With the fracking debate in New York finally tucked away (for now, at least!), a range of other environmental issues are finally seeing the light. Here are just a few of the things we’ll be following in 2015.

Tell us: what’s missing from this list? Add your contribution in the comments, or send us an email: info@nyenvironmentreport.com.

1.) How climate change is already transforming our state, who is being impacted, and what’s next.

Staten Island building destroyed by Superstorm Sandy.

2.) Measuring the toxicity of our environment—where are the hot spots, and what is being done (or should be done) to address them.

NYS Attorney General Eric Schneiderman speaks to residents outside of the now closed Roberto Clemente Park in Brentwood, Suffolk County where thousands of tons of debris laced with asbestos, pesticides and other material were dumped illegally.

3.) NYC’s efforts to reduce solid waste, and expand recycling and composting.

Compost collection by the City’s Department of Sanitation.

4.) The increasing amount of oil shipments by rail through the state, along with more natural gas pipeline and infrastructure construction.

Natural gas pipeline construction in Pennsylvania.

5.) The need for better data on air quality from individual New York City neighborhoods.

Greenpoint, Brooklyn, which struggles with heavy truck traffic and related air quality issues.

6.) Stormwater management and raw sewage releases into NYC’s waterways.

Brooklyn’s Gowanus Canal, the site of ongoing combined sewer overflows.

7.) The dramatic loss of farmland throughout New York — and the changes needed to make agriculture a profitable, long-term, and environmentally-friendly industry.

Hudson Valley farmland.

8.) How NYS and NYC plan to meet their carbon emissions reduction targets.

Former Vice-President Al Gore, Mayor Bill de Blasio, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, and French Environment Minister, Segolene Royal, at the People’s Climate March in 2014.

9.) The State’s plan to transform how utilities and the power grid function, and what this means for our renewable energy goals.

Workers at the Long Island Solar Farm (LISF) -- currently the largest solar photovoltaic power plant in the Eastern United States.
Workers at the Long Island Solar Farm (LISF) — currently the largest solar photovoltaic power plant in the Eastern United States.

10.) The City’s effort to make our waste management system more equitable and less concentrated in a handful of neighborhoods—is it working?

Waste transfer station, New York City.

11.) Funding for environmental protection- will the state’s lead environmental agency be able to replenish staffing levels and increase inspection and enforcement activities?

Seneca Lake in the Finger Lakes region. The state Department of Environmental Conservation is responsible for enforcing a wide array of state and federal regulations that protect our natural environment and public health.


  • David Stanley

    How about Road Salt. It’s impact on waterways and auqifers.

  • xurbian
  • nycfellow

    The total failure of the Galesi Group to develop an intermodal freight facility in the NYS owned Harlem River Yards is compounded with the lavish aid given to relocate Fresh Direct there, does nothing to reduce truck traffic citywide & especially within this national asthma corridor. The South Bronx matters!

  • Laura

    The millions in cash and free public land proposed to Fresh Direct to further pollute and degrade the South Bronx environment. And the attempts to thwart fair and equitable distributions of waste transfer facilities.