LinkedIn Share This Email

Volume 14, Issue 10


Dear Edward,

October brought (slightly) cooler air, autumn, Halloween - and campaign progress on multiple fronts. Read on, to learn more about what the team has been up to.

Pubic Hearing on Proposed Rules for NYC Building Decarbonization Law (Local Law 97)

On October 24th, the NYC Department of Buildings (DOB) held a public hearing to receive comments on the much awaited second set of rules to help building owners comply with Local Law 97 of 2019, our landmark climate legislation to decarbonize NYC’s building sector — the largest source of citywide emissions. As the first compliance period approaches in January 2024, many members of the Climate Works for All coalition, including NYC-EJA's Resiliency Planner Shravanthi Kanekal, testified and voiced concerns about the proposed rules being too lenient and offering loopholes to those buildings that do not want to comply with the law and undertake energy efficiency measures. The coalition also submitted comments to the DOB, read them here.

Zoning and Franchise Hearing Testimony

In September, NYC-EJA’s Transportation Planner, Kevin Garcia, testified at the New York City Council Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises hearing for the City of Yes for Carbon Neutrality. City of Yes for Carbon Neutrality aims to modernize our city’s zoning regulations to support our climate goals. Kevin called on the Council to push the Department of City Planning to include a proposal to address the siting and operation of last-mile warehouses. He echoed the calls from the City Planning Commission hearing that the City would overlook a profound health disparity impacting low-income communities of color by not addressing this unregulated sector. Watch the recorded hearing and read Last-Mile Coalition’s factsheet.

Major News on Renewable Energy Development

New York's renewable energy and energy storage landscape has seen many changes over the past month. The Public Service Commission (PSC) rejected all requests from solar and wind developers to adjust contract rates, which NYC-EJA supported given the potential impact it may have on electricity bills, but we are also urging the state to find an accelerated path forward to make sure that we can achieve a zero emissions electricity grid as soon as possible. The Governor also announced several new renewable energy awards in response to the PSC's decisions, including funding for Attentive Energy One, an offshore wind project NYC-EJA has long advocated for, that will help retire New York State's largest power plant - Ravenswood Generation Station - which sits right on the Queens waterfront. At the same time, NYC-EJA and the PEAK Coalition met with the New York Power Authority and urged NYPA to accelerate their peaker plant retirement and step up their contribution toward New York's renewable energy goals. Read NYC-EJA's statement with The Point CDC and UPROSE on the PSC decision here.

Extreme Heat Advocacy

NYC-EJA's extreme heat advocacy does not operate in silos. While we work our own organizational efforts to address this issue, we also participate in coalitions with like-minded organizations who are advocating for a more resilient NYC. Here are some updates on our efforts to address extreme heat:

On October 5th, City Council voted and unanimously approved Int. 1065, legislation requiring the City to create and monitor an urban forest plan to achieve a citywide goal of 30% canopy cover! NYC-EJA is a proud member of the Forest For All NYC coalition, which led the effort to see this legislation passed.

On October 16th, NYC-EJA sent a letter to Governor Hochul, signed by over 50 organizations from across the State, demanding dedicated funding in the upcoming Executive Budget for the State's Extreme Heat Action Plan (EHAP) to implement the solutions that frontline community organizations have uplifted as the highest priorities to address the impacts of extreme heat. You can read the letter with all our demands here.

Just Nature NYC Maps Vegetation Across NYC!

As part of the Just Nature NYC Partnership, our teams at NYC-EJA and the NY Cities Program of The Nature Conservancy mapped local vegetation density across the NYC to better understand the cooling benefits of plants, the availability of vegetation in the most heat-vulnerable communities and associated inequities. Read all about this analysis and find interactive maps on our latest blog post!

DCAS increases solar installation with EJ Prioritization

On September 22nd, the Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) announced that a new agreement with the New York Power Authority (NYPA) would double the the City's installation of solar PV systems on city-owned buildings by 2025. Through the agreement, the City plans to add over 30MW of solar generating capacity and up to 10MW of large-scale battery storage to power City operations. Beginning this year, DCAS will begin to install solar PV systems at over 60 City-owned public school buildings in Brooklyn and Queens, with the Mayor committing to "prioritizing deployment to environmental justice communities". As an organization that has championed prioritizing EJ communities for solar deployment for years, we're pleased to see this commitment and will continue to monitor the progress on this effort. Read the entire press release here.

Climate Jobs and Justice Campaign Launch!

The climate clock is ticking. Our communities have been facing a relentless onslaught of climate crises, from suffocating smoke to flooded subway stations and buses, and it's only getting worse.

That’s why NY Renews is launching the Climate, Jobs and Justice campaign with events across the state on Nov 15th. The NYS climate movement (AKA Team Climate Justice) has a winning vision: green union jobs, clean air, lower utility costs, and real community-led climate justice solutions. Together, we’ll call on Governor Hochul and demand she tell us which team she’s on: Team Climate Justice or Team Fossil Fuels. 

Team Fossil Fuels has been cheating the game for decades, spending millions to influence a system already rigged against the frontline communities. But Team Climate Justice has something they don’t: the power of the people. 

Don’t let Governor Hochul fumble. Join NYC-EJA at the NYC campaign launch event on Nov 15th to push Hochul on climate justice!


Resources Magazine: Prioritizing Justice in New York State Climate Policy: Aiming for Cleaner Air in Disadvantaged Communities (10/4/23)

Brooklyn Paper: Restler proposes legislation to prepare and protect New Yorkers during air quality emergencies (10/5/23)

New York Times: Was New York City Unprepared to Handle Last Week’s Extreme Rainfall? (10/5/23)

Crain’s New York: Flooding fallout shows climate change could endanger Adams politically (10/5/23)


Office of NYC Comptroller: Following Historic Storm and Flooding, Comptroller Lander Launches Investigation Into City’s Management of Extreme Rainfall (10/5/23)


New York Magazine: The Most Powerful New Yorkers You’ve Never Heard Of (10/23/23)


Gothamist: Hundreds attend NYC buildings hearing about softened enforcement for major climate law (10/24/23) 

Be sure to check for more exciting 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.


Facebook  LinkedIn  Twitter