In the only scorecard that grades New York State lawmakers according to their votes on bills that could help or harm our air, land and water, EPL/Environmental Advocates honored Assemblyman Robert Sweeney as “Legislator of the Year” for 2010. Legislator of the Year honors are awarded to the public figure that has done the most to advance environmentally beneficial policy. For details and individual scores, visit www.eplvotersguide.org.
“The health of New York’s air, land and water are critically important to the people I have the privilege to represent in the Town of Babylon, and to millions of New Yorkers across the state. From our health to the economy, every aspect of our life is affected by the quality of our environment,” said Assemblyman Robert Sweeney. “I’m proud that EPL/Environmental Advocates has recognized me as Legislator of the Year for the second time.”
As in past years, the Assembly passed all three of the environmental community’s Super Bills; one became law. New electronic waste (“E-waste”) recycling requirements will keep toxic chemicals from used electronics such as PCs and TVs out of our landfills. The Super Bills are selected by the Green Panel, which includes groups from across the state, as the environmental community’s legislative priorities. In addition to the E-waste bill, the 2010 Super Bills include the Global Warming Pollution Control Act, which would reduce climate pollution 80 percent by the year 2050 and the Environmental Access to Justice Act, which would restore New Yorkers’ right to enforce environmental review laws.
EPL/Environmental Advocates calculates lawmakers’ scores using the ratings of its sister organization, Environmental Advocates of New York. Legislators earn between one and three points respectively for votes in support of bills that received one, two or three “trees.” Tree-rated bills are those deemed beneficial to the environment. Likewise, legislators earn between one and three points for voting against bills that were given a rating of one, two or three “smokestacks.” Smokestack-rated bills are those deemed detrimental to the environment. Votes on priority “Super Bills” are given extra weight in the guide.
The Voters’ Guide is the first and only record of New York State lawmakers’ votes on legislation that will impact the environment. The Guide has been produced and distributed statewide for more than 40 years.
The sewer plan the Town is implementing was developed with both federal and state funding.
Assemblyman Bob Sweeney, as Chair of the Assembly’s Environmental Conservation Committee, worked closely with the New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation to ensure $15 million in financing for the project. Assemblyman Sweeney also secured an additional $300,000 grant for the project (being presented in the photo to Supervisor Steve Bellone).
The NYS Empire State Development Corporation granted the Town $2 million for the project; the NYS DOT awarded $486,000 and the US EPA awarded $410,000 for the project. Congressman Steve Israel was instrumental in securing the federal funding.
“This is an historic achievement for Wyandanch that will pave the way for the development of a real downtown, new jobs, affordable housing and a better environment,” said Supervisor Bellone. “This achievement would not have been possible without the incredible work of Congressman Israel, Assemblyman Sweeney and our other partners.”
Town of Babylon Supervisor Steve Bellone was joined by New York State Assemblyman Robert Sweeney, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Pete Grannis, NYS DEC Long Island Regional Director Peter Scully, state and local officials and renewable energy contractors to announce the Town’s latest environmental initiative as part of the New York State’s Climate Smart Communities Program.
Babylon’s Zero Emission Vehicle project will utilize renewable energy sources to generate all the energy necessary to power new electric cars that will be added to the Town’s fleet. Solar panels and a wind turbine are to be installed at Babylon Town Hall, providing energy for 2 electric vehicles to be purchased this year and 3 vehicles to be purchased next year. The electric vehicles will replace non-hybrid vehicles in the Town’s fleet.
“In the Town of Babylon we are always looking for new ways to reduce emissions through innovative projects that can serve as models for other communities,” Supervisor Steve Bellone said. “By working closely with Commissioner Grannis and the NYS DEC, as well as Assemblyman Sweeney, we are proud to continually enact new initiatives that greatly benefit the environment and save taxpayer dollars.”
NYS Assemblyman Robert Sweeney, Chair of the Environmental Conservation Committee, has worked closely with the Town of Babylon on environmental issues in the past and secured $50,000 for the purchase and installation of a vertical wind turbine that will be integral to the Zero Emission Vehicle Project.
Assemblyman Sweeney said: “The Town of Babylon’s environmental initiatives make them a leader in New York State, and beyond. No other community in this state has taken on the range and depth of environmental issues that Babylon has. New York State is proud to recognize Babylon’s leadership.”
Construction has begun on a new Campus Center at Farmingdale State College which will include new dining facilities for students, faculty, and staff, a campus bookstore, a multi-purpose room for lectures and special events, a student lounge, and several unique architectural features. The ground-breaking was attended by Assemblyman Bob Sweeney and members of the College Council and the Farmingdale College Foundation, faculty, and students. The Campus Center is the leading element of a $185 million construction and renovation project that will last several years and includes a planned building for the School of Business, a new Information Commons, renovations of academic buildings, expansion of athletic facilities, and reconfiguration of roadways.
“The Campus Center will be a focal point for student activity on the Farmingdale campus, and its construction is indicative of the exciting things that are happening at Farmingdale,” said Assemblyman Bob Sweeney, who has secured state funds for many construction and other projects at Farmingdale. “This is one of many significant projects on campus that will help continue the great tradition of opportunity at Farmingdale.”
The Campus Center will be 50,000 square feet and, in keeping with the College’s legacy of environmental sustainability, will have a roof constructed of energy-efficient materials. The multi-purpose room will have a capacity of 400 for lectures and events and 220 for dinner-style seating. A special feature of the building will be an oculus—a rounded skylight—that will provide a spacious and inviting atmosphere and help ignite student-faculty interactions.