Environmental Bond Act: A Good Investment for New York
The proposed $4.2 billion “Clean Water, Clean Air, and Green Jobs” Bond Act, appearing on the statewide November ballot for New Yorker’s consideration, is a plan supported by The Business Council of New York State, because of its investments in critical infrastructure improvements in response to climate change. Such investments will go toward public green building projects, improvements to drinking water systems, air, and water pollution reduction projects with an emphasis on reducing emissions in disadvantaged communities, waterfront revitalization, coastal and shoreline restoration, agricultural projects, and others.
Importantly, the proposal would require at least 35% of the funds to be invested in communities that have been historically most burdened by pollution and limited environmental spending.
A breakdown of investments include:
Up to $1.1 billion for restoration and flood risk reduction, including but not limited to watershed protection and restoration projects, local waterfront revitalization projects, and the purchase and management of flood-prone properties.
$650 million for open space and recreation projects, including but not limited to preserving open spaces including land and easement purchases, improving public recreational facilities, and farmland protection.
$1.65 billion for climate change mitigation, including but not limited to public green building projects, carbon sequestration and methane emission reduction projects, urban forestry projects, and reduction of air emissions from stationary and mobile sources including supporting a transition to zero emission school buses.
$650 million for water quality and resilient infrastructure, including but not limited to storm water management, agricultural nutrient management, addressing algal blooms, improved wastewater infrastructure, reducing point and non-point water discharges, replacing lead water lines.
Overall, these investments will produce new, good paying jobs, and provide investment and work opportunities across the state. And, by putting the proposal before the voters, it represents a responsible approach to creating additional state debt.