Dear ,
2021 brought with it all sorts of challenges, but our team has not missed a beat! As we wrap up the year, we'd like to reflect on some important wins for our communities. Of course, there’s a lot of hard work ahead, and so we hope you’ll consider a year-end donation to help NYC-EJA for the year ahead. Wishing you all good health and happiness this holiday season and throughout the new year! Here's to a more just 2022!

Some of the highlights from this past year:
Community Air Mapping for Environmental Justice (CAMP-EJ) 2021 Report Release!
In February, we released our 2021 CAMP-EJ report, a community-based participatory research project that empowers youth and community members to address air quality issues in environmental justice communities. The report represents the efforts of our members and their communities to capture and understand their own pollution exposures while putting forth solutions to address long-standing air quality issues precipitated by policies that place polluting infrastructures and facilities in their neighborhoods.
NYC Council Passes the Renewable Rikers Act
In February, the NYC Council passed the Renewable Rikers Act, which will transfer jurisdiction of Rikers Island from the Department of Correction (DOC) to the Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) and mandates a feasibility study on the island’s potential to generate and store renewable energy. Under the Act, DOC will also be prohibited from operating jails on the island after August 31, 2027. The Renewable Rikers vision emerged from conversations about the post-carceral future of the island, led by survivors of Rikers who advocated for its closure, in partnership with environmental justice leaders.

Read more about this effort on the Renewable Rikers coalition website.
CW4A Mayoral Candidate Forum
In March, NYC-EJA co-organized the Climate Works for All Mayoral Candidate forum, featuring NYC-EJA members and allies posing questions to a range of candidates (including incoming mayor Eric Adams!), giving them an opportunity to share their plans for advancing racial, economic, and climate justice in NYC. Watch the full recording here!
New Report Lays out Roadmap to Shut Down Polluting Peaker Plants
The PEAK Coalition report titled The Fossil Fuel End Game: A Frontline Vision to Retire New York City’s Peaker Plants by 2030, is the first detailed strategic and policy roadmap to retire and replace an entire city’s fossil fuel peaker power plants. It lays out a community-led strategy to replace about half of NYC’s existing fleet of polluting peaker plants with a combination of offshore wind, distributed solar, energy efficiency, and battery storage by 2025.
New York Introduces Transformative
Climate and Community Investment Act!
After years of advocacy by the NY Renews coalition, on March 22nd, NYS Senator Kevin Parker introduced Senate Bill S4264A, the Climate and Community Investment Act (CCIA).

New Yorkers from Brooklyn to the Bronx and beyond continue to grapple with environmental, health, and economic inequities. The CCIA offers a plan to strengthen our state’s economy by creating hundreds of thousands of good, green jobs, while aggressively combatting the climate crisis and investing in community-based climate solutions led by frontline environmental justice communities. The CCIA will reduce hazardous pollution, improve public health, and take steps towards ensuring a more sustainable present and future for New York. Learn more about the CCIA here!
NYC Urban Forest Agenda Release
In June, NYC-EJA joined the Forest for All NYC coalition in the release of the NYC Urban Forest Agenda that provides a roadmap to protect, maintain, and expand our urban forest. The report presents key recommendations including increasing tree canopy cover, supporting community-scale urban forest plans and goals, cultivating urban forest careers, increasing and equitably distributing funding for urban forestry projects, and much more. The NYC Urban Forest Agenda provides a roadmap to help the City build a more resilient and equitable city. Read more at Forest for All NYC.
New Report on Green, Healthy Schools in NYC
The shutdown of schools due to COVID disrupted the lives of countless students, teachers, and families. To highlight the importance of recovery efforts in public schools, the Climate Works for All Coalition released a report titled Creating Green, Healthy Schools: An Equitable Action Plan for the Next Mayor of New York City. The report offers the next mayoral administration an action plan to invest in the City’s public schools to make them resilient, equitable, and healthy communities for all students.
DEC Denies Permit for Astoria Power Plant!
In October, the NYS DEC rejected the required Title V air permit for Astoria Gas Turbine Power, LLC, effectively halting the proposed Astoria Replacement Project and removing the threat of pollution from a new fossil fuel-burning power plant. This decision by DEC cites the project’s non-compliance with the requirements of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA).

