July 20, 2011

At Gillibrand’s Urging, EPA Launches New Efforts To Help Western New York Businesses Become More Energy Efficient

EPA Investing $230,000 for Conservation, Environmental Protection Efforts in WNY

Washington, D.C. -- U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today applauded the announcement of $230,000 in funding from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and to the Clean Air Coalition of Western New York (CACWNY) to help make Western New York businesses more energy efficient, and help improve the local environment. Senator Gillibrand, a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, wrote to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson in April urging the EPA to support CACWNY’s application for funding from the Community Action of Renewed Environment (CARE) program offered through the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). 

“Energy efficiency projects are a smart investment – they help save money and reduce pollution,” Senator Gillibrand said. “If we’re going to rebuild our economy, we have to improve the energy efficiency of our businesses and bring our outdated buildings into the 21st century. These federal investments will help Western New York businesses save money on energy costs, and takes important steps to improve our local environment. I will keep fighting to secure the resources we need to protect our environment.”

Erin Heaney, Director of CACWNY, said, “Tonawanda is an industrial community with more than its fair share of environmental burdens and related health problems. The Clean Air Coalition looks forward to continuing and enhancing its work in the community to solve environmental challenges. We appreciate Senator Gillibrand's continued advocacy on behalf of residents in Tonawanda.”

The New York State Department of Conservation is receiving a $130,000 grant for technical advice and support to local businesses to conduct detailed environmental assessments of their manufacturing processes, and improve their operations to reduce their impact on the environment.

Additionally, the Clean Air Coalition of Western New York is receiving a $100,000 grant from the EPA to build a list of priorities to help improve the environment of the Tonawanda Community.

Senator Gillibrand’s full letter from April to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson:

April 27, 2011

Dear Administrator Jackson,

I write in support of the Clean Air Coalition of Western New York’s (CACWNY) application for funding from the Community Action of Renewed Environment (CARE) program through the Environmental Protection Agency.  This funding will be used to provide environmental planning that will benefit the Tonawanda region.

The CACWNY serves to protect Western New York’s environment, helping to ensure communities have a clean environment.  In this effort, the Coalition organizes community members and builds diverse coalitions to implement initiatives to reduce environmental hazards.  The Coalition has a track record of successfully empowering low-income residents to make environmental change that has a positive impact on community health.

This funding will allow CACWNY to create a greater partnership with the Tonawanda community and engage its members to gather information about environmental exposures and develop a collaborative action plan to address them.  Through interviews, air testing and other data collection methods, the Coalition will educate and build capacity among Tonawanda stakeholders.  The project will conclude with the development of an action plan that will serve as an invaluable asset to the health and quality of life in this community.

I ask that you please give this application your full consideration.  If you have any questions, or desire further information, please do not hesitate to contact my staff member Abraham Hiatt at (202) 224-4451.

Sincerely, 

Kirsten E. Gillibrand