New Yorkers need a commitment to environmental funding to ensure our economic and public health recovery. When making difficult funding decisions, these programs must be recognized as essential.
The Environmental Protection Fund
The Environmental Protection Fund supports 350,000 jobs across New York in a broad spectrum of industries including construction, agriculture, recreation, tourism, forestry, recycling, and recreational fishing. EPF-supported industries add $40 billion to the state’s economy every year. For every $1 invested in land and water protection, $7 in economic benefits is returned to the state.
Click here to learn more about the EPF.
New York Parks 2020 & DEC New York Works Program
Over the last 10 years, New York Parks 2020 has funded $1 billion in upgrades to New York’s world-class state parks system. Every dollar invested in state parks generates $5 of economic activity. DEC New York Works Program creates new recreational opportunities and infrastructure to support the record visitation our state lands are now experiencing and local construction jobs in park development, which have been an economic lifeline for many communities.
Clean Water Infrastructure Act
New York’s drinking water and wastewater systems need tens of billions of dollars in upgrades to ensure our communities have safe drinking water and our lakes, rivers, and bays are not polluted. To date, the State has provided $3.9 billion for water infrastructure programs, including the Clean Water Infrastructure Act, and Governor Cuomo committed an additional $1.5 billion over the next three years as part of the Y19 budget for a total commitment of $5.4 billion. This funding is critical and must be continued. This program is also a job generator: every $1 million in state investment resulting in 17 local jobs.
Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative
Over the course of the program, $228 million of Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative funds (or17% of total funding) have been transferred by NYSERDA to the state General Fund, depriving New Yorkers of funding that could have lowered energy bills and created good jobs. It is more critical than ever that these funds be fully dedicated to New York’s work fighting climate change, including the Green Jobs Green NY program, and meeting the state’s ambitious climate goals.
The Environmental Bond Act
Due to the economic crisis, the environmental bond act was already taken off the table for 2020. That’s $3 billion to create jobs, protect clean water, address climate change, and create new parks will not be available to communities until we reauthorize the bond act for a future statewide ballot.
A report released by AECOM and Rebuild by Design analyzed the long-term economic benefits of investing $3 billion in projects that would help protect clean water, reduce pollution, conserve family farms, and reduce local climate risks. The findings showed that the environmental bond Act has the potential to support 65,000 jobs in New York and result in an estimated $6.7 billion in project spending.