For The Generations has been working with our principle, the Delaware Riverkeeper Network, as well as Environmental Advocates of New York to support constitutional level protection for environmental rights in New York’s constitution.
While for years there have been provisions discussing various environmental issues in Article XIV, the provisions do not have the high level strength needed to recognize the inherent and indefeasible rights of people to a healthy environment and to provide those rights the same level of protection given to the right to free speech, to freedom of religion and other fundamental rights the people of New York hold dear.
But in 2017, Steve Englebright of the New York assembly has proposed this high level of protection. On April 24, 2017, the proposed bill passed the NY Assembly by an overwhelming majority of 113 to 26. But the bill must be re-proposed and voted on, because the senate did not yet pass the parallel provision being advanced by Senator Carlucci. So now both houses, in 2019, need to vote for the right to clean water, clean air and a healthful environment for New Yorkers.
January 22, 2019 Assemblyman Englebright re-proposed the NY Green Amendment, A2064. On February 5, 2019, by a vote of 22 to 6, the bill was voted out of the Environmental Conservation committee and now moves to the Judiciary Committee. There are currently 4o sponsors on the Assembly version of the bill including: Gottfried, Santabarbara, Ortiz, Dinowitz, Colton, Lifton, Glick, Fahy, Abinanti, Otis, Jean-Pierre, Lavine, Mosley, Simon, Galef, Jaffee, Cook, Rivera, D’Urso, Hunter, Steck, Peoples-Stokes, Williams, Bichotte, Ramos, Weprin, Titus, Hyndman, Seawright, Lupardo, Rosenthal L, Barron, Walker, Carroll, Barrett, De La Rosa, Cahill, Thiele, Reyes.
The parallel Senate version, S2072 has 15 sponsors and is currently advancing through the committee process.
The constitutional rights provision would place, in the Bill of Rights section of the New York Constitution, the following:
“Each person shall have a right to clean air, water, and a healthful environment.”
Write your letter today to urge full support for these environmental rights to be added to the New York constitution.
If you are an organization or business who wants to sign on in support of New York’s Green Amendment, consider signing on to our organization sign on letter.
- How Environmental Law Can Protect People, Not Polluters — Interview on Midday WNYC
- Increasing Environmental Protections in New York — Interview with Capital Tonight
- Legislative Discussion of NY Assembly regarding Green Amendment proposal 4/24/18
- Response to Business Council Opposition — 4/23/18 Delaware Riverkeeper Network Response and Bus Council Memo
- Assembly Hearing, April 24, 2017
- New York’s Green Amendment Proposal
- An Open Letter to the New York State Legislature