The PEAK Coalition and allies joined the over 6,600 public comments calling on the DEC to reject the permit due to the project’s interference with the CLCPA’s GHG emission limits. In its decision, DEC also made it clear that false solutions, such as the proposed combustion of green hydrogen or renewable natural gas (RNG), are not consistent with the CLCPA.
Passage of Intro 1620
In October, the NYC Council passed Intro 1620, a law that requires the Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability, in consultation with multiple other City agencies, to develop a Citywide Climate Adaptation Plan by September 30th, 2022. The legislation requires the plan to be updated every ten years going forward.

The plan will have to consider and evaluate various climate hazards impacting the city, its shoreline, and neighborhoods that are most vulnerable to these climate hazards, particularly those that are disproportionately burdened by the effects of climate change.
NYC-EJA's 30th Anniversary
This year NYC-EJA celebrated 30 years of fighting for our communities! We honored our Fantastic Four - 4 trailblazing coalitions engaged in transformational change expanding environmental and climate justice for NY’s frontline communities: NY RenewsTransform Don't Trash NYC, Climate Works for All, and Renewable Rikers.

New Report! Opportunities for Growth: Nature-Based Jobs in NYC
As part of our Just Nature NYC partnership with The Nature Conservancy in New York Cities Team we released a new report in December titled - Opportunities for Growth: Nature-Based Jobs in NYC. The report discusses actions to help improve our understanding of nature-based work and move us toward building equitable Nature-Based Solutions across the five boroughs!

Find out more on the GAGE blog and check out the full report here.
NYS CJWG releases first-ever draft criteria for Disadvantaged Communities & recommends Direct Investment framework
As a member of the NYS Climate Justice Working Group (or CJWG, established under the CLCPA), NYC-EJA's Executive Director Eddie Bautista voted to approve the release for public comment the draft criteria that will be used to identify "disadvantaged communities" (DAC’s) for the purposes of co-pollutant reductions, greenhouse gas emissions reductions, regulatory impact statements, and the allocation of 35-40% climate investments called for by the CLCPA. 

Members of the CJWG applauded NYS’s intended proposal to track/account for "direct climate investments" in DAC’s, rather than create a new, vague “benefits” category that would make CLCPA accountability impossible.
Last-Mile Coalition Launches!
On December 15th, in Sunset Park, NYC-EJA and our allies launched a new city-wide campaign to regulate last-mile trucking facilities in New York City (NYC). Alongside UPROSEEl Puente, and THE POINT CDC - and other allies, the coalition is calling on the NYC City Planning Commission to pass a Zoning Resolution Text Amendment to mitigate the explosive growth of last-mile trucking facilities. Watch the campaign launch here and read more about the call here.
Gowanus Re-powering Project Ceases
In December, Astoria Generating Company (AGC), a subsidiary of Eastern Generation, LLC, officially announced its withdrawal of the Article 10 application for the Gowanus Re-powering Project and proposed building battery storage facilities in its city-wide properties.

UPROSE has led the fight against this re-powering project in Sunset Park for years. This is a climate-justice win for the community and represents another milestone in PEAK's campaign to close all of NYC's most polluting "peaker" power plants, replacing them with renewable generation and battery storage.

Read the press release here.

Be sure to check for more news from NYC-EJA about our ongoing work, on our website and in future newsletters! And if you like what you read, please consider making a tax-exempt donation to support our work.

Eddie Bautista
Executive Director
New York City Environmental Justice Alliance
Content/Editing/Compiling Contributions: Shravanthi Kanekal