The White Plains Examiner

State Lawmakers Form New Environmental Caucus

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A press release issued by Assemblyman David Buchwald’s (D-White Plains) office announces the formation of a new Environmental Caucus. The legislative group, comprised of lawmakers affiliated with National Caucus will consider New York’s Environmental and Energy Challenges.

Thirty-three members of the New York State legislature announced the formation of the New York State Caucus of Environmental Legislators (NYSCEL), a nonpartisan group of environmentally progressive Senators and Assemblymembers representing districts throughout New York. The legislators formed NYSCEL as a forum to consider various legislative and policy issues related to preserving and protecting the environment and public health. The Caucus expects to hold periodic meetings among members, host speakers, and convene other events to educate elected officials and the public and to focus attention on the need for action on environmental and energy issues.

The first meeting of NYSCEL, held last week, was organized by Assemblymember Brian Kavanagh, who will Chair the Caucus, with additional leadership to be announced. NYSCEL members include Senator Mark Grisanti and Assemblymember Bob Sweeney, the Chairs of the Senate and Assembly Environmental Conservation Committees. The legislators also launched a website (, Facebook page (, and Twitter account (@NYSCEL). The new State Caucus and the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators ( have agreed to affiliate their respective organizations. Various environmental advocacy organizations made statements (below) welcoming the new Caucus.

“I am confident that NYSCEL will be a powerful resource for legislators who are committed to environmental preservation and the wellbeing of our communities,” said Assemblymember Brian Kavanagh. “By bringing together legislators from across the state with a variety of expertise, we will deepen our common understanding of the environmental challenges we face and our commitment to addressing them. I thank my colleagues, who have already shown tremendous leadership on so many environmental issues, for joining NYSCEL, and NCEL Executive Director J.R. Tolbert for helping to make that national organization such an appealing partner for our state-level efforts.”

“It’s an honor to be a founding member of the New York State Caucus of Environmental Legislators,” said Assemblyman David Buchwald (D-Westchester). “Protecting our environment is a crucial legacy we need to pass onto future generations, and I look forward to the pursuit of thoughtful and meaningful environmental policy in New York with my colleagues in the caucus and throughout the legislature.”

“As Chair of the Senate Environmental Conservation committee, it’s my pleasure to take part in this new and exciting caucus,” said Senate Environmental Conservation Committee Chair Mark Grisanti. “NYSCEL will help facilitate important conversations between members about the pressing environmental concerns we face across the state.”

Assembly Environmental Conservation Committee Chair Bob Sweeney said, “I am delighted to work with the New York State Caucus of Environmental Legislators on issues that matter to New York State. From the beaches of Long Island to the Adirondacks, New York State’s environment remains a national treasure and an economic engine that is unparalleled. This caucus is a great opportunity to ensure these resources are available for future generations.”

“The National Caucus of Environmental Legislators is excited to assist pro-environment legislators in New York in forming this new Caucus,” said JR Tolbert, Executive Director of the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators. “The commitment of this bipartisan group of legislators to advancing sound environmental policy will certainly help to strengthen environmental protection in New York, and we hope to replicate their model in statehouses across the country.”

Laura Haight, Senior Environmental Associate with the New York Public Interest Research Group, said, “Kudos to Assemblymember Brian Kavanagh for initiating this environmental caucus and to all the members who are participating. This will provide a valuable forum for state legislators to reach across the aisle and review, discuss, and work together to improve laws protecting New York’s environment and public health.”

Peter Iwanowicz, Executive Director of Environmental Advocates of New York said, “In recent years it has been difficult to move common-sense environmental legislation through both houses and to the Governor for his signature. This coalition, led by Republicans and Democrats from both chambers, has the potential to change the dynamic, advance meaningful protections, and ease the gridlock. I applaud the legislators who have opened the door to undertaking this very important partnership, particularly Assemblyman Kavanagh for spearheading this important initiative. It’s time for action and the NYSCEL provides the pathway for legislators to deliver for their constituents.”

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