Earth Day Special - Solid Waste Management Plan Fair Share Victory 
April 2011 - Volume 2, Issue 4

In This Issue: Solid Waste Management Plan Fair Share Victory; NYS Department of State Brownfields Funding announcment; and Upcoming Public Lecture Series (co-sponsored with Pratt Institute) 

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Waste Transfer Stations & Communities of ColorFair Share photo

Statement of Eddie Bautista, Executive Director of the NYC Environmental Justice Alliance on agreement between Mayor Bloomberg and City Council to restore Capital Budget funding to rebuild the City's Marine Transfer Stations for Waste Export  

 

New York, NY (April 21, 2011) - "The New York City Environmental Justice Alliance (NYC-EJA) applauds Mayor Bloomberg and City Council Speaker Quinn on their tentative agreement to restore Capital Budget funding for the remaining Marine Transfer Stations as mandated by the landmark 2006 Solid Waste Management Plan (SWMP). 

 

Last month's Preliminary Budget proposal by the Department of Sanitation to delay capital funding for four Marine Transfer Stations - including three in Manhattan - for five to eight years would have eviscerated the SWMP envisioned by Mayor Bloomberg, the City Council and environmental justice leaders.  The 2006 SWMP, based on principles of environmental justice and borough equity, was designed to radically shift the City's waste export infrastructure from a vastly polluting, truck-based system ravaging a handful of low income communities of color, to a more environmentally friendly - and equitably sited - barge/rail-based system of export.

 

Today's agreement to restore the capital budget funding for the remaining Marine Transfer Stations puts the 2006 SWMP back on track and offers overburdened communities a light at the end of the tunnel.  (See map of impacted communities above.) The NYC Environmental Justice Alliance extends our gratitude to City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, as well as Councilmembers Sara Gonzalez, Brad Lander, Tish James, Diana Reyna, Steve Levin, Jumaane Williams, Annabel Palma, Maria del Carmen Arroyo, Ruben Wills - and of course, Mayor Bloomberg.  We also thank Congressmembers Nydia Velazquez and Jose Serrano, and Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. for their support, and our allies at NY Lawyers for the Public Interest, Organization of Waterfront Neighborhoods, NYPIRG, Natural Resources Defense Council, OUTRAGE and the Pratt Center.  Our members - UPROSE, The Point Community Development Corporation, Morningside Heights-West Harlem Sanitation Coalition, El Puente and Youth Ministries for Peace and Justice - wish all of you a Happy Earth Day."

 - 30 -

Fair Share 4.12.11

20 years of fighting for cleaner and more just communities - one block at a time,

The NYC Environmental Justice Alliance

Brownfield

NYS Department of State Brownfields funding announcement

 

NYC Environmental Justice Alliance and our allies realized another important victory yesterday in our ongoing campaign to remediate brownfields pursuant to community-based planning principles and priorities.  On April 20, the NYS Department of State announced $6.5 million in Brownfield OpportunityAreas (BOA) Program grants for 21 projects located across the state - the first such grants since October 2009. According to the DOS press release, "The grants will help revitalize communities, create jobs, support environmental remediation and expand the tax base in distressed neighborhoods that have been adversely affected by multiple brownfield sites".  (See attached link - http://www.dos.state.ny.us/press/2011/BOA_Grants.html)

 

Championed by NYC-EJA and our allies in the historic 2003 NYS Brownfield Law, the BOA Program provides financial resources for communities to plan for multiple brownfield clean-ups & reclamation projects from a neighborhood or area-wide perspective, rather than the traditional site-by-site approach to brownfields redevelopment.  BOA grants empower communities to develop comprehensive visions for brownfield remediation and redevelopment, allowing neighborhoods to identify and prepare local redevelopment priorities.  Developers who propose brownfield redevelopment projects consistent with local BOA plans receive additional tax credits, thereby encouraging community-private-public partnerships that yield synergistic development and minimize local development conflicts.  This "area-wide approach" has since become a national model, with the U.S.E.P.A. actively promoting and funding such efforts across the country (For more information about NYC-EJA's brownfields advocacy efforts, please visit our website at www.NYC-EJA.org.)

 

 "We applaud Governor Cuomo for his support of the Brownfield Opportunity Areas (BOA) program, a key component to the revitalization of so many low-income communities of color throughout the state," said Eddie Bautista, executive director of the NYC Environmental Justice Alliance. "For neighborhoods riddled with multiple brownfields and legacies of disinvestment, BOA offers an unmatched opportunity for community leaders to articulate a vision for local revitalization that can galvanize both the public and private sectors. Governor Cuomo's commitment ensures New York State will continue to lead the way in smart policies that lift entire communities."

PUBLIC LECTURE SERIES 

 Friends: 

NYC Environmental Justice communities and storm surge zones 

Pratt Institute's Graduate Center for Planning and the Environment and the NYC Environmental Justice Alliance are co-hosts of the 2011 Sustainable Waterfront Public Lecture series.  The Public Lecture series, held at Pratt Manhattan Campus (144 West 14th Street), Room 213, is free and open to the public .  Space is limited - to RSVP for one of the upcoming lectures, please email [email protected]


New York City, with over 520 miles of coastline, presents incredible opportunities for maritime and recreational activities, natural areas and visionary waterfront development. However, NYC is also among the U.S. cities most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change - from sea level rise to hurricanes. (See NYC-EJA's map above showing environmental justice communities inequitably designated as "Significant Maritime Industrial Areas", or SMIA's, under NYC's Waterfront Revitalization Program.  SMIA designations not only cluster polluting infrastructure in low income waterfront communities of color, but does so in areas vulnerable to storm surges. To learn more, please visit our website at www.NYC-EJA.org

Change along NYC's waterfront is inevitable. In response, NYC and NYS agencies have released new plans, programs and policies to address these future realities. We invite the authors and framers of these proposals to discuss how their overall visions and proposals advance environmental, equity and economic development goals.

 

Our final Public Lecture will be next Friday:

Friday, April 29 - NYS Climate Action Plan, with Alan Belensz, NYS Attorney General Schneiderman's Office (& former Director of the Office of Climate Change with NYS Department of Environmental Conservation)

Each Lecture begins with a 5:30 pm reception, followed by the actual lecture at 6 pm.  Q&A begins at 7 pm, with program concluding at 7:30 pm.  Hope to see you at the Lecture series.  Space is limited - don't forget to RSVP!

 

For more information on NYC-EJA's work (or better yet, to support that work with a tax-deductible donation), please visit our website at www.NYC-EJA.org.  You'll be glad you did!

 

Hasta la proxima,

Eddie Bautista,

Executive Director