Reducing Environmental Risk

Key environmental policies relevant to New York businesses

On Behalf of | Mar 13, 2024 | ENVIRONMENTAL LAW - Compliance

Staying abreast of environmental policies is imperative for businesses in various industries. As regulations evolve to address pressing environmental concerns, businesses must adapt to remain compliant and uphold sustainable practices.

New York state is a leader in environmental policy, with a robust set of regulations to protect the environment and promote sustainability. For businesses operating in New York, understanding these policies is crucial for helping ensure compliance and navigating potential roadblocks.

Environmental review

One of the most significant environmental policies in New York is the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA). SEQRA mandates that state and local government agencies consider the environmental impact of proposed projects before issuing permits or approvals. This can involve everything from land-use changes and construction projects to new business ventures with potential environmental consequences. Businesses should be prepared to factor in potential SEQRA review timelines and requirements when planning new projects.

Climate change initiatives

New York has ambitious climate change goals, aiming for a carbon-neutral electricity sector by 2040 and net-zero emissions by 2050. Businesses can expect a growing focus on clean energy and energy efficiency. Initiatives like the Clean Energy Standard and the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act will influence regulations and incentives related to energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. In the near future, businesses that embrace sustainability and invest in clean technologies may be well-positioned in this evolving landscape.

Environmental justice

Environmental justice (EJ) is a growing concern, addressing the disproportionate impact of pollution on low-income communities and communities of color. New York’s EJ law, one of the strongest in the nation, requires that potential environmental burdens on disadvantaged communities are considered when issuing permits for new facilities. Businesses should be aware of this and may need to demonstrate how their operations will not exacerbate existing environmental inequalities.

Environmental policy in New York is a dynamic and ever-evolving landscape. By understanding key environmental regulations and seeking legal guidance when necessary, businesses can operate in compliance, manage potential risks and even identify opportunities for innovation and cost savings through sustainable practices.



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