On Friday, Assemblyman Thiele issued the following statement on the various environmental provision enacted in the FY 2022-2023 New York State Budget:
“This year’s State Budget has been nothing short of historic, especially when it comes to addressing our climate crisis, growing our green economy, and preserving clean air and water for future generations. On Long Island, our way of life is defined by our environment and with these bold investments, we will be better equipped to not only address climate issues statewide but in our own backyards. Among the measures included are,
- The Clean Water, Clean Air, and Green Jobs Environmental Bond Act, which enacts a ballot initiative for a $4.2 billion-dollar, comprehensive statewide improvement plan to preserve, enhance, and restore New York’s natural resources and reduce the impact of climate change. Components of the plan include funding to address climate change mitigation, restoration and flood risk reduction, open space land conservation and recreation, water quality improvement and resilient infrastructure with at least 35% of total funding being spent within disadvantaged communities. This measure will come before voters on the statewide ballot in November.
- Environmental Protection Fund, which will be increased to $400 million, the most funding the program has ever received. The EPF is New York’s source of funding for capital projects that protect the environment and enhance communities.
- Peconic Estuary Partnership, which will provide $450,000 to support the efforts to monitor and protect the nationally recognized Peconic Estuary System. This amount is consistent with last year’s funding increase to the program.
- Freshwater Wetlands Protection, which makes certain that our freshwater wetlands are protected by adding an additional one million acres of wetlands under the protection of the Department of Environmental Conservation.
- Geothermal Energy Systems Tax Credit, which will provide a tax credit for the installation of geothermal energy systems and substantially reduce the amount of fossil fuel and carbon emissions expended when supplying heat to buildings.
“While there is still much to be done in the remainder of this year’s Legislative Session, I believe that this budget is a major victory for the environment and the future of Long Island.”