000 cars off the road for a year. We look forward to seeing this and other laws to reduce fossil fuel use in buildings, identified as necessary for the full implementation of New York’s landmark climate law, passed by both houses of the legislature and signed by the Governor this year.”

Ned Sullivan, President of Scenic Hudson said, “Now is the time for action to protect our drinking water, clean air, public health and our planet and create jobs. Senator Stewart-Cousins' leadership has been, and will continue to be pivotal for all these critical goals.”

Adrienne Esposito, Executive Director at Citizens Campaign for the Environment (CCE) said, “CCE commends the Senate for passing a broad slate of bills that will fight climate change, address our solid waste crisis, and support environmental justice across the state. New York State is continuing to bolster its role as a national leader on environmental protection. We thank Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins, Senator Kaminsky, and other environmental champions in the Senate for their leadership.”

Eddie Bautista, Executive Director, NYC Environmental Justice Alliance (NYC-EJA) said, “NYC Environmental Justice Alliance (NYC-EJA) commends Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins and the Senate Majority for passing this strong package of bills that recognizes that the time is now for further climate action. Disadvantaged communities across the state are paying the price of climate change. This package will help move New York forward towards true environmental justice.”

Kevin Miller, Senior Director of Public Policy at ChargePoint, the nation's lead EV charging network said, “The Empire State has long been an environmental leader, and with this package of bills, the State Senate is taking New York's commitment to a green future to the next level. By supporting public fleets as they join the electric mobility revolution and ensuring parking lots and buildings are prepared to meet increased demand for charging, these bills lay critical groundwork for New York to lead the nation's transition to electric vehicles.”

Betta Broad, Campaign Director, New Yorkers for Clean Power said, “We are thrilled that the Advanced Building Codes, Appliance and Equipment Efficiency Standards Act of 2021 will be included in the NYS Senate's Earth Day bill package," said "This legislation will help New York achieve our climate goals in the building sector as well as saving New Yorkers $15 billion dollars by 2035, at a time when so many people are struggling to afford their utility bills.”

Jessica Ottney Mahar, The Nature Conservancy’s New York Policy and Strategy Director said, “The Nature Conservancy applauds the State Senate for passing legislation to reduce pollution and advance the transition to renewable energy in recognition of Earth Day. Passage of these bills follows historic environmental investments in the state budget, including the $4.2 billion Clean Water, Clean Air, and Green Jobs Bond Act, a historic $400 million Environmental Protection Fund, and $500 million for clean water projects. We commend and thank the New York Senate, Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, and Environmental Conservation Committee Chair Todd Kaminsky for their continued environmental leadership.”

Senators Involved