In Final Days of Legislative Session, New York Senate Heeds Call for Cleaner Air and Corporate Accountability by Passing the Clean Deliveries Act

With Congestion Pricing indefinitely stalled by Governor Hochul in New York City, the need for traffic reduction and pollution abatement statewide has never been greater


Nydia Gutierrez,

Yesterday, the New York Senate voted to pass the Clean Deliveries Act (S2127C/A1718C), a common sense environmental justice bill introduced by New York Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris (NY-District 12) and Assemblymember Marcela Mitaynes (NY-District 51). The bill would direct the state to review emissions related to large warehouses and require warehouse operators to choose from an array of actions to minimize pollution. The legislation would also commission a study of the feasibility, benefits, and costs of implementing low and zero-emissions areas for air pollution and congestion hotspots. In addition to widespread grassroots support across the state, the bill recently gained backing from major retailers including Eileen Fisher, Etsy, and Ikea, who emphasized that the legislation would help companies reduce emissions from product deliveries and meet their corporate climate goals.

In response to the bills passage in the Senate, the bills Senate sponsor and members and allies of the ElectrifyNY coalition released the following statements:

“I introduced the Clean Deliveries Act to address the proliferation of e-commerce warehouses and the impacts on the health of our communities. By passing this legislation we are making significant strides in our fight to combat climate change and make our communities safer and healthier,” said Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris.

“We are incredibly grateful that the NYS Senate, under Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins’ leadership, takes the climate crisis and the task of implementing our climate law seriously. The Senate demonstrated its commitment to the health and well-being of New Yorkers once again by passing the Clean Deliveries Act to help protect the air we breathe and ensure an environment that our children and grandchildren can thrive in. All eyes are now on the Assembly – the so-called People’s House; will it prioritize the people of New York over the profits of polluters and pass this bill?” said Anshul Gupta, Policy & Research Director at New Yorkers for Clean Power.

“We commend the New York State Senate for its leadership in passing this bill to establish an indirect source rule for last-mile and mega e-commerce warehouses. This is a step in the right direction to reducing emissions, improving air quality for disadvantaged communities across the state, and meeting our climate targets. New York is setting an example for the rest of the nation by targeting the pollution from these truck traffic generating distribution centers,” said Kevin Garcia, Senior Transportation Planner at the New York City Environmental Justice Alliance.

“We applaud the Senate for taking a pivotal step forward towards addressing the rampant and unchecked impacts from mega-warehouses by passing the Clean Deliveries Act. New York State is now that much closer to finally plugging in a massive regulatory hole, one that exacerbates environmental injustices by allowing these enormously polluting facilities to add tons of health-harming and climate-warming emissions into our air. We thank Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins and Deputy Majority Leader Gianaris for their leadership in advancing this essential legislation and look forward to working with the Assembly to move it across the finish line,” said Alok Disa, Senior Research and Policy Analyst at Earthjustice.

“Not only do mega-warehouses generate thousands of truck trips per day, but diesel trucks also emit significant pollution near the warehouse while idling and traveling at low speeds. Nitrogen dioxide – one of the main pollutants released by these trucks – contributes to more than 21,000 new childhood asthma cases every year in the New York City metropolitan region alone, not to mention other health risks associated with air pollution. The Clean Deliveries Act is a critical and necessary step in protecting communities that have long borne the brunt of pollution. We applaud the New York State Senate for passing this legislation and urge the Assembly to do the same, in order to ensure healthy communities for all New Yorkers,” said Karla Sosa, Project Manager, New York – New Jersey State Affairs at Environmental Defense Fund.

“The Clean Deliveries Act will help retailers across New York ensure their supply chains drive down pollution that hurts public health and the economy. Ceres and the businesses we work with applaud its passage in the New York Senate and strongly encourage the House to approve this legislation to bring New Yorkers cleaner and more efficient deliveries,” said Jeff Mauk, Director for State Policy at Ceres.

“Consumer Reports applauds the New York Senate for the passage of the Clean Deliveries Act. This critical policy will promote deployment of zero-emission vehicles and other clean energy investments in priority communities. The communities and workers that have to live with and work around massive freight and logistics centers should be first in line to reap the benefits of zero-emission technology,” said Dylan Jaff, Sustainability Policy Analyst at Consumer Reports.


E-commerce mega-warehouses generate significant emissions from the large number of delivery trucks that come in and out of each facility, a problem that has only been exacerbated by the pandemic and the increase in online purchasing from e-commerce sites. According to EDF’s “Warehouse Boom” report, 1 in 4 News Yorkers (4.9 million residents) now live within half a mile of a leased warehouse 50,000 square feet or larger. Unlike traditional warehouses, these e-commerce warehouses are larger, with some larger than 15 football fields combined. These mega warehouses operate 24/7 and produce greenhouse gas emissions equal in scale to those from power plants and factories. These trucks pollute particulate matter, nitrogen oxides, and volatile organic compounds, worsening local air quality, and increasing the risk of asthma, heart attacks, and premature deaths in the surrounding neighborhood.

The Clean Deliveries Act establishes an indirect source review (ISR) program for certain warehouse operations and requires the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to conduct a study regarding zero emissions zones.

Key provisions of the bill include:

  • A review of emissions from all e-commerce warehouses exceeding 50,000 sq. ft.
  • An air emissions reduction and mitigation plan requiring warehouse operators to minimize pollution by implementing one or more of the following:
    • Acquiring zero-emission vehicles & charging infrastructure
    • Installing solar panels and/or batteries on-site
    • Considering alternative transportation modes for incoming or outgoing trips where appropriate
    • Paying additional fees
  • Enhanced protections for warehouses operating in disadvantaged communities or that impact schools and similar facilities
  • A permit requirement for new warehouse developments or those proposing significant modifications
  • Ongoing reporting requirements related to truck traffic and emissions mitigation measures
  • A zero-emission zones study on the feasibility, benefits, and costs of implementing low and zero emissions designated areas for air pollution and congestion hotspots within New York State

New York State has been a clean energy leader, passing the landmark Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) in 2019, adopting the Advanced Clean Trucks (ACT) Rule in 2021, and enacting the Advance Clean Cars II (ACCII) Rule in 2022 to reduce emissions economy-wide and advance a just transition towards a zero-emission transportation sector. Passing the Clean Deliveries Act is a critical next step towards achieving New York State’s climate mandates, and ensuring that New Yorkers that are burdened with emissions from fossil fuels are prioritized for zero-emission investments.

ElectrifyNY is a statewide coalition of advocates for environmental justice, public transportation, social justice, and good jobs fighting for a clean, equitable electric transportation future for New York. Our work aims to improve the environment and public health outcomes for the communities most affected by the negative impacts of the transportation sector’s dependency on fossil fuels.

Construction on a last-mile warehouse in Syosset, New York.
Construction on a last-mile warehouse in Syosset, New York. Concentrations of last-mile warehouses have an outsized impact on air quality and noise pollution due to higher numbers of truck trips, 24/7 operating times, and other factors. (Bruce Bennett / Getty Images)

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