By: Nick Reisman | Spectrum Local News
The passage of an environmental bond act would inject billions of dollars into the economy and support 65,000 jobs in New York, according to a study set to be released later on Monday.
The report from the infrastructure consulting firm AECOM and the advocacy coalition Rebuild by Design found the bond act would also lead to $6.7 billion in project spending, including $3.25 billion to restore natural areas and reduce flooding, as well as $1.6 billion for clean water jobs. An additional $1 billion would be spent for projects that help mitigate the effect of climate change in New York.
Each area would support tens of thouands of jobs to shore up the state’s infrastructure against tropical storms, hurricanes, flash floods, and other forms of severe weather.
The bond act was first proposed last year by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in order to fund major green projects around the state. But the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent economic fallout led to the proposal being shelved.
This year, a coalition that includes environmental organizations and labor groups are pushing to revive the measure and have it put to voters.
“Communities in New York state are already suffering from climate change. Past disasters, such as Hurricane Sandy, and our recent experience with COVID-19, have laid bare the reality that these events disproportionately hurt the most vulnerable populations,” said Amy Chester, the managing director of Rebuild by Design. “We need to pass the Bond Act and give communities the resources they need to build infrastructure that will address climate change and put New York on a path to recovery.”
A previous report found over the last decade severe storms and flooding have affected every county in the state, with major disaster declarations costing $37.3 billion in federal aid.