Earthjustice Statement: New York State Legislative Session Ends, Falling Short on Climate, Energy Affordability, and Health

Governor blows up congestion pricing; Assembly fails to pass NY HEAT, Packaging Reduction, and more


Nydia Gutiérrez,

The New York State 2024 legislative session ended officially on Saturday morning. While some meaningful environmental policies crossed the finish line, much was left to the wayside.

The following statement is attributed to Liz Moran, New York Policy Advocate for Earthjustice:

“A year after New York saw orange skies, and experienced yet another record-breaking year for climate change, the 2024 legislative session failed to meet the urgency of the moment. This failure was compounded by the Governor’s sudden announcement to indefinitely delay congestion pricing. No legislation is being sent to the Governor that will cut greenhouse gas emissions in accordance with our state climate law. New Yorkers are also reeling from high energy bills, which are continuing to rise due to our reliance upon gas infrastructure, but the Assembly once again was the roadblock to the policy solution, the NY HEAT Act.

“Climate is not the only area where New Yorkers will not see improvements — the legislature also failed to meaningfully address lead, PFAS, or plastic pollution.

“There are some notable exceptions that deserve applause — we were thrilled to see the Assembly join the Senate in passing the Climate Change Superfund Act, which will hold corporate climate polluters financially accountable and provide much needed revenue towards climate adaptation measures. We were also happy to see bills passed that will reduce food waste and encourage better local food purchasing practices. We urge the Governor to sign these bills without delay.

“Much more is expected of a state like New York. Earthjustice, our partners, and New Yorkers across the state won’t rest until our state leaders, namely the Governor and Assembly, walk the talk on the climate and environmental leadership by enacting concrete measures to cut pollution, reduce reliance on fossil fuels, and improve public health.”

Earthjustice applauds the Senate and Assembly for passing the following, and Earthjustice urges the Governor’s signature:

  • Climate Change Superfund Act (A.3351-B/S.2129-B)
  • Good Food NY (A.7264-A/S.6955-A)
  • Food Scrap Recycling Expansion (A.5906-A/S.5331-A)
  • Diaper Ingredients Disclosure (A.43-C/S.2279-C)
  • CO2 Fracking Ban (A.8866/S.8357)

The following items passed in one house, but not the other:

  • NY HEAT — passed Senate (A.4592-B/S.2016-B)
  • Packaging Reduction and Recycling Infrastructure Act — passed Senate (A.5322-D/S.4246-D)
  • Clean Deliveries Act — passed Senate (A.1718-C/S.2127-C)
  • Expanded Public Participation — passed Senate (A.6584-A/S.2510-A)
  • PFAS in Products — passed Senate (A.3556-E/S.5648-F)
  • PFAS in Menstrual Products — passed Senate (A.5990-C/S.3529-C)
  • Lead Paint Right to Know Act — passed Assembly (A.4820-B/S.2353-A)
Gray and yellowish smoke limits visibility in photo.
A Circle Line ferry sails past the Williamsburg Bridge as the Manhattan skyline is shrouded in smoke from Canada wildfires on June 6, 2023 in New York City. New York City is bathed in a blanket of unhealthy air as smoke from Canadian wildfires seeps across much of the eastern U.S. and Great Lakes areas. (NDZ/STAR MAX/IPx via AP)

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Earthjustice is the premier nonprofit environmental law organization. We wield the power of law and the strength of partnership to protect people's health, to preserve magnificent places and wildlife, to advance clean energy, and to combat climate change. We are here because the earth needs a good lawyer.