Monday, November 19, 2012

The Consortium For Worker Education

US Department of Labor Pathways Grant for Green Workforce Development

The Consortium for Worker Education, along with service partners SoBRO, Sustainable South Bronx, the Osborne Association, the Association for Energy Affordability and Nontraditional Employment for Women, is implementing the $4 million Green Jobs "Pathways" grant. Funded by US Department of Labor, the grant has established the Center for Environmental Workforce Training (CEWT) to recruit, train and identify employment opportunities for Bronx residents in city-wide emerging Green industries and transitioning sectors.

This initiative, supported by the Bronx Borough President through Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation (BOEDC) also helps local Green businesses flourish by providing support and development services for businesses involved in clean energy provision, energy saving retrofitting, pro-environmental manufacturing, materials recycling, materials re-use, and de-construction. The Bronx Green Business Network (BGBN) has been created to link program workforce training efforts to business and employer training and hiring needs. This unique business network serves a vital role in identifying job opportunities for the wide spectrum of workers prepared through the Center's constellation of comprehensive workforce development service organizations. (CWE)

For Applicants

Under funding requirements, training and placement services are provided only to residents in target Bronx zip codes. To find out if you are eligible, please call:
The Center for Environmental for Workforce Training Office
105 Bruckner Blvd. Bronx, New York 10454
(718) 292-1868, ext. 5005 or 5001

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Saturday, October 20, 2012

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation's New York Environmental Leaders Program Open Enrollment Period

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYS DEC) is accepting applications for the New York Environmental Leaders Program (NYEL). The open enrollment period began on September 1, 2012 and applications will be accepted until October 31, 2012.

NYEL, which is entering its fifth year of operation, provides recognition and incentives to New York State companies and organizations that can demonstrate the use of pollution prevention practices, beyond compliance performance, or sustainable business practices as a result of their participation in NYEL. Detailed information about NYEL can be found on the NYS DEC's website.

For more information

Lisa M. Kranick
Program Assistant
Office of Environmental Justice
Melvin I. Norris
Office of General Counsel
Scott Crisafulli, Esq. and Benjamin Conlon, Esq.
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
625 Broadway
Albany, NY 12233-1500
Tele: (518) 402-8556
Fax: (518) 402-9018

Monday, July 30, 2012

AAEA Challenges NY & Conn Attorneys General on Clean Air

Indian Point Connecticut Post

"Connecticut, clean air and Indian Point"

Entire Article

Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman have teamed up to improve air quality, an especially formidable challenge in densely populated communities clustered near major highways like I-84, I-95, Route 8/25 and the Merritt Parkway.

The duo recently won a federal lawsuit to compel the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to adopt updated air standards for harmful particulate matter -- commonly referred to as "soot" pollution -- by Dec. 14, 2012.
Although this is a good first step, more needs to be done to protect our community's most vulnerable members. Like any agents of cure, Jepsen and Schneiderman are compelled to first do no harm.
In my opinion, that means ending a series of cross-border legal actions both attorneys general have undertaken to effectively try to close the Indian Point Energy Center in New York. That facility produces 2,000 megawatts of virtually emissions-free power each day.

Connecticut residents, too, need clean power to illuminate their homes and workplaces, to power our jobs and economy. Given its own issues, taking up arms in a neighboring state seems to be going in the wrong direction. (Conn Post, 7/27/2012)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

New Report Shows 1 in 8 Children in NY Has Asthma

The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has release a report showing that one in eight New York City children has been diagnosed with asthma, with poor children nearly twice as likely to suffer from the respiratory disease.  The report was based on a 2009 survey and is the first time the city Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has estimated the number of children with asthma. The survey of parents found that 177,000 children 12 years and younger—or 13% of children in that age group—had received an asthma diagnosis at some point in their lives.

New York City's rate on average is higher, but then within the city we know the rate varies dramatically. The rate is really pulled up by the high rates in poor neighborhoods.  For instance, children in East Harlem are almost 13 times more likely than those on the Upper East Side to visit an emergency room because of asthma, the report said. Eighteen percent of Hispanic children and 17% of black children have been diagnosed with asthma, compared with 5% of white children.
Nationwide, the number of people with asthma continues to grow, with about one in 10 children, or 10%, having asthma in 2009, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC classifies children as between the ages of 1 and 18.

