Will de Blasio and Cuomo Make Sustainability a Higher Priority?

The inability of Mayor de Blasio or Governor Cuomo to visibly integrate sustainability into their broader economic development goals indicates that environment remains separate and secondary. It is not that these two leaders have bad environmental records. It is that they are still stuck in the 20th-century paradigm that sees a tradeoff between environmental quality and economic growth. [Huffington Post]

NYC Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner’s Corner

NYC DEP’s other…programs have done a lot to reduce the amount of phosphorous, nitrogen and other potentially harmful nutrients in stormwater runoff…We’ve seen the importance of this kind of watershed protection  recently. The toxic algal bloom in Lake Erie that shut down the water supply for nearly half a million residents in Toledo, Ohio  for several days earlier this month was attributed to nutrient loading from fertilizers, manure from cattle farms, leaky wastewater systems, and more dense development around the lake. [Weekly Pipeline]

Climate Change Law in New York Bridges Partisan Divide

New York’s Community Risk and Resiliency Act is the only legislation in the nation to require that climate impacts be a part of the permitting and funding process—and not just in the state’s coastal areas, but in all 62 counties. “It transforms New York into a national leader on climate change,” said Bill Ulfelder, executive director of the New York branch of the Nature Conservancy. [Inside Climate News]

U.S. regulators approve Canada-NYC power line

Federal regulators have completed the environmental review of a proposed 330-mile transmission line to bring lower-cost Canadian hydroelectric power to New York City…Transmission Developers CEO Donald Jessome says ratepayers will also see price breaks from Long Island to Albany. The line is to run under Lake Champlain and the Hudson River and follow railroad rights-of-way en route from Quebec to Queens. [Crain’s New York Business]

Money for Bay Park sewage plant outfall pipe sought

Policymakers have spent the summer trying to find the estimated $690 million that it would take to send an average 50 million gallons a day of treated effluent into the Atlantic Ocean, instead of into the nutrient-choked Western Bays. High levels of nitrogen in the effluent weaken the coastal marshlands in the area — key parts of the ecosystem that experts say also help protect the area from harsh waves and flooding during severe storms. [Newsday]

 City Finally Beating Back Queens Floodwaters

In many sections of southeast Queens, rain fills the streets like plugged bathtubs. Basements flood, cars are damaged, furniture is destroyed and residents are marooned inside their homes…The ultimate solution is DEP’s ongoing $6 billion effort to extend storm sewers in the area, supplemented by innovations such as “bluebelts,” natural drainage corridors like ponds, wetlands, or streams that filter storm water before it is released into area waterways. But…several local pols are insisting that DEP address the problem of rising water tables in the area by putting the old wells back on line. [City Limits]