Volume 13, Issue 1
Dear ,
Happy 2022, NYC-EJA family and friends!

In the first month of the year, NYC-EJA, our members and partners in multiple coalitions and campaigns spent weeks in various retreats and strategic planning sessions, preparing to advance our climate justice agendas with the incoming Adams and still-evolving Hochul Administrations. With a new City Council also taking shape, New Yorkers face the most significant change in political leadership in a generation - all while COVID-19 & emerging variants continue to challenge the City’s recovery, and climate change continues largely unabated. Read below for some early ’22 promising signs.
Advanced Clean Trucks Rule Passed
In December, the Department of Environmental Conservation adopted the Advanced Clean Trucks (ACT) rule, a policy that would serve as a critical first step in jumpstarting the transition from highly polluting diesel trucks to zero-emissions electric trucks. New York now joins other states across the country to reduce truck tailpipe emissions. 

Beginning in 2025, the ACT rule will require manufacturers to produce and sell an increasing percentage of zero-emission trucks and buses annually through 2035, which will have far-reaching public health, environmental, and economic benefits for New Yorkers. The diesel trucks that travel along freeways, and between warehouses and freight centers near communities of color, are taking a severe toll on the respiratory and cardiac health of some of the state’s most vulnerable residents.

Trucks that would be regulated by the ACT rule currently contribute nearly one-quarter of the greenhouse gas emissions from the entire transportation sector, despite accounting for just 12% of vehicles on the state’s roads. As such, the rule aligns with climate recommendations for New York and can help the state achieve our legally mandated greenhouse gas emissions reductions.

Read our joint statement with ElectrifyNY partners here.

Unveiling the Justice in Power Plant Permitting Act
On January 31, the PEAK Coalition joined Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney at the Ravenswood Generating Station to unveil the Justice in Power Plant Permitting Act. This bill would require a cumulative impact assessment to ensure that any permitting of power plants not pose harm to the surrounding communities, and establishes the Just Energy Transition Fund to advance renewables and storage throughout the country prioritizing environmental justice communities. Daniel Chu, NYC-EJA's Energy Planner and Summer Sandoval, Energy Democracy Coordinator at NYC-EJA member UPROSE, both gave statements at the press conference.

Read the press release on the bill here.

Cumulative impact assessments represent the heart of environmental justice policy advocacy - which is why NYC-EJA is not only proud to support the federal Power Plant Permitting Act, but is again calling for NYS to pass the Cumulative Impacts Bill: A 2103-A (Pretlow)/S 1031-B (Stewart-Cousins). This bill requires all responsible agencies and applicants to assess the impacts of proposed actions on disadvantaged and other environmental justice communities by preparing and submitting an existing-burdens report that includes baseline monitoring data, identifies existing pollution sources, and considers cumulative impacts for a given environmental justice community. The bill would prohibit the approval of any proposed action that results in inequitable and/or adverse and disproportionate impacts to an environmental justice community. For more information, please read the joint bill Memo of Support by NYC-EJA and NY Lawyers for the Public Interest (NYLPI).
Introducing Celeste Perez!
We are excited to welcome Celeste Perez as NYC-EJA's new Policy Organizer!

Her work with NYC-EJA will focus on tracking the implementation of the NYS Climate Leadership and Protection Act, emphasizing equitable approaches towards a Just Transition. Before joining the team, she focused her Master's thesis on potential barriers and gaps low-income communities of color face through New York State’s transition towards electrification. She has previously worked as an intern with NYSERDA’s NY Sun team, focusing on disadvantaged communities. Prior to this, Celeste dedicated five months assisting the organization Helping Hands for Puerto Rico on reclamation efforts of abandoned schools devastated by Hurricane Maria. In pursuit of climate justice on the island, Celeste initiated meetings with various Mayors throughout Puerto Rico to advance sustainability and resiliency efforts. During her undergraduate career, Celeste identified her passion for the intersection between the environment and public health during her study abroad program in Costa Rica where she learned about renewable energy sources used by indigenous tribes and the importance of indigenous sovereignty. Celeste received a Masters of Science in Environmental Policy and Science from Pace University and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University at Albany.
Be sure to check for more exciting news from NYC-EJA about our 30th Anniversary and 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