Governor Kathy Hochul today launched the educational listening tour for the Clean Water, Clean Air, and Green Jobs Environmental Bond Act in Buffalo.
The tour provides an opportunity for the public and potential funding applicants to learn more about the Bond Act, and for the community to weigh in on the draft eligibility guidelines being developed to identify potential projects.
This is the first Environment Bond Act in New York State since 1996 and was the largest environmental policy on the ballot in 2022.
The listening tour will stop in the North Country on July 14th, when the Governor visits North Country Community College in Saranac Lake. The event will be held in the Sparks Athletic Complex Alumni Gymnasium from 1-3 p.m.
“The Environmental Bond Act is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to fund projects across New York that will protect clean water, create good-paying jobs, protect our beautiful open spaces, and promote environmental justice,” Governor Hochul said. “This listening tour will connect communities with State agency experts to begin this collaborative and transparent process and lay the groundwork to deliver essential funding across the state.”
There will also be two virtual meetings, on June 26th and July 26th, from 6-8 p.m.
Approved by voters last fall, the Bond Act prioritizes investments in environmental justice, climate change mitigation, shoreline restoration, flood resilience, water quality, open space land conservation, recreational resources, and green jobs.
The Act will make $4.2 billion available for environmental and community projects that also support job creation and a substantial investment in the Clean Green Schools initiative that will serve more than 1,000 under-resourced public schools.
According to the Governor’s office, 40% of Bond Act benefits will be directed toward disadvantaged communities, recognizing that vulnerable populations are disproportionately affected by the effects of climate change.
Specifically, the Environmental Bond Act authorizes $1.5 billion for climate change mitigation, $1.1 billion for restoration and flood risk reduction, $650 million for water quality improvement and resilient infrastructure, $650 million for open space land conservation and recreation, and $300 million for other projects not specifically allocated in the Act.
Funding will be available for state agencies and local governments during a multi-year process, and the Governor’s office says an agency is working to identify areas of need for environmental funding across the state.
To register for any of these sessions, visit www.ny.gov/bondact.