NY Bond Act is Big News for Climate

This past November, New Yorkers overwhelmingly voted for a new bond that would benefit clean air, clean water, and green innovations. The new bond is one of the biggest in 2022 to support the environment, with a whopping 4.2 billion dollars allocated for this project.

The Breakdown

Although all of the funding will be going towards cleaning up the environment in one way or another, the bond is being divided up into four major components. This is the break down of where the money is going.

$1.1 billion for community and natural infrastructureThis money will go to reducing flooding through restoring natural infrastructure such as wetlands and shorelines, as well as fixing human infrastructure that is currently failing.
$1.5 billion to improve public health and reduce pollutionGreen roofing and rooftop gardens, clean energy, and zero emission school buses will all help reduce emissions and help cool off urban areas.
$650 million to preserve farms, forests and parksThis money will help New Yorkers hang on to vital open spaces, as well as expanding access to parks and other recreation facilities.
$650 million to safeguard drinking waterUpgrading water treatment facilities, as well as getting rid of lead pipes and other

There’s all $300 million that is unallocated. The bond also requires 35% of the funds benefit disadvantage communities.

The Benefits of Forward Thinking

Although this is a lot of money, even some conservatives have noted the bond will most likely pay for itself over time. Wetlands and seashores protect against flooding, and reduced flooding means reduced property damage.

As sea levels rise and floods become more common, infrastructure like this will be all the more critical to reducing damage. Green roofing and roof top gardens are also practical, because they bring duel benefits. They help cool off urban areas through absorbing heat, and can also absorb water runoff.

Other infrastructure like water pipes and modernizing water treatment plants are a matter of public safety. The bond will help with all of these things.

The Bottom Line

While there are still some concerns that this may be too costly for New York, it appears to be a sound bill overall that will pay for itself. Money spent on preventing flood damage and illness is money saved in medical bills and flood damage.

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