The Governor’s Environmental Plans—
NY Governor Andrew Cuomo presented his State of the State address in mid-January and although the environment was not a major focus, he did lay out some proposals worthy of note.
- The Governor plans to invest in 50 public access sites on state lands. This will enhance the ability of outdoor recreationists to use these natural areas.
- He proposed a new biomass heating initiative to transition homes from heating oil to locally sourced sustainably harvested low grade wood. This would reduce use of a fossil fuel, but it is important that the fuel wood be harvested without significant damage to the state’s forest resources.
- Also on energy issues, the Governor wants to continue to promote the use of solar power in the state. The existing NY Sun initiative encourages solar panels on schools and other public buildings.
- A major part of the Governor’s speech was devoted to ongoing recovery from the super storms of recent years, and improving the ability of the state’s infrastructure to withstand future such events. In addition to “hardening” the infrastructure by protecting water treatment plants, the electric grid, etc., there are proposals to buy out homes in vulnerable areas, restore protective wetlands, and promote natural infrastructure.
- On the down side, Cuomo called for promoting business in the state by removing regulatory barriers. This could result in less environmental review and protection.
- The Governor also proposed expedited review of energy transmission projects that use existing corridors. This may be an issue locally as a new electricity transmission line is planned along the Marcy South line through Delaware and Otsego Counties.
- What you can do—Tell Gov. Cuomo you support his alternative energy initiatives, and green infrastructure improvements, but do not want to see the environmental review process in the state weakened.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo
Albany, NY 12224
Conservation and Legislation