Steve Englebright

Albany energizes ‘solar-plus-storage’ across LI

By GREGORY ZELLER // State officials are once again supercharging residential and commercial clean-generation energy technologies on Long Island. With Albany having already set parameters for energy-storage technologies – and committed $400 million to advancing said tech – Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced this week that an additional $55 million will be made available over the next five years for cutting-edge energy-storage efforts specifically on Long Island, with the first $15 million available now. The funding – essentially,…


Time running out, supporters rally for ambitious CCPA

By GREGORY ZELLER // It’s a virtual race against the clock in Albany, where the current legislative session has less than a month to go and a landmark climate-equity bill hangs in the balance. The Climate and Community Protection Act (S2992/A3876) – designed to rapidly ween New York off fossil fuels, invest nearly half of the state’s climate funds into low-income communities and set higher wage standards for “green” jobs – would instantly anoint the…


Albany bags plastics, as single-use sacks get the sack

By GREGORY ZELLER // It tolls for thee, plastic bags. Governor Andrew Cuomo rang the death knell Monday for single-use plastic bags in New York State – outlawed as of next March, even for holdouts content to spend a nickel per bag at the supermarket checkout. No more, as of March 2020, when the single-use sacks – which “do not degrade and often wind up as litter on lands and in waters,” according to the…


Environmentalists cheer CCPA, blast ‘federal inactivity’

By GREGORY ZELLER // A statewide coalition rallying for “climate justice” delivered high praise Friday for some of the sharpest environmental regulations ever considered by Albany. With the New York State Senate hosting its third legislative hearing in four days on a proposed slate of new and pointed environmental laws (following sit-downs in Albany and New York City), members of NY Renews – a coalition of more than 160 organizations championing environmental policy “grounded in…


Acid test: SBU-heavy task force tackles oceanic threat

By GREGORY ZELLER // Long Island is well-represented on a new state task force assigned to assess and address the health of coastal waters. Stony Brook University, in particular, will be lending significant scientific acumen to the 14-member Ocean Acidification Task Force, which was formed to study the ecological and economic impacts of acidification – increased levels of carbonic acid in the water, caused by dissolved carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, land-based nutrient runoff and…


Citing offshore risks, Cuomo drills Trump again

By GREGORY ZELLER // Governor Andrew Cuomo is firing more broadside cannon shots at the Trump White House in a sea battle centered off Long Island’s shores. Cuomo is advancing legislation that would prohibit the leasing of lands, including underwater lands, for offshore drilling and exploration purposes – a direct response to “the Trump administration’s plan to vastly expand offshore drilling in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans,” according to the governor’s office. In January, U.S….


Forty acres already approved, MISF wants to talk

By GREGORY ZELLER // Officials at the Middle Island Solar Farm want to set the record straight on a few things, and their patience is wearing a little thin. Exactly two weeks after the Town of Brookhaven Planning Board approved a scaled-down phasing plan for the creation of a large solar farm on Moriches-Middle Island Road, company officials are calling on the town to forge ahead. On Tuesday, MISF issued a statement “urging the Town…


The war for Long Island’s environmental soul

By GREGORY ZELLER // New York State may be a national environmental leader, but it’s not as easy being green on Long Island, where an environmental civil war is raging. Both sides claim the “green” flag in this conflict, which pits the Island’s past against its future – represented here by old-school NIMBY behaviors and new-age solar harvesting – and ripples across multiple markets. Insiders say the issue will not only decide the fate of two…


Albany offers to help with e-waste recycling costs

From the Partially Funded Mandates File comes a $3 million state fund that will help New York municipalities cope with an unexpected garbage detail. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has announced a new statewide application program designed to relieve municipalities of “unexpected financial costs” associated with the 2010 Electronic Equipment Recycling and Reuse Act – particularly, a provision that took effect Jan. 1, 2015, requiring New York consumers to recycle “electronic wastes” including computer peripherals, televisions and…


Fuel bill clears Assembly committee

An Assembly bill voted out of committee last week would require all heating oil sold in New York State contain at least 2 percent biodiesel — that’s fuel derived from renewable agricultural products — by 2016. Long Island Assemblyman Steven Englebright, chair of the Committee on Environmental Conservation, said the bill would help improve air quality by cutting carbon dioxide and toxins emitted during the burning of traditional heating oil. Biofuel has been used in heating…