Asthma has been a persistent problem in urban centers with high poverty rates. The report confirms what doctors know. Child asthma hospitalization rates, which city officials have been tracking for some time, have shown decreases across the board. Still, disparities persist. Rates in the Bronx were two to three times higher than in the city's other boroughs.  (WSJ, 7/17/2012)

Monday, June 4, 2012

Bill Magwood Tours Indian Point

Bill Magwood, Norris McDonald
Nuclear Regulatory Commissioner Bill Magwood visited the Indian Point nuclear power plant this week and toured the Hudson with Riverkeeper, the reactor's leading opponent. Based on a two-hour visit at the nuclear plant, William D. Magwood, one of the five members of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, declared that Indian Point is "operating on a very high standard right now.

Magwood has visited a dozen plants around the country as part of his "personal education" and community outreach efforts. The commissioner praised Indian Point owner Entergy Corp. for taking some "very positive, very forward-leaning" steps by installing new equipment and procedures to deal with emergencies at a level that is not required in its current license.

Magwood's first-ever visit to the 250-acre Buchanan facility included a briefing with local media. Afterward, he and an aide drove to Peekskill's scenic Riverfront Green Park, where they boarded Riverkeeper's patrol boat.  Magwood is the first NRC official to ever go on the water with Riverkeeper.

Indian Point owner Entergy Corp. has filed an application to continue operating the nuclear power plant for another 20 years. The NRC released passing grades to the facility's two reactors earlier this month after an annual inspection. (Newsday, 5/29/2012)

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

91st St & LaGuardia Marine Trash Transfer Stations

The city is planning to invest at least $125 million to retrofit the 91st Street marine trash transfer station to make it handle 4,200 tons of garbage a day. Residents have been fighting the project for years.   It sits next to an asphalt green play area.   The Manhattan’s East 91st Street Marine Transfer Station is one of two trash transfer plants the city is planning.  The other is in Queens next to LaGuardia Airport.

AAEA-NY supports the 91st Street plan but opposes the LaGuardia plan. 

AAEA believes the 91st Street plan represents equity in trash handling and will reduce truck traffic in vulnerable communities.  AAEA believes the LaGuardia Airport plan poses a theat to jet traffic.  Birds are not a threat from the 91st Street station.  According to Mayor Michael Bloomberg, “A waste station was at this exact location for nearly 50 years until 2001 and it was wide open and there wasn’t a bird-strike issue for the waste station then.”

The 91st project has been in the works for the past 10 years. The plan was to construct a marine transfer facility at East 91st Street that would collect waste into containers and export it from several Manhattan community districts, rather than having all the borough's trash shipped to New Jersey.

The 91st Street retrofitt could cost the city roughly $554 million over the next 20 years, according to a new report from the city's Independent Budget Office.  That’s more than twice what it would cost the city to maintain its current system of trucking waste to New Jersey, which the report estimates would total about $218 million over the next two decades.

A coalition of environmentalists, lawyers and neighborhood organizations support the 91st Street garbage facility as being necessary to bring relief to overburdened communities like Bushwick and the South Bronx that have long handled the majority of waste generated by New York City.

The North Shore Marine Transfer Station, which is being in built in College Point at 120-15 31 Avenue in College Point.near LaGuardia Airport, is expected to open in the spring of 2013 and will haul about 3,000 tons of Queens waste by barge to landfills each day.  Even an enclosed facility is going to attract birds and it simply is not worth the risk. Construction has already started on the garbage facility, located 735 yards from one of LaGuardia’s runways. The station would be built directly across Flushing Bay from a runway at La Guardia Airport.

