Blogs > Policy > Riverkeeper’s second annual Legislative Agenda supports critical opportunities to advance policies that will positively impact the environment for generations

Riverkeeper’s second annual Legislative Agenda supports critical opportunities to advance policies that will positively impact the environment for generations

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Crucial legislation and budget priorities to improve water quality & water infrastructure, mitigate effects of increased stormwater runoff, and safeguard the Hudson River from pollution

Legislative Agenda 2024Riverkeeper is proud to announce the release of our second annual New York State Legislative Agenda for the 2024 legislative session, which encompasses a range of legislative and budgetary measures aimed at improving water quality and water infrastructure, addressing the effects of increased stormwater runoff, and safeguarding the Hudson River from pollution. The Riverkeeper community plays a crucial role in supporting our agenda by communicating directly with lawmakers through our action center about the clean water priorities Riverkeeper champions.

The upcoming legislative session presents a critical opportunity to advance policies that will positively impact our environment for generations to come. The Hudson River – and the environment as a whole – rely on the continuation of essential funds for the environment in the state budget, and the passage of legislation Riverkeeper has identified to address water quality issues.

New York State has long been an environmental leader, spurring federal and international policies. The Governor and Legislature must redouble their commitment to the environment and take the actions necessary to continue this important legacy.

Some of the legislation Riverkeeper is advocating for this coming session includes:

  • The Water Bill Fairness Act (S4169/A4019) addresses the urgent flooding crisis caused by increased precipitation due to climate change, and would authorize water authorities across the state to establish innovative policies that are the norm in over 2,000 communities across the nation to raise revenue to pay for stormwater management and climate resilience projects.
  • Green Roof Tax Abatement (A6901A/S6409A), which would reauthorize a NYC-based incentive for addressing climate impacts and managing stormwater. Green roofs are a key green infrastructure component for reducing stormwater runoff and “heat-island effect” while providing habitat for wildlife.
  • The Safe Water Infrastructure Action Program (SWAP) (S4350A/A6155), which would provide formula-based funding to address urgent wastewater and drinking water infrastructure needs across the state.
  • Petroleum Spill Insurance Coverage and Transparency (Fahy – Bill Number Pending), which would ensure that petroleum carriers and bulk storage facilities have adequate liability coverage to cover the costs of cleaning up a petroleum spill.

This year, Riverkeeper urges the Governor and Legislature to prioritize crucial funding for essential environmental initiatives in the upcoming budget:

  • $600 million Clean Water Infrastructure Act: Riverkeeper strongly advocates funding this popular and essential clean water grants program at $100 million higher than appropriations in last year’s budget, and urges a new commitment to reach $4 billion in appropriations over the next 5 years.
  • $100,000 Interstate Environmental Commission (IEC): Riverkeeper calls for New York to reach its $100,000 local match to fund key water quality science projects across the NYC metropolitan area.
  • Protect New York’s streams critical to wildlife and drinking water in response to the SCOTUS decision in Sackett V. EPA, which dismantled core protections for waterways, and provide NYSDEC with implementation funds. Last session, Governor Hochul vetoed legislation (S1725 of 2023) that would have achieved this goal, claiming that the policy is better suited for the budget process. This session, the Governor and Legislature have an opportunity to enact this key policy and provide funding for the implementation of new waterway protections.
  • $400 million Environmental Protection Fund to fund core programs such as the Hudson River Estuary Program at $7.5 million, Waterfront Revitalization Program at $22 million, and Water Quality Improvement Program at $16.5 million.

Our legislative agenda provides a roadmap for New York lawmakers to improve the condition of our waterways and the quality of wildlife habitat across the Empire State. We rely on you, our supporters, to help spread the message far and wide. Please sign up to receive our email alerts as we roll out action alerts over the next few weeks and months to support clean water policy during the 2024 Legislative Session.

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