The Environmental Action Committee focuses on issues that affect our city’s clean air and water, public health and safety, and climate impacts

As we are a small committee and there are so many potential issues on which to work, we have had to focus on where we can have the most impact. Past and present issues include:

  • High-volume hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) in our watershed and in our state. Our New York City League worked on a moratorium on high-volume fracking in the Delaware River Basin to protect NYC’s water quality as the Basin provides a large amount of our drinking water; presently we strongly support the 4 State Leagues that receive water from the Basin seeking to preserve that moratorium.

  • Under the leadership of the League of Women Voters of New York and advocating with other coalitions we achieved a successful ban on high-volume fracking in NY State.

  • Liquid Natural Gas Floating Port Among our Shipping Lanes coming into NY/NJ Harbor. We were part of a coalition that convinced Governor Cuomo to turn down Liberty Natural Gas, LLP’s proposal for Port Ambrose. He turned down Port Ambrose primarily on safety issues, which we focused on in our testimony and LWVNY/LWVNYC letter to him based on our research.

  • Waste from fracking and other oil and gas activities. We brought our concerns about fracking waste to the City Council and encouraged them to write a bill to protect the city from allowing the waste to be accepted by our treatment facilities or used on our roads for de-icing and dust suppression. We helped form a coalition to advocate and lobby for a stronger amended bill, which ultimately passed and is now part of City Law.

  • Natural gas infrastructure. While our state bans high-volume fracking, there is ongoing production in neighboring states such as Pennsylvania which affects us. We are greatly concerned about the AIM pipeline, a large-diameter, high-pressure gas line which passes dangerously close to the Indian Point nuclear power plant and its spent fuel rods. We have advocated for preventing the pipeline from going into full operation, for the safety of 20 million people including those in NYC.

  • Waste reduction and sustainable alternatives. In the last year we joined BagItNYC, a coalition to promote the passage of a City Council bill to address the problem of the 10 billion plastic bags which the city uses every year, most of which go to landfills or pollute the environment. The bill charging $.05 per checkout bag provided by the merchant to increase awareness about the problem and encourage people to bring their own shopping bags was passed after years of hearings and compromise. Recently, the State legislature and Governor preempted the city’s law, with no public comment or discussion. This is a blow to our city’s ability to enact solutions to its environmental challenges.

  • Adoption of clean energy to reduce pollution and climate effects. We are educating ourselves about renewable energy sources in NYC and how we might work to increase their usage in our city.

We continue to look for ways to get involved that help protect the environment and health of those living and working in NYC. Local action is more crucial than ever given the stated aims of the new President, his cabinet appointees, and the Republican-controlled Congress to promote fossil fuels and block clean energy, and to weaken environmental laws and safeguards.