By Victoria Merlino
The other boroughs may be green with envy.
Queens City Councilmembers scores high marks for their environmental support, according to an annual report card by the non-partisan New York League of Conservation Voters (NYLCV). The NYLCV gave the Queens delegation an average environmental score of 92 percent for the second year in a row.
Councilmembers Costa Constantinides, Adrienne Adams, Donovan Richards, Eric Ulrich and Jimmy Van Bramer all earned 100 percent from the environmental organization based on the number of eco-friendly bills they co-sponsored or voted for last year. NYCLV deducts points for no votes.
“With the executive branch in Washington undermining years of environmental progress, it is more important than ever for local governments to fill that void,” said NYLCV President Julie Tighe in a statement. “We will work with legislative leaders to enact policies to encourage the use of renewable energy, decrease emissions, and reduce waste — all top NYLCV priorities.”
The average score in the council was 88 percent overall. More than 42 percent of councilmembers received a perfect score. Full scores appeared in a report on the NYCLV website.
NYCLV said it prioritized initiatives to enhance green spaces, reduce waste, combat lead poisoning and to promote renewable energy and sustainable transportation.
Queens councilmembers sponsored a number of bills that were in consideration for this scoring, including a pair of bills sponsored by Councilmember Daniel Dromm to prevent childhood lead poisoning and to phase out diesel school buses. Constantinides, chair of the council’s Committee on Environmental Protection, sponsored bills to promote wind energy and install small wind turbines in certain areas of the city.
In February, Constantinides introduced a bill to establish a new Department of Sustainability and Climate Change. The office would be led by a commissioner and focus on environmental education and green initiatives.
“This is a battle New York City must wage for generations. Our citizens deserve a full agency dedicated to a sustainable, resilient, and greener future — one that’s adaptive, with the intellectual and budgetary power to make real change,” Constantinides said in a statement about the bill.