Table of Contents:   
1) Latest on Power Plant Regulations
2) Letter to Mayor Bloomberg opposing Thermal "waste-to-energy" (a.k.a. Incineration)
3) Introducing the NYC-EJA Fellows
4) Pratt Public Lecture Series
5) Debate on East 91st Marine Transfer Station?
March 2012 - Volume 3, Issue 2
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Greetings!

NYC Power Plant

Power Plant Siting Regulations Update

 

The NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has issued draft regulations called Part 487 - and a NYC public hearing on those regulations is scheduled for Tuesday, March 6th at 3 pm, at the NYS Department of Public Service, 90 Church Street, 4th Floor.  We urge environmental justice (EJ) community leaders to visit the NYS DEC website to learn about the regs and process.

 

Article X is NYS's power plant siting law. EJ communities won a victory last year when the new law promised that power plants proposed for communities with disproportionate environmental burdens would have to offset any additional pollution generated by these new plants in local communities - before the plant could be approved. However, the draft 487 regulations must be improved to realize this promise.  To properly implement the law, the regulations should do the following:

  1. Article X's environmental justice protections should extend to all overburdened communities If DEC uses rigid race and income thresholds, it should also allow for local communities to appeal for a full EJ analysis where they can present evidence that shows the "screen" has excluded overburdened areas.
  2.  The areas significantly impacted by the proposed plant should be the same areas that benefit from these EJ protections.  
  3. Where credible evidence indicates that there are significant impacts, the applicant should be required to address them 
  4. When considering existing burdens, the applicant should consider the minor and mobile emissions sources impacting EJ communities 
  5. The regulations should keep up with new developments for assessing cumulative and disproportionate impacts.  
For more information about the recommendations, please see 
.  Public comments are due March 15th.

NYC-EJA members protesting Incineration panel 
Letter to Mayor Bloomberg opposing "Thermal WTE" 

Environmental and public health groups are united in our opposition to New York City official's ill-considered flirtation with thermal incineration technologies.  Under the euphemism of "waste-to-energy", industry lobbyists and their apologists have begun a full-court press to sell new, untested thermal technologies for "pilot" projects in the nation's densest urban center.

Recently, a coalition of over 50 environmental justice, environmental, community and public health groups sent a letter to Mayor Bloomberg urging his reconsideration of piloting risky "thermal waste-to-energy" (a.k.a. incineration) in New York City.  See attached link to read the letter. Coalition Letter to Mayor Bloomberg opposing Thermal WTE

Introducing the 2012 NYC-EJA Fellows!

The NYC Environmental Justice Alliance (NYC-EJA) is proud to announce our inaugural cohort of NYC-EJA Fellows!  Funded by the generous support of the Rockefeller Foundation (and recruited from Pratt Institute's Graduate Programs for Sustainable Planning and Development), the NYC-EJA Fellows will work on our Waterfront Justice Project, a research/advocacy campaign seeking to increase the community resiliency of waterfront communities beset by clusters of heavy industry and polluting infrastructure.  The clustering of heavy industrial uses are most prominently felt in areas designated as Significant Maritime and Industrial Area's (SMIA's) by NYC's Waterfront Revitalization Program.  The negative environmental impacts generated by the SMIA designations are further compounded by their vulnerability to storm surges, flooding, sea level rise and other effects of climate change - with severe local weather events expected to increase in both frequency and intensity in the coming decades.  Each NYC-EJA Fellow will be assigned to a NYC-EJA member group for a year, where they will work with their host group to study waterfront policies, research local conditions and work to identify strategies to increase their community resiliency. Below are the 2012 NYC-EJA Fellows:  

 

Ankita Rathi

Ankita Rathi is an Environmental Planner currently pursuing her graduate study for M.Sc. in Urban Environmental Management Systems at Pratt Institute. Her educational background includes Bachelors in Civil Engineering and Masters in Environmental Planning from India and she has gained work experience as an Environmental Planner while
 working with Feedback Ventures - India's leading Integrated Infrastructure Services Company and CEPT Research and Development Unit, CEPT University for two years. She started out as an associate, working as a part of a larger team and gradually shouldered independent responsibilities as a Project Manager, responsible for multiple projects and teams, while working on government projects, research projects, stakeholder/community consultations and business development.

Catalina Parra Catalina Parra obtained a degree in architecture in her home country, Colombia in 2006 and for the last five years she was part of design teams dedicated to creating, renovating and constructing projects that ranged from art pieces to large-scale architecture. Working on such a variety of projects as art exhibits, housing projects or public buildings gave her the opportunity to gain valuable experience and understanding of architectural impacts and scopes within a community or a city. Currently she is pursuing a M.S in Environmental Management Systems at Pratt Institute in NYC, to expand her knowledge and focusing in communities for creating better life-quality conditions.