(CBS New York 2, 5/15/2012, DNA Info, 5/23/2012, Photo Courtesy Sane Trash,

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Dan Durett - Director AAEA New York

Dan Durett
Dan Dureett attended the State University of New York at Binghamton, earning a BS degree in history. He earned his MS degree in history from Clark Atlanta University in 1973. Durett went on to complete a graduate degree at Emory University in 1976. As a student at Emory, Durett became interested in the environmental field because of his work in historic preservation and urban environmental issues.

From 1995-1998, Durett worked with the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) and while there, he established a department of Environmental Education Programs.

Today, Durett works as the director of AAEA New York.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

AAEA - NY Presents Testimony at DEC EJ Hearing

AAEA - NY presented a statement on Tuesday before the New York Department of Environmental Conservation at a hearing at the New York Department of Public Service addressing the proposed Article 10 environmental justice regulations.



Dan Durett (ALJ Daniel O'Connell)
AAEA - NY is concerned about the proposed approach for the evaluation of a potentially significant and adverse disproportionate environmental impact area. The evaluation is left up to the applicant. We are concerned that there are no established criteria proposed in the proposed regulation that can definitively evaluate a 'tipping point' that would trigger rejection of the application based on significant and adverse disproportionate environmental impacts. We are concerned because even the DEC EJ Work Group had trouble agreeing upon a disproportionate impact methodology. If these professional EJ participants had trouble establishing disproportionate impact methodology, we are concerned that applicants will have the capacity to provide an adequate framework for the EJ evaluation.

In New York City, it is estimated that there are 2,290 deaths, 1,580 hospitalizations, 546 asthma-related emergency rooms visits, 1,490 cases of chronic bronchitis, and 46,200 asthma attacks yearly attributable to power plant pollution.  The New York City Area has also been ranked as one of the top five U.S. metropolitan areas for particulate air pollution. And again, these adverse effects disproportionately affect minority communities. In one study, nonwhites in New York City were found to be hospitalized twice as many times as whites on days when ozone levels were high. Another study found that, of the 23 counties in New York State that fail to meet Federal air pollution standards, 37.7% of them are populated by people of color.

That African Americans and other minorities are disproportionately affected by air pollution in New York is not surprising when considering the fact that the majority of air polluting power plants in the New York metropolitan area are located in African American and other minority communities. Based on figures from the 2000 U.S. Census, only 12.3% of New York State is identified as being African American, and 29.4 % of the total population is classified as a minority. However, in communities that are predominantly minority, such as Queens, the Bronx, and Brooklyn, there are a disproportionate number of fossil-fuel power plants emitting criteria air pollutants. For example, there are approximately 1,563,400 people of color, 271,247 children living in poverty, and 40,248 children who suffer from pediatric asthma within 30 miles of a coal-fired power plant bordering the New York City metropolitan area. In the Bronx, which is 35.6% African American and 88% minority, there are two power plants. In Brooklyn, which is 36.4% African American and 64% minority, there are seven power plants. In Queens, which is 20% African American and 63.2% minority, there are six power plants. Queens is also ranked among the 10% of U.S. counties in terms of its exposure to criteria air pollutants, and is one of two city boroughs that violates federal standards. In total, there are 24 power plants in the New York Metropolitan area, only a handful of which are in areas where minorities do not comprise the majority of the population.

Finally, from a clean air environmental justice perspective, AAEA - NY is concerned about the potential closure of Indian Point nuclear power plant. If this plant is closed, there will be significant pressure to replace this emission free facility with fossil fuel power plants. This will only increase the burdens on environmental justice areas if replacement power is located in these areas.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Enacted Article 10 Statute:

Power NY Act of 2011

On August 4, 2011, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed into law Chapter 388 of the Laws of 2011 that enacts Article 10 of the Public Service Law. The primary purpose of Article 10 is to provide for the siting review of new and repowered or modified Major Electric Generating Facilities in New York State by the Board on Electric Generation Siting and the Environment (Siting Board) in a unified proceeding instead of requiring a developer or owner of such a facility to apply for numerous state and local permits. A previous version of such a law expired on January 1, 2003. Key provisions of the law include:

1. Defines a major electric generating facility as facilities of 25 megawatts or more;

2. Requires environmental and public health impact analysis, studies regarding environmental justice and public safety, and consideration of local laws;

3. Directs applicants to provide funding for both the pre-application and application phases. It allows funding to be used to help intervenors (affected municipalities and other parties) hire experts to participate in the review of the application and for legal fees (but not for judicial challenges);

4. Requires a utility security plan reviewed by Homeland Security and, for New York City (NYC) plants, NYC's emergency management office;

5. Provides for appointment of ad hoc public members of the Siting Board from the municipality where the facility is proposed to be sited; and,

6. Requires a public information coordinator within the Department of Public Service (Department) to "assist and advise interested parties and members of the public" in participating in the siting process.

