Some Long Island communities eligible for funding to combat climate change
Some Long Island communities are now eligible for funding to combat the adverse effects of pollution and climate change.
"We have a number of large-scale power plants, 3 million people live here, and we have intense vulnerability to the problems of climate change," says Adrienne Esposito, the executive director of Concerned Citizens for the Environment. She says there are many areas across Long Island that could use additional funding for green initiatives.
The state Department of Environmental Conservation has identified 87 neighborhoods on the Island that will be prioritized for funding.
In 2019, the New York State Climate protection law was passed. It specified that 40% of funds would have to be used in "disadvantaged communities," 1,700 of which have been identified throughout the state.
The Long Island communities designated as "disadvantaged" are disproportionately affected by climate change and pollution, according to the Department of Environmental Conservation.
"They were identified on a wide range of criteria -- everything including income levels, but also proximity to air pollution sources, such as power plants and industrial sites, as well as their vulnerability to floods caused by climate change," Esposito explains.
There is no specification in the law about what the funds can be spent on, just where the funds can be spent.
Esposito says the money could go to projects like the building of living shorelines and adding solar and wind energy to reduce pollution.
"The maps have been finalized for disadvantaged communities. So now the next part of the process can now begin, which is allocating the funds and identifying what the communities need," Exposito says.
For a full list from the state of the Long Island communities that are affected and a map of where they are, follow this link.