 

Daniel Lim

Daniel Lim was born in Yangon, Myanmar, and grew up in Brooklyn. Daniel attended the University of Vermont, where he received a degree in Ecological Design and Community Development, co-founded the Honors College Diversity Task Force to make the curriculum and student body more culturally inclusive, and designed a 1/4-acre edible garden for the student center as his Honors Thesis. Daniel is pursuing a Master's degree in City & Regional Planning at Pratt Institute, where he worked as an Equitable Development Fellow at the Pratt Center for Community Development (co-leading the publication of the Jackson Heights Green Agenda sustainability plan), and participated in a studio that developed a community resiliency plan for UPROSE and its Sunset Park neighborhood. Daniel will help UPROSE launch a new body of work on green infrastructure, as well as help them in several city-and-state-wide NYC-EJA campaigns. 
 

Leonel Ponce Leonel Lima Ponce is an architectural professional, graphic designer, and photographer from Rio de Janeiro. His exposure to Rio's failing infrastructure motivates a search for solutions to urban plight through sustainable design and planning. A graduate of The University of Texas in Austin's School of Architecture, he looks to be involved in a greener, healthier planet through design and advocacy. Leonel writes for inhabitat.com, has volunteered with Oxfam Action Corps NYC and the US Green Building Council, and participated in design competitions through Architecture for Humanity and The Archive Institute. He hopes to incorporate this experience, and his graduate studies in Urban Environmental Systems Management at The Pratt Institute into a career in renewable energy and sustainable infrastructure.

 

Michael Catalano

Michael A. Catalano is currently a graduate student studying Urban Environmental Systems Management at Pratt Institute and is an adjunct faculty member at the New York Institute of Technology, NYIT, School of Architecture & Design, were he co-created and teaches the course Ecology for Architects since 2008. Michael has worked with Ciardullo Associates, an architecture firm in NYC, where he took part in the design of New York City Public Schools as both new construction and retrofit projects from 2006 to 2010. He has recently completed a Masters Degree in Sustainability in the Urban Environment at City College, CUNY and completed his professional Bachelor of Architecture degree in 2006 from NYIT where he received the Alpha Rho Chi medal. In 2005 he helped Design and build one of America's First Solar Powered Hydrogen Homes as team leader for NYIT/USMMA within the Solar Decathlon Competition, sponsored by the United States National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

 

Rosa Munar

Rosa Munar has a degree in architecture that she earned at Universitat Internacional de Catalunya in Barcelona on 2010. While studying, she worked as part of the design team at Undo Architects, collaborating with them in the organization of an architectural festival, called eme3, centered around the theme of collapse. Recently Ms. Munar's design 'Re-Plant Furniture' was selected winner of the GreenHomeNYC's Design Challenge and she has become involved in other competitions making NY more environmentally sustainable. Currently she is a candidate for MS in Urban Environmental Systems Management at Pratt Institute PSPD in NYC and works as a graduate assistant to the program director.

NYC-EJA & Pratt Institute host Public Lecture Series: Environmental Justice in NY
Fair Share photo

NYC-EJA and Pratt Institute's Graduate Programs for Sustainable Planning & Development are co-hosts of the 2012 Public Lecture Series on Environmental Justice in New York. The Public Lecture Series is free and open to the public, and will begin this Friday, February 3rd at Pratt Manhattan Campus, 144 West 14th Street (between 7th and 6th Avenues), Room 213 from 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm. The Lecture Series will focus on some of the key policy priorities and players involved in City environmental justice issues. The March lecture is:

 

Fri. Mar. 23rd: Brownfields in NYC - a panel with Daniel Walsh, Director of the Mayor's Office of Environmental Remediation (the first municipal brownfields remediation office in the nation) and Jody Kass, Executive Director of New Partners for Community Revitalization. 

 

Space is limited - please RSVP at [email protected].  Hope to see you there! 
NYC-EJA (and Solid Waste) In the News
Time Running Out for Trash Facility Foes - today's Wall Street Journal reports on the latest efforts of Upper East Side residents' well-financed efforts to avoid their waste handling responsibilities.  In opposing the re-opening of their marine transfer station, one of their leaders even suggests trucking more Manhattan waste to be handled in the South Bronx...again.  Click to read NYC-EJA's response.

Debate over Upper East Side marine transfer station - The attached clip is from March 3rd's Good Day Street Talk show on Fox 5, featuring NYC-EJA's attorney Gavin Kearney of NY Lawyers for the Public Interest and a representative of Upper East Side opponents (the same spokesperson quoted in today's Wall Street Journal article from the above link).