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For Release: Friday, May 19, 2017

New York State Agencies Celebrate Green Your Commute Day by Reducing Carbon Emissions

1,700 State Employees Green Commute to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions by Estimated 19.5 Tons

Green Your Commute Day Supports Governor Cuomo's Comprehensive Actions to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions

State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos announced today that more than 1,700 New York State employees celebrated Green Your Commute Day, the largest number of participants in the event's history. Green Your Commute Day supports Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's ambitious goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent by 2030 and 80 percent by 2050, from 1990 levels.

"Under Governor Cuomo's leadership, New York State is leading the way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions," said Commissioner Basil Seggos. "Whether walking in Westchester, biking in the Bronx, riding the bus in Binghamton, carpooling in Canandaigua, or driving on sunshine in Schenectady, I commend all of the thousands of State employees who took action today to lower our greenhouse gas emissions. We are committed to empowering all New Yorkers to do their part to make a difference in the fight against climate change."

More than 1,700 employees from multiple state agencies across New York are leading by example and reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector by commuting to work using a means other than driving alone in a gasoline-powered vehicle. The record number of participants represents a 143 percent increase in participation over last year. Their actions directly offset 19.5 tons of carbon dioxide emissions, the equivalent of burning 1,579 gallons of gas.

"Governor Cuomo has made the adoption of green and sustainable initiatives a priority for State agencies, and Green Your Community Day is a great opportunity for state employees to play a personal role in our overall efforts to reduce New York's carbon footprint," OGS Commissioner RoAnn Destito said. "I want to commend the members of Team OGS and all state employees who take part in this initiative."

NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Commissioner Rose Harvey said, "Green Your Commute Day is a great opportunity to discover how New York is becoming more bicycle and pedestrian friendly state. I applaud all those New Yorkers who took part to have fun and help reduce their impact on the environment."

"Green Your Commute Day is a valuable example of how we can all reduce our environmental footprint and help protect our environment," said John B. Rhodes, President and CEO, NYSERDA. "Efforts like this build on the Governor's strong commitment to fighting climate change and encouraging cleaner, more sustainable communities throughout New York State."

The transportation sector is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in New York, representing 34 percent of the state's total emissions. Green Your Commute Day tackles these emissions both by reducing these greenhouse gases and by highlighting how state employees and citizens can take action to lower them by utilizing a more sustainable mode of transportation. This year, employees walked, biked, took transit, carpooled, and drove electric vehicles to get to work.

In addition, DEC is highlighting programs that at Governor Cuomo's direction will further decrease greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector. These include the Municipal Zero Emissions Vehicle (ZEV) and ZEV infrastructure rebate program, both of which are increasing the amount of ZEVs on New York's roads. For questions about municipal clean vehicle/ZEV infrastructure rebates, email ZEVrebate@dec.ny.gov or contact DEC's Office of Climate Change at 518-402-8448.

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