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The Westchester County Board of Legislators unanimously voted last week to pass a resolution supporting the Clean Water, Clean Air, Green Jobs Environmental Bond Act of 2022.
The proposition, which will be on the Nov. 8 election ballot, seeks to invest $4.2 billion in state-issued bonds to improve current infrastructure to better prepare the state from natural disasters caused by climate change.
“We have crumbling water infrastructure. We desperately need this bond,” said Legislator MaryJane Shimsky (D), chair of the Committee on Public Works & Transportation, who represents most of the rivertowns. “We need it to protect our people from the effects of climate change. We need it to promote environmental justice in many of our communities which lack some of the resources they need to make sure that their water issues are properly taken care of.”
Legislator Jewel Williams Johnson (D), Chair of the Committee on Health, who represents White Plains and Greenburgh, added, “Everyone should know that Westchester County is one of the counties in New York with the most disadvantaged environmental communities, second to only New York City [counties]. Environmental justice and addressing climate change is also a health concern.”
If approved, the funds, designated by Governor Kathy Hochul in April 2022, will be divided into four main categories: $1.5 billion for climate change mitigation, $1.1 billion for restoration and flood risk reduction, $650 million for open space land conservation and recreation, and water quality improvement and resilient infrastructure. There is an additional stipulation directing 35% of the total funding to be used to rehabilitate disadvantaged communities.
The bill has been endorsed by many nonpartisan organizations, including the New York League of Conservation Voters and Sustainable Westchester.
“New York voters can make history this election by voting yes on the Environmental Bond Act, and now is the time for municipal governments and organizations to stand and be counted,” said New York League of Conservation Voters President Julie Tighe.
“This critical referendum provides an opportunity for New York State to protect clean drinking water, modernize infrastructure, and improve quality of life,” said Sustainable Westchester Executive Director Nina Orville. “It will help communities throughout Westchester to upgrade water and sewer systems to keep drinking water and our local waterways clean while creating thousands of good local jobs.”
Rick has more than 40 years’ experience covering local news in Westchester and Putnam counties, running the gamut from politics and crime to sports and human interest. He has been an editor at Examiner Media since 2012. Read more from Rick’s editor-author bio here. Read Rick’s work here: https://www.theexaminernews.com/author/pezzullo_rick-writer/