Public Hearing: Climate Action Council Draft Scoping Plan, Peekskill 5/12


This week, on Thursday May 12th, there is a public hearing in Peekskill on the Climate Action Council Draft Scoping Plan. This plan is supposed to lay out how New York will meet the lofty goals set by the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act. This hearing is to gather public feedback on the plan- and it needs our input!

It is your last chance to testify at a climate hearing– send in your comments now!

We are asking you to weigh in on New York State’s Climate Scoping Plan, specifically on the Waste chapter. By working together and speaking in one voice, we can have an influence on the state’s Climate Action Plan and the state’s waste management policy!

Background: Under our state’s climate law, the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA), New York is creating a Climate Action Plan. In January, the state released its Climate Scoping Plan draft, which is like an outline for the plan (only it’s about 300 pages!). The public has until June 10th to submit comments on the draft Climate Scoping Plan. 

We have carefully analyzed the Waste chapter of the Scoping Plan. While it includes some excellent recommendations, it also makes serious omissions, like saying nothing about the state’s ten trash incinerators. This is critical because incinerators produce worse air pollution and more CO2 than coal-fired power plants per kWh generated

The Draft Scoping Plan only makes two mentions of trash incineration and makes no commitment to ending trash incineration in New York State. We need all of you to attend in-person or virtually and testify that Environmental Justice communities like Peekskill need New York to commit to ending incineration and move to Zero Waste immediately.

Info on how to register for in-person or virtual attendance here.

Thursday, May 12, 2022, 4 p.m. – 7 p.m. ET

Paramount Hudson Valley Theater
1008 Brown Street
Peekskill, NY 10566

Below is a sample comment script. If you come in person to the Paramount in Peekskill other folks will be reading this same comment to raise their voices for Environmental Justice for Peekskill! Join us!

Speaking at a Public Hearing: We encourage you to sign up to speak at one of the state’s remaining hearings at https://nyserda.seamlessdocs.com/f/PublicHearings The state’s last virtual hearing takes place on Wed May 11 at 4 pm. The only Hudson Valley in-person hearing in the region will be in Peekskill on Thurs May 12 at 4 pm. As a speaker, you will have only 2 minutes to comment (approx. 250 words) so it won’t take too much preparation. 

Al pre-registrarse puede solicitar interpretación en español solo para testimonio. Si desea una interpretación de toda la audiencia, estará disponible a través del enlace de transmisión en vivo que se encuentra aquí.

We strongly encourage everyone who cares to submit written comments if they cannot testify in person. Please take this quick and important action now. You may submit personalized written comments through the online comment form at https://nyserda.seamlessdocs.com/f/DraftScopingComments, email your comments to scopingplan@nyserda.ny.gov, or use this link to submit a generic comment. You can make multiple submissions of comments (different ones!). Comment period ends on June 10, 2022.

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SAMPLE COMMENT

My name is __________ I am from __________ . As a resident of Westchester County my trash is burned at the WIN-Waste facility in the environmental justice community of Peekskill, NY. 

I am disappointed that the Draft Scoping Plan did not call for an end to trash incineration and a rapid transition to Zero Waste statewide.

The Climate Action Plan must call for the closure of all 10 municipal solid waste incinerators in New York and recommend that no new incinerators (or gasification or pyrolysis facilities) be permitted in the state.  

NY has the most trash incinerators of any state, except for Florida, which now has the same number. We cannot be a climate leader while burning garbage!

Waste incineration is incompatible with climate action. While trash incinerators are considered waste-to-energy facilities, incineration is the most expensive way to produce electricity and the amount of electricity they produce is nothing compared to the harms caused by the air pollutants released. New York’s waste incinerators perform significantly worse in terms of cancer causing hazardous air pollutants compared to other power plants in the state. Most trash incinerators are located in marginalized communities, like here in Peekskill, a mostly Black and Brown, economically disadvantaged community.

Burning waste perpetrates environmental injustice and is a false solution to the problem of waste. The CLCPA seeks to address environmental racism and other forms of environmental injustice. In order to correct past wrongs, the Climate Scoping Plan must take into account the pollution and toxicity associated with different waste management methods. Otherwise, low income and people of color communities will continue to be over-burdened by waste facilities and their health and environmental impacts.

The Scoping Plan must end to trash incineration and rapidly transition New York to Zero Waste statewide

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Here are some priority points about waste to make to the NYS Climate Action Council (You can just copy and paste these for your comments if you wish):

(1) Trash incineration is not compatible with climate action. The state’s 10 aging incinerators must be closed now to protect the climate.

(2) Due to its widespread contamination with PFAS “forever chemicals,” sewage sludge has no “beneficial use” as a fertilizer or soil amendment. Composting sewage sludge does not make it safe. We must not poison our farmland and gardens in the name of climate action. 

(3) The Scoping Plan makes many excellent recommendations for Waste Reduction, Reuse and Recycling. They will help New York communities move closer to Zero Waste.

(4) New York should ban the disposal of food waste and yard waste in landfills and incinerators as the state of Vermont has done. 

(5) Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) recommendations must be nuanced — EPR programs should be managed by the state, not controlled by corporations (“producer responsibility organizations”). The track record of EPR in British Columbia shows that corporate control doesn’t lead to the intended outcomes. EPR should concentrate on the most problematic materials and products, excluding traditional recyclables (paper, cardboard, plastics, and metals). EPR should not allow incineration and “chemical recycling” to be considered recycling.

Contact us if you have questions.


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