Volume 7, Issue 8

As summer draws to an end, major changes are happening both on policy fronts and at the New York City Environmental Justice Alliance (NYC-EJA). Read on for updates from our campaigns this summer, events we have in store for the fall, and an important announcement about staff transitions. 
Still from Video on Transfer Stations by Cleanup North Brooklyn

After nearly three years of campaigning, NYC-EJA and our allies in the Transform Don't Trash Coalition are proud to announce our latest victory in the long fight for a fair waste system.  Today, the City of New York released its study of NYC's private carting industry, and found that implementing commercial waste collection zones could reduce truck traffic associated with commercial waste collection by 49 to 68 percent, and greenhouse gas emissions by 42 to 64 percent. The City also announced plans to develop several geographic commercial waste collection zones, for which private carters would compete to serve businesses through a competitive bidding process. Through this system, the City aims to incentivize new investments in recycling infrastructure and cleaner trucks, set clear standards for worker safety and environmental impacts, and improve customer service for businesses. 

NYC-EJA commends the de Blasio Administration for tackling the critical issues of solid waste  and climate change through efforts such as the OneNYC plan, which outlined a goal for Zero  Waste and provided the momentum for this nearly year-long private carting study. We are also pleased to see that, rather than begin with a small pilot study, the City took a great leap forward and opted for city-wide implementation of this more efficient system of waste collection zones, as NYC-EJA advocated for in our  NYC Climate Justice Agenda

As the Department of Sanitation and the Business Integrity Commission continues collaborating with our coalition and other stakeholders to develop their implementation plan, NYC-EJA hopes to see a bold proposal for commercial waste zones that will not only reduce truck traffic and GHG emissions, but also address longstanding issues of environmental injustice. Transforming the commercial waste system presents a key opportunity to provide relief for low-income communities and communities of color that bear a disproportionate burden of the solid waste system through the clustering of waste transfer stations.
Congratulations to our members and allies who helped make this milestone possible! 

NYC-EJA Director of Research, Juan Camilo Osorio
Longtime Research Director of NYC-EJA, Juan Camilo, will be stepping down to pursue a PhD in Urban Studies and Planning at MIT this fall. During his 5 years at NYC-EJA, he helped develop many initiatives including the Waterfront Justice Project and NYC-EJA's research campaign on potential toxic exposures in NYC's Significant Maritime and Industrial Areas, as well as co-authoring NYC-EJA's Climate Justice Agenda, an assessment of Mayor de Blasio's OneNYC Plan. Thank you for all your hard work, Juan Camilo, and good luck in all your future endeavors.
The position for Deputy Director is now open, and NYC-EJA is seeking candidates to fill the position. For more information, visit the job posting on Idealist found here. The application period will close on September 9th. 
NYC-EJA Executive Director, Eddie Bautista, speaking at the retreat
On July 20th, the NY Renews Coalition held a Strategy Retreat in Albany where over 60 people from dozens of organizations throughout New York State convened to discuss how state policies can address local environmental and economic issues. Since the success of the NYS Climate and Community Protection Act in the New York State Assembly, and the widespread attention it received in the State Senate, there has been substantial momentum to continue moving toward 100% clean renewable energy. Significant energy, advocacy, and organizing has gone into making New York State a leader on strong climate policy dedicated to environmental justice, good jobs, and healthy communities. 

Photo Source: Con Edison BQDM Presentation
On August 3rd, the Brooklyn Alliance for Sustainable Energy (BASE) held a meeting in Brownsville with Con Edison representatives and community leaders to discuss the Brooklyn/Queens Demand Management Program (BQDM), now known as the Neighborhood Program. To meet the growing demand for electricity, Con Edison will employ creative techniques to reduce electricity consumption in areas facing an energy shortfall over the next decade. Con Edison hopes to delay the construction of a new Con Edison substation until 2026 or later. However, community leaders raised concerns regarding the viability of this solution and whether any of the $200 million project will be reinvested into the community through targeted workforce development. To create a just and sustainable solution for this electricity supply shortage, Con Edison must provide additional opportunities for community members to openly voice their opinions and concerns, and to participate in the creation of this program. 

The BASE fact sheet about the Neighborhood Program can be accessed here
Flyer by UPROSE
Join UPROSE on Thursday, August 18th, at 6 PM at a Brooklyn Community Forum meeting to discuss the Clean Power Plan. This meeting will be hosted by UPROSE in partnership with the Department of Environmental Conservation, and will be an opportunity to share ideas, critiques, and suggestions about the Clean Power Plan. The meeting will be located at the UPROSE Office, 166A 22nd St. For more information, contact UPROSE at 718-492-9307 or [email protected]

Still from video on Trash, featuring NYC-EJA Executive Director Eddie Bautista
On July 11th, the Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP)'s informative video "Talking Trash: Throwing Out the Big Apple" was released to the public. High schoolers from Frances Perkins Academy worked with Curb Your Litter: Greenpoint and CUP to make this documentary about NYC's waste system. The video features an interview of Eddie Bautista, Executive Director of NYC-EJA, highlighting the disproportionate environmental burdens faced by a few neighborhoods in the city.  A creative project describing the costly and highly polluting commercial waste system in New York City, this video provides information for a wide variety of audiences about where our trash goes, and what alternatives exist to improve the current system.


Founded in 1991, NYC-EJA is coming up on our 25th anniversary. Stay tuned for more details on our upcoming celebration! 

Be sure to check for more exciting news from NYC-EJA 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