A Big Week: Advocating for a strong Environmental Protection Fund and standing with Senator Gillibrand calling on EPA to Act on PCBs

Our Environmental Action Director, Jen Benson, was in Albany twice last week – on Tuesday with the New Yorkers for Clean Water and Jobs Coalition advocating for the Environmental Protection Fund (EPF), and on Thursday for a press conference with Senator Kristen Gillibrand and Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan calling on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to get the Hudson River PCB Cleanup back on track. 

Environmental Protection Fund

(R to L Gail Cabahug of Riverkeeper, Liz Ahern of Serra Club Atlantic Chapter, Kathy Moser of Open Space Institute, and Jen Benson of Clearwater)

Jen joined advocates from New Yorkers for Clean Water and Jobs from across the state last Tuesday to advocate for a well-funded EPF.

First enacted in 1993, the Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) provided critical funding to protect clean air and water, restore habitat, reduce waste and pollution, improve infrastructure, and create new opportunities for New Yorkers to access the outdoors. 

Governor Hochul’s Executive Budget proposed a $400 million EPF, but included a troubling provision allowing for $25 million to be used to cover state agency staff costs, reducing the amount of funding available for communities. While funding for New York State agencies is critical, it should not be at the expense of funding for projects that protect clean water, conserve forests, create new parks and trails, support environmental education, and needed infrastructure investments.

Clearwater opposes reductions in funding for environmental programs and joined fellow members of the New Yorkers for Clean Water and Jobs Coalition in advocating for a $400 million Environmental Protection Fund with no offload.



Senator Gillibrand Hudson River PCB Press Conference

Last Thursday, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand joined regional leaders and advocacy organizations including Hudson River Sloop Clearwater demanding the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) take additional action to clean up polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) “forever chemicals” in the Hudson River. Clearwater thanks Senator Gillibrand, Mayor Sheehan,  Assemblywoman Pat Fahy, Assemblywoman Carrie Woerner, NYS Senator Neil Breslin for standing with Friends of a Clean Hudson in calling on the EPA to acknowledge in this upcoming third Five-Year Review that the dredging remedy is not working as intended and to begin the process of assessing additional remedial actions.



Read the press release and Senator Gillibrand’s letter to EPA Administrator Michael Regan.