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Category Archives:

environmental justice

More Action Announced Toward Climate Goals in the Wake of Climate Week NYC

As Climate Week NYC came to a close two weeks ago, Governor Hochul announced some major developments in plans to advance New York State’s ambitious climate goals for the coming decades.

First, the Governor announced completion of a major $460 million modernization and life extension effort at the New York Power Authority’s Lewiston Pump Generating Plant and the digitization of the first of 13 hydropower turbines at the Robert Moses Niagara Power Plant. The digitization is the first major milestone of Next Generation Niagara, a $1.1 billion, 15-year modernization and digitization program to significantly extend the operating life of the Niagara Power Project. Together, these projects represent nearly $1.6 billion of clean energy infrastructure investments at the Niagara Power Project that will help advance New York State’s aggressive clean energy goal to transition to 100 percent carbon-free electricity by 2040.

At the end of Climate Week, the Governor also announced the latest round of communities to achieve certification as part of New York State’s Climate Smart Communities program, which supports local efforts to meet the economic, social, and environmental challenges posed by climate change. By taking meaningful steps to mitigate and adapt to climate change, 11 local governments met the criteria to be recognized as leaders for the first time.

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Heat Domes & the Future of the Electric Grid

Last week, Lytton, a small town in British Columbia, Canada, broke its nation’s all-time temperature reading three days in a row as temperatures soared as high as 121 degrees. Days later, the village largely burned to the ground as extreme wildfires spewed smoke and ash 55,000 feet into the sky.

Now, southwest Canada and much of the western United States are bracing for another bout of exceptional heat amid a pattern that could once again place records in jeopardy. Death Valley, Calif., might spike to 130 degrees.

Temperatures up to 25 degrees above average could dominate most of the West this weekend into next week, with little relief in sight for quite some time. Odds favor anomalously hot and dry conditions to prevail into the fall.

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Solar One Announces Retirement of Executive Director

Press Release

Founding Executive Director, Christopher J. Collins will retire December 2021 after 17 years leading the organization.

The organizational leadership team, the Board of Directors, and all staff are grateful for his leadership and hard work over the years and note that he leaves them and the organization well-positioned to carry his legacy and the charitable mission forward, building on the solid foundations he put in place.

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After 60+ Years, Cities Are Reconsidering Urban Highways

In the years after World War II, car ownership boomed in the United States, and so did the development of urban freeways. In many cases, making it easy for people to drive from suburban areas to downtown business districts came at a severe cost to low income neighborhoods, and especially to places with high concentrations of Black and brown residents.

Today, ambitious climate goals and new considerations of environmental justice are causing some cities to reconsider those long-ago decisions in urban planning, especially since many of those highways are deteriorating and nearing the end of their useful lives.

But plans to remove highways, while potentially offering benefits like cleaner air, less noise and more walkable neighborhoods, also raise new questions about development, open space and exactly who will benefit from these changes.

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NYCHA’s Queensbridge Houses Go Solar

Solar Panel installation at Queensbridge Houses with GCF Participants

On Earth Day this past Thursday, the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) announced substantial
completion of 1.8 megawatts of rooftop solar arrays on 27 buildings across Queensbridge North
and Queensbridge South Houses, the largest public housing project in the country. This solar
installation is the first to reach completion as part of NYCHA’s solar program, and is a key
component of the NYCHA Sustainability Agenda commitment to host 25 megawatts of solar
power by 2025, which will make it the largest community shared solar project in New York City.

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The Derek Chauvin Trial Is Over, But the Fight for Justice and Accountability Isn’t

Americans who were horrified about the murder of George Floyd and protested police violence and over-policing of people of color throughout last summer breathed a collective sigh of relief when the jury in the Chauvin trial returned a verdict of “guilty” on all three counts on Tuesday. Mr. Floyd’s brother, Philonise Floyd, wrote this moving tribute in the Washington Post that speaks to what so many are feeling: exhaustion, relief, a sense of history moving slowly forward. The verdict is historic and we hope it is a strong first step towards more even-handed and less racially motivated dispensation of justice in the United States.

But there is still much work to be done. Hours before the Chauvin verdict was announced, 16 year old M’Khia Bryant was shot and killed by police responding to a 911 call in Columbus, Ohio. And in December of last year, two other Black citizens died at the hands of Columbus police: Casey Goodson, Jr., 23, and Andre Hill, 47. Many others around the country, including Breonna Taylor, Daunte Wright, Adam Toledo, Tamir Rice, Trayvon Martin, Philando Castile and so many others have had the justice they deserved deferred or denied. We must continue to remember their humanity, the pain of their loved ones in the face of their tragic and unnecessary deaths, and the value to our society that was lost with them.

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