After Sandy, Focus Turns to Protecting Qns. Environment

Legislation To Safeguard Infrastructure

Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder announced he supported legislation to cleanup the environment and protect the future health of southern Queens and Rockway residents, especially as they recover from Hurricane Sandy.

The legislative package addresses several major environmental issues, including, climate change, pollution control, and most importantly, clean drinking water.

“After Sandy, we must not forget to protect our environment for southern Queens and Rockaway families, as well as, take preventative measures to ensure that the health and well-being of our future generations is secured,” said Goldfeder. “This legislation will provide the necessary state funding to guarantee our water and sewage treatment plants are not adversely impacted by climate change, rising sea levels or as we’ve seen with Sandy, extreme weather.”

In order to better protect areas that are most susceptible to environmental hazards, such as southern Queens and Rockaway, the state government must ensure that every risk is considered when making state funding decisions, noted Goldfeder.

One measure requires the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) publish a list of “high local environmental impact zones” (A.3729). Currently, areas with existing environmental hazards are frequently chosen for new development projects, and therefore put resident’s lives and health at a disadvantage.

Additionally, this legislation would establish a Permanent Environmental Justice Advisory Group within the DEC and an Environmental Justice Interagency Coordinating Council, and would require state agencies to adopt and abide by environmental justice policies (A.3569).

“This package of legislation addresses many of the major concerns our neighborhoods currently face,” Goldfeder concluded. “We need to do everything we can to ensure our drinking water is clean, our infrastructure is strong, and our treatment plants are prepared to keep residents safe, as well as give them a peace of mind as they rebuild.”

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