Bond Act listening tour stops in Saranac Lake
UPDATE: This session has been postponed in light of the flood damage to North Country communities this week. It will be rescheduled later this summer
SARANAC LAKE -- Governor Kathy Hochul today announced the details for upcoming locations in the statewide educational listening tour to advance the $4.2 billion Clean Water, Clean Air and Green Jobs Environmental Bond Act, including a July 14 stop at North Country Community College's Saranac Lake campus.
Overwhelmingly approved by voters last fall, the Bond Act prioritizes investments in environmental justice, climate change mitigation, shoreline restoration, flood resilience, water quality, open space conservation, recreational resources, and green jobs. The tour provides an opportunity for the public and potential funding applicants to learn more about the Bond Act and the draft eligibility guidelines being developed to identify potential projects.
"The Environmental Bond Act will be truly transformative for our communities and I look forward to the start of these listening sessions next week with stops across the state throughout the summer," Governor Hochul said. "The listening tour will be instrumental in helping New York State combat climate change and grow our economy by providing an opportunity to discuss future projects that will create jobs, protect the environment, improve quality of life, and leave lasting benefits for our communities."
The next round of listening tour sessions include:
- North Country: July 14, 1 to 3 p.m., North Country Community College, Sparks Athletic Complex Alumni Gymnasium
- Capital Region: July 20, 1 to 3 p.m., University at Albany, Campus Center Auditorium
- Lower Hudson: August 15, 1 to 3 p.m., Westchester County Center, Little Theater
- Long Island: August 24, 1 to 3 p.m., Suffolk County Community College, Suffolk Credit Union Arena
Additional details are being finalized for two New York City locations in the Bronx and Brooklyn, as well as two virtual meetings. These meetings will be announced soon.
To register for any of these sessions, visit www.ny.gov/bondact .
The landmark Clean Water, Clean Air and Green Jobs Environmental Bond Act is the largest environmental bond in state history and the first in New York since 1996. The Bond 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. Recognizing that vulnerable populations are disproportionately affected by negative environmental and climate change impacts, at least 35 percent, with a goal of 40 percent, of Bond Act benefits will be directed toward disadvantaged communities.
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; and
- $650 million for open space land conservation and recreation
- $300 million for additional projects in any of the four major categories
State agencies, local governments, and partners will be able to access Environmental Bond Act funding over a multi-year process. Last month during Earth Week, Governor Hochul announced the first availability of Bond Act funding that, when combined with existing state funding sources, totals $425 million being made available in state water grant funding. Applications are due by July 28 and more information can be found at efc.ny.gov/wiia.
An inter-agency working group is currently identifying needs for environmental funding across the state and developing program logistics for Bond Act implementation. The educational listening tour will engage these stakeholders and other interested New Yorkers to learn about the types of projects the Bond Act can support and begin discussions about eligibility guidelines for advancing funding.
The educational listening tour is part of the State's commitment to a collaborative and transparent process in the way Bond Act funds are delivered. Sessions will feature a presentation on the Bond Act and an opportunity for one-on-one discussion with State experts. Meetings will be open to the public.