Chapter 388 of the Laws of 2011 can be accessed via the link below:


Other useful information on the enacted Article 10 statute: Peter McGowan, General Counsel, Department of Public Service, Presentation at ACE NY Conference

Working Draft of Article 10 Regulations for Stakeholder Review and Comment (NYSDPS, Dated: January 13, 2012):The working draft of the Article 10 regulations was developed using the old regulations for the former generating facility siting laws known as Article VIII and Article X of the Public Service Law; detailed stipulations parties had developed under the old Article X law that defined the scope and methodology of studies and analyses that would need to be in an application; and the experience of the Department of Public Service in reviewing requests for approval to site electric generating facilities.

Practitioners who had experience with the former Article X will recognize that the working draft borrows heavily in a generic fashion from the detailed stipulations that were developed under Article X. We hope that by incorporating the comprehensive generic parts of the stipulations into the draft regulations that all parties involved will be informed in advance of the types of studies and analysis that must be included in an application. We envision that parties will still execute stipulations, however, those stipulations will be more narrowly focused on the unique characteristics of the project and its location such that all participants will be able to use their time and resources more efficiently.

Staff from the Department of Public Service will begin receiving oral feedback on the working draft from stakeholders during the week of January 23, 2012. We ask that stakeholders familiarize themselves with the draft before commenting and in particular to try to focus their comments on specific provisions of the draft regulations. This is a working document. The drafting team will continue to improve the document during the stakeholder process. After all the stakeholders are heard from, the team drafting the regulations will consider the feedback and make revisions to the draft, as appropriate, and then present a final draft to the Siting Board for its consideration. When the Siting Board is satisfied with the draft, a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, pursuant to the State Administrative Procedure Act, will then be published in the State Register and a formal written comment period will commence where everyone will have an opportunity for further input.

The individuals who signed up to participate as stakeholders represent a broad spectrum of interests and we greatly appreciate your cooperation and assistance. (NYPSC)

Working Draft of Article 10 Regulations 1-13-12.pdf


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

$1 Million in DEC Environmental Justice Community Grants

Awarded to 24 Organizations Statewide

Grants Help At-Risk Communities Mitigate Environmental Harm

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) awarded 24 Environmental Justice Community Impact Grants to organizations across the state that serve communities facing environmental harm and risk, DEC Commissioner Joe Martens announced today.

The Environmental Justice Grants Program, created with input from the DEC Environmental Justice Advisory Group, helps communities understand and mitigate environmental harms or risks to improve quality of life.

The funding comes from the Environmental Justice Community Impact Research Grant (EJ Grant) program. Launched in 2006, the program helps local organizations with projects to address environmental or public health concerns. The program concentrates on communities that historically have been overburdened by such problems as a high density of industrial emissions, a concentration of contaminated sites; disproportionate noise, air and water pollution; environmental health problems and lack of green space and waterfront access.

Interest in the Environmental Justice Community Impact Grant program has grown dramatically. This year, 123 groups from around the state applied for funding. Detailed reviews by DEC staff resulted in 24 grant awards totaling $1 million. Individual awards range from $5,180 to $50,000. A wide variety of projects will be supported this year, including community gardens and green infrastructure, air and water quality monitoring, waste recycling in public housing, lead poisoning prevention, building deconstruction and expansion of an urban aquaponics facility and environmental education for urban and Native American youth.

