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Groups Issue Green 'To-Do List' for NY Governor and Lawmakers

January 14, 2011

NEW YORK - Environmental groups from across New York are sending "green memos" to Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York lawmakers concerning a dozen key issues. The green to-do list includes suggested actions ranging from investing in clean energy to restoring the state's Environmental Protection Fund.

David Gahl, policy director with Environment Advocates of New York, says all of the recommendations fall into two categories.

"They either help spur economic development in New York State or they protect taxpayers from long-term costs in the future for cleaning up sites that may have toxic contamination."

Gov. Cuomo campaigned for a "cleaner, greener" New York, and Gahl says dozens of local green groups came together to come up with these policy proposals to help the new governor make good on his pledge.

Laura Haight, senior environmental associate with the New York Public Interest Research Group, says New York is trying to make the most of tight resources. That's why one point in the green memo would put a $100 million cap on brownfields cleanup funding.

"They'd be using that cap to really focus it on what the goal and intent of this program was - not just to clean up sites safely, but also to target those resources in order to revitalize blighted communities."

They are also calling upon New York to make investments in both its Environmental Protection Fund, Gahl says, and in the state's clean energy future.

"Independent studies have shown that, if New York really put some resources behind investing in the solar industry, we could produce as many as 3,000 to 10,000 permanent good jobs in New York State."

More information is available at, under "News."

Mike Clifford, Public News Service - NY