Ellen’s record on environmental issues speaks for itself including scoring 100 on this year’s Environmental Scorecard
Climate Change and Sustainable Energy
As a legislator Ellen feels it is incumbent upon her to take every possible step to slow down this coming crisis by supporting laws and policies that require energy from sustainable, non carbon-emitting sources. She agrees with the state’s goal of having 80 percent of our energy from renewable sources by 2050, but hopes these goals can be accomplished sooner, as there is no time to spare.
Ellen does not consider Indian Point a viable source of sustainable energy because it is sited in a densely populated area, where evacuation would be virtually impossible. She stands with Governor Cuomo against the re-licensing of this aging plant and supports the DEC’s decision to require cooling towers to save marine life. She opposes the nuclear subsidies and has been outspoken on the issues surrounding Indian Point. Ellen introduced A9068B, which mandates an inventory of sustainable efficient power sources that could replace power generated by Indian Point units 2 and 3. Taking an overview of power sources already exists in the energy law. This bill passed the Assembly.
Clean Air and Water
Ellen Jaffee has voted for every measure before this body to ensure better air and water quality, including her own well-testing and well education bills. Protecting the millions of New Yorkers who get their drinking water from wells is among her highest priorities. In Rockland, as a legislator she passed the state’s first well-testing law; two thirds of all wells tested turned up difficulties, with one third of those significant.
Since her days serving in the Rockland County Legislature as Environmental Chair, Assemblymember Jaffee has been one the leaders in making sure Rockland‘s water issues are addressed. She has been has been actively fighting against the building of a desalination plant on the Hudson River since it was first proposed by United Water of New York in the 2000’s.
Although the PSC Staff has recommended a delay in building the plant until 2020, there are still several concerns regarding United Water’s surcharge and continued permitting requests for the not yet approved plant. The newly created Rockland Task Force On Water Resources Management needs to be given the time to “develop a comprehensive water policy that will ensure a safe, cost effective, long-term water supply for the County that incorporates sustainability, demand-side principles and conservation.”
• As Chair of the Rockland County Legislature Environmental Committee, Ellen proposed a USGS Groundwater Study to start in 2005 evaluating demand and supply.
• NYS Assembly Environmental Conservation Committee held a Public hearing in New City 2008.
• Letter from NYS Assemblymember Ellen Jaffee to PSC Chair, Gary Brown, requesting a reopening of the Rate Case: 06-W-0131
• Two public hearings were held in October 2013 at the Assemblymember’s request with over 1,600 people in attendance.
• Assemblymember Jaffee has written multiple letters to the Governor, DEC and the PSC as well as meeting with the PSC Chair stating her opposition to: the rate increase, the surcharge increase and the plant itself. She is also opposed to Staff’s recommendation that UWNY be allowed to continue its permitting process for a plant that has not yet been approved.
As New York State DEC considers whether to move forward on the issue of hydrofracking, it is essential that we enact comprehensive legislation and rules that will protect our drinking water, public health and other natural resources. Ellen continues support a mortatoruim on hydrofracking.