Connection Failure 2 0 0 1 3 3 7 0 9 4 3 3 Federated Conservationists of Westchester County | Issues

Issues affecting Westchester County

Sustainable Transportation

Our transportation initiative is designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase alternatives to driving your own car, in part by making better use of existing infrastructure. The Bus Rapid Transit-NOW (BRT-NOW) Campaign targets commuter mobility on the I-287 corridor by promoting a bus rapid transit system that extends and expands current routes and rolling stock from Rockland Transit (Tappan Zee Express). Since a new BRT is not likely to be built for at least 10 years, upgrading an existing system to attract more riders would be affordable and very doable. Encouraging bike- and walker-friendly policies is another transportation goal. FCWC promotes the construction of sidewalks and bike paths in older communities and new construction, as well as encouraging businesses to provide bike racks and lockers. Read our position paper>

In Octoter of 2011, President Obama fast tracked the building of a new Tappan Zee Bridge, however, without any plans for mass transit. FCWC has always believed that when replaced or revitalized, the Tappan Zee Bridge should accommodate mass transit as well as cars and trucks. During the previous planning process FCWC strongly favored and continues to favor a solution that includes a cross county rail option to connect our five existing north-south train lines. In our opinion, this would be the best long term solution for the entire region. FCWC spoke out at the public hearing that a plan to replace the Tappan Zee Bridge without plans for mass transit should be energetically opposed. Read our position paper>

We had the opportunity to join 11 elected officials, and 15 labor, environmental, equity, good government, and transportation organizations in issuing a joint statement to request that the Tappan Zee Bridge be rebuilt with mass transit. Read the joint statement>. An editorial in Journal News even questions if rushing to build a new bridge without mass transit is the right move.

As it appears that New York State was moving forward with their plans to start construction on the new Tappan Zee Bridge this Fall, FCWC sent a letter to Governor Cuomo asking the Governor to make a public commitment to seek funding for construction of mass transit, particularly rail, as soon as possible on the Bridge. Read our letter to the Governor>.

FCWC will  continue advocating for  both Bus Rapid Transit and commuter rail  on this new bridge. We'll keep you updated as this issue progresses.

Sustainable Transportation

Green Building

Our green building initiative is designed to encourage building in a way that is more comfortable, healthy, and energy efficient, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and conserving fossil fuels.

The initiative focuses on four main areas:

  • Conservation measures in existing buildings and in new buildings
  • Alternative heating and cooling methods such as geothermal and other high efficiency systems
  • The use of solar photovoltaic arrays to meet part of a building’s electrical needs
  • “Greening” the building codes in municipalities throughout the county, acting as a coordinator of various local initiatives

Green Building

Healthy Water Supplies

Water issues have been a focus since FCWC was founded in the 1960s. Recently, FCWC has provided testimony and is actively engaged to protect our watershed system from drilling for natural gas using hydrofracking. We support strict regulation of efforts to drill for natural gas in the Marcellus Shale and a ban on hydro fracture natural gas extraction in or near the New York City watershed. This extraction could cause chemical contamination of our water supply or damage the aqueducts that deliver water to us. FCWC has submitted comments critical of the Draft Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement (DSGEIS).

 A second area of concern for FCWC is stormwater regulation. FCWC supports stormwater regulations that require all municipalities in Westchester and throughout the state to develop Storm Water Management plans that address both water quantity and quality. FCWC supports implementation of these plans on or before the mandated deadlines from the state. Implementing these plans should greatly reduce the pollution that enters the water bodies and should address the excess water that enters sewage systems and subsequently overflows, diminishing water quality.

Finally, FCWC takes an advocacy role in educating the citizens of Westchester County on the importance of protecting our water from all threats to it. Water pollution sources include chemicals from hydrofracking, stormwater runoff, nitrogen and raw sewage discharges from sewage treatment plants, trash, PCBs, water outflow from power plants, failing septic systems, and anything else that degrades the quality of water bodies. Read our position paper>

Read the text of a speech by the Honorable Nancy Seligson about protecting Long Island Sound>

Additional information on hydrofracking can be found at:

"Is Hydrofracking for Natural Gas Worth the Risk?"

Environmental review of the state’s existing permitting process for natural gas drilling

Riverkeeper's View of the Permitting Process

Article by Robert Kennedy Jr. on natural gas as a transition fuel from “King Coal”

Final Impact Assessment Report of Natural Gas Production in the New York City Water Supply Watershed; Hazen and Sawyer for the New York City Department of Environmental Protection

Additional Position Statements

Defunding Nature Centers in Westchester County's 2012 proposed Budget - After this position statement was written, funding has been restored and all 6 of Westchester County's Nature Centers will remain open.
Healthy Water Supplies

FCWC's Historical Issues >