Today more than 600 leaders from 43 states – including doctors and nurses, business owners, state and local officials, and watershed activists - urged U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to maintain the Clean Water Rule. Environment America Research & Policy Center submitted their comments in response to EPA’s proposal to dismantle the Rule, which restored federal protections to drinking water sources for 117 million Americans.
After Hurricanes Harvey and Irma recently pummeled our coasts, Environment New York warned that pending budget proposals from the Trump administration and Congress threaten key programs that protect our communities from storm- related impacts. The group documented threats to programs that prevent or curb flooding, sewage overflows and leaks from toxic waste sites. Environment New York also called for preventing more global warming-fueled extreme weather in the future.
“We believe in protecting our wetlands as they improve water quality, assist in flood control, provide habitat for birds and fish and only add to the recreational activities available to residents and visitors alike,” said Mayor Kelly B. Decker of Port Jervis, N.Y., in Rep. Maloney’s district.
“If there is any lesson to be learned from these devastating hurricanes, it’s that New York deserves better shelter from the storms,” said Heather Leibowitz, Director of Environment New York. “Rather than protecting our most vulnerable communities, budget proposals on the table in Washington, D.C. right now threaten coastal resiliency, remove protections for flood-absorbing wetlands, neglect funding for stormwater and sewage treatment, and expose more Americans to toxic chemicals,” Leibowitz added.
Today, New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio announced new policies that will require building owners to sharply cut emissions of the pollution that causes global warming. The policies will require the 14,500 least efficient buildings in the city to upgrade their energy performance by 2030. These buildings are responsible for almost a quarter of the city’s climate-changing pollution. The city calls it “the most ambitious program of its kind in the nation.” Heather Leibowitz, State Director of Environment New York, issued the following statement praising the step forward:
Today, the regional multi-state agency (the Delaware River Basin Commission, DRBC) charged with preserving and restoring the Delaware River, its tributaries and watershed made a historic announcement for protecting this important local waterway by proposing to ban the oil and gas drilling practice known as “fracking” within the Delaware River Basin.
“Expanding and implementing this ban on fracking and fracking activities is crucial for the residents of New York,” stated Heather Leibowitz Director of Environment New York. “Millions of New Yorkers rely on the Delaware River for our drinking water supply—we have to guarantee that we protect this source water from the pollution threats posed by fracking, and today’s announcement is a crucial step forward in ensuring that guarantee.”
With “back to school” in full swing this week, Environment New York today offered a new toolkit to help parents, teachers, and administrators Get the Lead Out of schools’ drinking water. Citing a lack of accurate information on lead contamination in water and how schools should prevent it, Environment New York is encouraging parents and teachers to put the new toolkit on their “back to school” reading list.
“Our kids deserve safe drinking water at school,” said Heather Leibowitz, Director of Environment New York. “We want to give parents, teachers, and school administrators the tools they need to ‘get the lead out.’”
Environment New York Research and Policy Center is part of The Public Interest Network, which operates and supports organizations committed to a shared vision of a better world and a strategic approach to getting things done.