Speaker Carl Heastie and Environmental Conservation Committee Chair Steve Englebright today announced that the State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2020-21 Budget includes a number of significant environmental policies including a possible new environmental bond act.
It is our responsibility to do as much as we can to preserve our environment for the future, said Speaker Heastie. The environmental conservation proposals included in our budget plan will help support important community priorities and inject much needed funding into local communities to continue to make New York green.
A clean healthy environment is essential for people to thrive. Protecting our environment insures our quality of life, said Assemblymember Englebright. The provisions in this budget will help ensure and safeguard that New Yorkers have access to clean air, clean water, open green space and a healthful environment.
Preserving the environment for future generations is one of the critical issues of our time. The budget would provide funding to the Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) and would establish the Environmental Bond Act of 2020 that would authorize $3 billion in general obligations for projects including a new stormwater grant program for municipalities to help local governments fund projects for water quality, restoring habitats, reducing flood risk as well as protecting and restoring wetlands, floodplains, and streams. The bond act will also provide funding for:
- $1 billion for restoration and flood risk reduction;
- $550 million for open space land conservation and restoration;
- $700 million for climate change mitigation; and
- $550 million for water quality improvement and resilient infrastructure.
The SFY 2020-21 budget also includes language that would prohibit high-volume hydraulic fracturing for oil and natural gas wells, place a moratorium on the use of gelled propane and prohibit the sale or distribution of disposable polystyrene food containers and loose-fill packaging beginning January 1, 2022.