Grants were awarded to the following organizations:

New York Metropolitan area - $441,970

• The Morningside Heights / West Harlem Sanitation Coalition - $25,000 for the "Public Housing Recycling Pilot Program"

• Gowanus Canal Community Development Corporation - $49,991 for the "Gowanus Canal Pilot Sponge Park"

• The Newtown Creek Alliance - $39,848 for the project titled, "Aircasting"

• Brooklyn Food Coalition - $48,843 for the project titled, "Joining the Natural World: Gardens in All Our Schools"

• Roots of Peace Community Garden - $5,180 for the project titled, "Spreading the Roots of Peace"

• West Harlem Environmental Action - $28,200 for the project titled, "Building Community Capacity to Reduce Lead Poisoning Hazards"

• The Point Community Development Corp. - $50,000 for the project titled, "The Point's South Bronx Community Green Roof"

• Eastern Queens Alliance - $50,000 for the "Eastern Queens Alliance Environmental Awareness Community Advocacy Project"

• Bronx River Alliance - $50,000 for the "Bronx River Education Program"

• United Community Centers - $49,908 for the project titled, "East New York Farms!"

• Northeast Brooklyn Housing Development Corp. - $44,995 for the "NEBHDCo Healthy Green Environment Initiative"

Western New York - $295,280

• Massachusetts Avenue Project - $50,000 for the "Buffalo Aquaponics Project"

• Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper - $50,000 for the "Environmental Justice Education and Citizen Action for Buffalo and Niagara Rivers Project"

• Grassroots Gardens of Buffalo - $50,000 for the "Community Garden Workshop Series"

• Salamanca Healthy Homes Committee - $50,000 for the "Salamanca Healthy Homes Project"

• Groundwork Buffalo - $45,277 for the project titled, "Pelion Community Garden"

• Valley Community Association - $50,000 for the project titled, "In Our Backyard"

Central New York - $99,970

• Onondaga Earth Corps and Partnership for Onondaga Creek - $49,967 for the project titled, "Growing Syracuse's Next Generation of Environmental Justice Leaders"

• Volunteers Improving Neighborhood Environments - $50,000 for the "Binghamton Urban Farm Expansion and Remediation Project"

Rochester Area - $42,060

• North East Area Development - $42,060 for the "Building Deconstruction Research and Documentation Project"

Hudson Valley Region - $63,000

• Poughkeepsie Farm Project - $49,942 for the project titled, "Growing City Seeds"

• Groundwork Hudson Valley - $13,090 for the project titled, "Stewardship, Training and Restoration in Yonkers Public Housing"

North Country - $49,760

• Akwesasne Boys and Girls Club - $49,756 for the project titled, "The Documentation of Mohawk Traditional and Medicinal Uses of Aquatic Furbearer Mammals"

Capital Region - $10,367

• Green Tech Charter High School - $10,367 for the project titled, "Green Tech High Storm Water Management Research"

For a complete list of project descriptions, visit DEC's website at:

For more information on the Environmental Justice Grants Program or the Environmental Justice Advisory Group, visit the DEC Office of Environmental Justice website.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

New York Assembly Hearing on IPEC

The New York State Assembly Standing Committee on Energy and Standing Committee on Corporations, Authorities and Commissions held a hearing on the Potential Closure of Indian Point Energy Center (IPEC) on January 12, 2012 in New York City. The hearing examined alternatives to IPEC, including new generation facilities and upgrades to the state's electric transmission system that would prevent power supply disruptions and adequately address the electricity needs of New Yorkers.

Norris McDonald Statement

Dan Durett Statement

Indian Point Energy Center, located in Buchanan, Westchester County, New York, has two active nuclear reactors with a combined rated capacity of 2,000 megawatts. In 2012 and 2015 respectively, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) operational licenses for both reactors will expire. Entergy Corporation, which operates both reactors, has petitioned the NRC to operate the reactors for an additional 20 years.

Norris McDonald Interviewed by Channel 1

The hearing was held in New York City in the Assembly Hearing Room at 250 Broadway on the 19th floor in room 1923.
AAEA President Norris McDonald was interviewed by Channel 1, quoted in The New York Times (see article at link), and quoted in Your News Now.