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For Release: Wednesday, December 14, 2022

DEC Announces Finalization of Two Policies to Implement New York's Ambitious Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act

Measures will Guide Agency Permitting Decisions, Ensure Compliance with Climate Law

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos today announced the finalization of two policies that will help DEC continue to implement the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA). The policies will help guide DEC's permitting to ensure facilities and other regulated entities are complying with the Climate Act's stringent requirements to reduce greenhouse gases.

"DEC takes our responsibility to reduce greenhouse gases and protect disadvantaged communities seriously and this includes applying the principles detailed in the Climate Act to permitting," Commissioner Seggos said. "I am confident that with these new policies in place, DEC's permitting will remain a science-driven and public input-focused process that gives full and accurate consideration to climate justice and the climate impacts of proposed projects throughout the state."

DEC is issuing as final Commissioner's Policy 49 (CP-49), "Climate Change and DEC Action," and Division of Air Resources Policy 21 (DAR-21), "CLCPA and Air Permit Applications." CP-49 updates a policy DEC first issued in 2010 and provides general direction to DEC staff regarding the incorporation of climate change considerations into all agency activities, outlining procedures to ensure compliance with CLCPA Section 7(2) and other provisions of law. The DAR-21 policy provides additional detail for analyses developed under Section 7(2) to support air pollution control permit applications.

Section 7(2) of the Climate Act requires New York State agencies to consider whether administrative decisions, such as permitting actions, are inconsistent with or interfere with the statewide greenhouse gas emission limits set by the law. If an agency's decision is inconsistent with the statewide greenhouse gas emission limits under the CLCPA, a detailed justification is required. If a justification is available, the agency must identify alternatives or greenhouse gas mitigation measures. In December 2021, DEC released the two policies for public review and comment to help implement Section 7(2), and after the review of public comments, finalized the policies announced today. The policies reflect actions DEC staff have been taking since 2020 to ensure compliance with Section 7(2) of the CLCPA as part of permit application reviews.

New York State's Nation-Leading Climate Plan

New York State's nation-leading climate agenda is the most aggressive climate and clean energy initiative in the nation, calling for an orderly and just transition to clean energy that creates jobs and continues fostering a green economy as New York State recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. Enshrined into law through the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, New York is on a path to achieve its mandated goal of a zero-emission electricity sector by 2040, including 70 percent renewable energy generation by 2030, and to reach economy wide carbon neutrality. It builds on New York's unprecedented investments to ramp-up clean energy including over $35 billion in 120 large-scale renewable and transmission projects across the state, $6.8 billion to reduce buildings emissions, $1.8 billion to scale up solar, more than $1 billion for clean transportation initiatives, and over $1.6 billion in NY Green Bank commitments. Combined, these investments are supporting more than 165,000 jobs in New York's clean energy sector in 2021, a 2,100 percent growth in the distributed solar sector since 2011 and a commitment to developing 9,000 megawatts of offshore wind by 2035. Under the Climate Act, New York will build on this progress and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 85 percent from 1990 levels by 2050, while ensuring that at least 35 percent with a goal of 40 percent of the benefits of clean energy investments are directed to disadvantaged communities, and advance progress towards the state's 2025 energy efficiency target of reducing on-site energy consumption by 185 trillion BTUs of end-use energy savings.

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