Environment and Energy

We need to redouble efforts to protect our air, drinking water and open space, promote sustainable land use and foster renewable energy. As a county legislator, I have served as Chair of the Westchester Legislature’s Environment and Energy Committee and have conceived, written and passed numerous significant laws protecting our Westchester environment. As an Assemblyman, I will pass similar legislation statewide.

Clean Air

We need a statewide ban on idling any vehicle for more than three (3) minutes. We need to redefine acceptable standards for Number 2 home-heating oil to decrease sulfur content. We need to require all diesel-powered vehicles owned by the state or doing state business to use only low-sulfur fuel and be fitted with the best available emission technology. All could be based on measures that I have presented in Westchester.

Clean Water

We need statewide regulation of the harmful components in lawn fertilizers – like the ban on phosphorous in fertilizers that I spearheaded in Westchester.

We need New York to provide more funding for clean water projects that benefit everyone. Under my leadership as chairman of the County Legislature’s Environment Committee, Westchester began redesigning and retooling its sewage treatment plants which discharge wastewater into the Long Island Sound and the Hudson River to finally comply with Federal clean water standards. As an Assemblyman, I will work for more State financial assistance to relieve local taxpayers of the full cost of these necessary projects.

Sustainable Land Use

New York should be required to offer excess state land to local governments for their use as parkland, open space or other municipal purposes before selling to a private bidder. As County Legislator, I passed a similar “Right of First Refusal Law” for Westchester.

New York State agencies need to be more sensitive to local environmental needs which directly affect the local quality of life – and often the health and safety of our community.

As an Assemblyman I will promote legislation to require the Public Service Commission to rein in Con Edison’s tree-trimming/cutting practices which are devastating vast swaths of Westchester in the guise of protecting power lines. As County Legislator, I proposed legislation to regulate Con Edison’s practices in the limited areas within the County’s control. I will also prod the State Department of Transportation to be more respectful of neighborhood concerns. For example, DOT needs to heed the call by the Greenburgh Supervisor and others to clean up the Sprain Parkway land (Dobbs Ferry Road entrance) which it appropriated to dump tree stumps and other debris in plain view.

Energy Efficiency

Construction practices significantly contribute to depletion of natural resources. New York needs to set an example with its own construction projects and require wherever it can that others meet “green building” practices.

Indian Point

Indian Point I and II operated by Entergy are not safe, secure or vital.

There have been far too many accidents in a plant that is forty (40) years old with even older technology. We cannot devise a workable evacuation plan. They are abusing 85 million gallons of Hudson River water and killing millions of fish everyday.

Both Indian Point plants should be closed immediately. As Assemblyman, I will continue the efforts that Assemblyman Richard Brodsky and I have made to prevent the renewal of Indian Point’s soon-to-expire operating licenses!

Tappan Zee Bridge

After spending millions of taxpayer dollars and several years of study, New York State still has not arrived at a reasonable, affordable plan for the deteriorating Tappan Zee Bridge. As an Assemblyman, I will continue my efforts for a final, common sense plan that: 1) Has a mass-transit component which moves people, not just motor vehicles and 2) is community-friendly — doesn’t destroy communities.