July Climate Update: Federal, State, and Local Actions

West Virginia v. EPA – And Next Steps for Action
The U.S. Supreme Court decision on West Virginia v. EPA impedes the EPA’s authority to regulate emissions from polluting sectors, granted by the Clean Air Act. In response to the ruling, Save the Sound organized a rally with several Connecticut environmental groups to demand federal and state legislators strengthen climate protection laws. Read this CT Insider article to learn more, or click here for our blog post.

Today, President Biden traveled to Massachusetts to announce an executive order combatting climate change and helping communities deal with the effects we’re already feeling. Among the measures announced: boosting domestic offshore wind power, and increased funding to help municipalities with extreme heat and families with their energy costs.

Curt Johnson, president of Save the Sound, said: “Save the Sound applauds the executive actions taken by President Biden today to combat the climate crisis by boosting renewable energy and helping our most vulnerable communities and residents suffering from climate-induced heat waves. His executive authority cannot combat this climate crisis alone, however. We need Congress to codify these actions into law, and revisit the actions sought out in the Build Back Better agenda to achieve the national-scale greenhouse gas reductions needed in a just and effective way. We’ve got just a few years to act to slash carbon pollution in order to prevent the worst onslaught of heat, flooding, and air pollution predicted to befall New York and Connecticut by the world’s most respected scientists.”

Gov. Hochul Signs Bill to Curb Greenhouse Gas Emissions in NY
On July 5, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul signed a bill that ensures major progress in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and bolstering the clean energy industry in New York. The new legislation will update building codes to improve energy and water efficiency standards for appliances, allow utilities to create efficient heating and cooling strategies to reduce fossil fuel usage, and providing solar panel job opportunities to union workers. It will allow for a more equitable and effective transition to clean energy. Click here to learn more.

Performance-Based Regulation for Connecticut’s Electric Companies
CT PURA is working on a Performance-Based Regulation (PBR) process that rewards or penalizes electric utilities based on quality of service and performance metrics. PBR, paired with Advanced Metering Infrastructure, will allow a consistent baseline for customer expectation, routine collection of efficiency data, and public transparency in reporting data to allow customers and clients to properly evaluate the quality of service and performance of electric utilities. PBR will also increase grid resilience, making it easier to distribute clean energy equitably in the future.

Ready to learn more? We and our partners recently hosted a webinar outlining PBR benefits and opportunities that you can watch online now, and have a workshop series starting Wednesday, July 28 from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.

Studying Long Island Sound’s Ozone
Long Island Sound is known for its fishing, ferry boats, tourist attractions…and, sadly, its Federal Ozone Violations. These federal violations threaten public health by increasing asthma and cardiac arrest and environmental health by damaging plants, trees, and crops. This why multiple agencies including NYS DEC and CT DEEP are participating in the Long Island Sound Tropospheric Ozone Study (LISTOS) to investigate the sources of ozone-forming pollution and help predict future ozone pollution events.

Stay aware of the air and protect your health!

NY residents: check the NY Air Quality Index forecast daily, or sign up for air quality alerts with DEC Delivers

CT residents: check the CT AQI forecast, or sign up for alerts via email listserv.

Sharing the Stories of Young Environmental Leaders
Amelia Kearney is an 18-year-old incoming freshman at Tunxis Community College with the intent to study environmental sciences. She is involved in the leadership team at Sunrise CT, a hub of the youth-led, national Sunrise Organization. The organization’s focus is combating climate change, reforming environmental legislation, and advocating for environmental justice. Read more about Amelia’s work here.

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Celebrate World Fish Migration Day! Join us for a river walk, networking, the premiere screening of “Reconnected: Restoring the Rivers of Long Island Sound,” and a panel discussion with experts and advocates.

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