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Environment

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Council Fast-Tracks Exceptions From Landmark Waste Equity Law, Enraging Queens Residents

Councilmember Daneek Miller sprints for votes on a bill sought by waste transfer companies to lift restrictions on how many tons of trash they can haul in, while the committee’s chair is out of the country. Neighbors of facilities are crying foul.

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Extreme Heat Sends New Yorkers to Emergency Rooms as Climate Toll Grows

The city is on pace to match 2018, when more than 700 people headed to the hospital due to hot weather, data shows. As the planet is warming, New York is feeling the heat: It recently placed as the nation’s third most intense "urban heat island."

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Plastic Bag Ban Violators Getting Away with Breaking Law as Enforcers Check Out

Over 300 complaints have yet to be tackled, data obtained by THE CITY shows, with only one store hit with a state violation since May 5. Environmental activists are calling on the Cuomo administration to do more.

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New York’s Plastic Bag Ban Yields No Fines for Grocers Six Months In

The state’s delivered 64 warnings — but no penalties — to supermarkets and other stores that flout the rules, records show. Some environmentalists say the pandemic’s no excuse for violators.

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Can the Mayoral Candidates Bring a Sea Change to NYC’s Climate Resilience Fight?

The next mayor will inherit the city with the pandemic rebound and the battle to protect New York from the next Superstorm Sandy inextricably tied. Here are some of the City Hall hopefuls’ ideas to safeguard the city.

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Dream of Connected NYC Greenway Re-Envisioned as Path to COVID Recovery

Fans of foot power are hoping President Biden’s $2 trillion infrastructure plan can help link the disjointed system of bike and footpaths across the five boroughs. The idea’s gained momentum amid the pandemic bike boom.

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Meet the Green Agitators Who Planted Seeds for Brooklyn’s Coming Wind Turbine Assembly Hub

Decades of activism by UPROSE and other environmental justice groups paid off when Gov. Cuomo announced last week that a Norwegian energy giant will revitalize a dormant Sunset Park port.

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Trash Transfer Station Slimdown for Overwhelmed Neighborhoods Get Appeals Court OK

Judges say City Council had a clean case to sharply reduce tons of garbage processed in the four districts dealing with most of the city’s commercial waste heaps.

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New York Is Scouring Its Sewers for COVID-19. Are We Learning Enough From What We Flush?

As COVID-19 rates have ebbed and flowed, city scientists and waste treatment facilities have been quietly working for months to get the straight poop on the virus. But some experts say New York could do more to use sewage to stop the spread.

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NYC Climate Progress on Ambitious Emissions Goals Backslides As Strategic Plan Sprawls

De Blasio’s delayed OneNYC agenda update shows greenhouse gas-spewing energy use rising during his term. The administration blames spates of extreme weather.

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What’s the Big Idea for Governors Island? A Climate Research Hub and New Development

Leaders on the island have floated grand plans for the harbor retreat, including a center for climate change education. Finding a partner to build and operate the resiliency hub, however, remains a hurdle.

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Offshore Wind Energy Hopes Brighten Sunset Park Outlook After Industry City Unplugged

Local and labor groups cheer on a hoped-for wind turbine assembly hub for the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal, potentially bringing new manufacturing jobs to a waterfront that has lost many over the years.

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Will Your New House Flood? In New York, the Answer Is Easily Hidden

Flood risk disclosure laws in New York are particularly weak, advocates say. For $500, sellers can waive a property’s transparency record — and many do.

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What Happens If There’s a Blackout?

As Con Edison downplays the risk of a mass power outage, some New Yorkers are preparing for the possibility amid a pandemic, protests and uncertain times.

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State Refuses to Release Decades of Con Edison Pollution Reports, Lawsuit Charges

Three years after a 30,000-gallon oil spill into the East River, alerts the utility giant must file with New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation remain hidden from public view.

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As Plastic Bags Go Bye, a Renewed Push to Recycle Fabrics

The Sanitation Department’s "ReFashion Week" promotion vies to make textile sustainability chic. Meanwhile, the plastic shopping bag ban hits March 1.

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New Yorkers Still Confused on How Plastic Bag Ban Will Work

With new law coming March 1, we found a supermarket hawking sacks made of thicker plastic. Meanwhile, shoppers and shopkeepers were girding for shift.

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NYCHA Conducting Its Own 2020 Census — of Rats, Mice and Roaches

The New York City Housing Authority has quietly started a campaign to tally the number of vermin in 320 developments across the five boroughs.

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Earth Day Shouldn’t be Math Test Day, NYC Students Say

More than two dozen lawmakers are asking the state education department to reschedule the exam so kids can join Earth Day 50th anniversary rallies.

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Coney Island NYC Ferry Site Could Dredge Up Toxins

Mercury, PCBs, lead, dioxins and pesticides lurk in two possible Coney Island Creek dock locations, environmental impact documents show.