Editor’s Note: There is a noticeable growth in environmental news coverage this year. This week’s review reflects the diversity of topics covered, locally and nationally.

Bronx neighborhood preparing for the worst despite avoiding brunt of Sandy

Hunts Point avoided the wrath of superstorm Sandy, but experts fear the coastal community — and the continent’s largest food distributor — may not be so lucky next time…officials are hoping to secure a state grant to prepare for future havoc. [Daily News]

How much power do cities really have to combat climate change?

The logical question that follows, though, is whether cities trying their darndest to prepare for that future can get very far on their own, in the absence of global protocols and national policies. Bloomberg, a newly minted U.N. special envoy for cities and climate change, founded the group on the premise that they can. [Grist]

Environmental Group Proposes Options for Breached Pond at Jamaica Bay in Queens

On Oct. 29, 2012, the hurricane broke through a berm — an earthen embankment — separating the pond from the bay, leaving a permanent breach and filling the pond with saltwater. Since then, the National Park Service, which manages the wildlife refuge as part of Gateway National Recreation Area, has debated what to do with West Pond. [The New York Times]

New Report Blasts New York’s Response To Superstorm Sandy And Cuts To Emergency Planning

The report, for example, reveals that New York’s emergency services staff is down 50 percent since 2011. The “Notes” document goes further, pointing out that the unit is the size of Iowa’s emergency management office, and cannot be considered a world-class team. [Huffington Post]

New York Might Be First State To Ban Facial Scrub Microbeads

New York State is poised to be the first in the country to ban microbeads, those tiny plastic pebbles found in facial scrubs, balms, and gels, that contaminate our water supply and end up in the Great Lakes. [Gothamist]

Green Bank Will Help Make New York a Cleaner State

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the start of business operations for the New York Green Bank, which will work to stimulate private sector financing and accelerate the transition to a more cost-effective, resilient and clean energy system. The largest green bank in the nation, the NY Green Bank is seeking proposals from private sector lenders, investors and industry participants that facilitate the financing of creditworthy clean-energy projects in New York State. [NYS Energy Research Development Authority]

Goodbye Styrofoam. City Schools to Serve Lunch on ‘Green’ Trays 

New York City and five other large school districts have banded together to bring environmentally friendly changes to their schools, starting with trays students can throw in the trash without worry. [WNYC]

Battle Over Manhattan Waste Station Now de Blasio’s Problem

An environmental coalition opposed to the East 91st Street Marine Transfer Station is hoping the de Blasio administration will take another look at the city’s Solid Waste Management Plan, dating back to 2006. [WNYC]

Despite Costs, Most Americans Want Action on Climate Change, Report Finds

A large majority of Americans — 83 percent — say the U.S. should make an effort to reduce global warming, even if those efforts have economic costs, according to a new report from the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication. As many as 56 percent of Americans would be willing to pay an extra $100 each year if their power company would generate 20 percent of its electricity from renewable sources. [Yale Digest]

City budget leaves big questions — contracts, Sandy aid, — unanswered

“It’s abundantly clear from what we’ve laid out here that these resources are not available at the city level,” de Blasio added. “And the federal government has an obligation to all parts of the country in the midst of these kinds of disasters.” [Staten Island Advance]

Study Finds Underestimated Methane Emissions Negate Industry Claims of Fracked Gas’ Benefits

“The first thorough comparison of evidence for natural gas system leaks confirms that organizations including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have underestimated U.S. methane emissions generally, as well as those from the natural gas industry specifically. [EcoWatch]

Slush Meets Sewage

On Dec. 15, Flushing Bay in Queens received untreated sewage for seven hours, while in Brooklyn, the Gowanus Canal experienced a three-hour influx of untreated sewage. The city Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) attributed the incidents to “weather conditions.” [The New York World]