ALBANY—AECOM, the New York City-based infrastructure consulting firm, and Rebuild by Design, a leading advocate for resilient infrastructure, recently released a new report, “Economic Impacts of the New York State Environmental Bond Act,” which analyzed the long-term economic benefits of investing $3 billion in projects that would help protect clean water, reduce pollution, conserve family farms, and reduce local climate risks.
Introduced by Governor Andrew Cuomo in 2020, the Environmental Bond Act shows dedication to the restoration and conservation of New York’s communities and natural resources.
AECOM analyzed the benefits of the Environmental Bond Act by assessing the economic impact of the anticipated investments and researching comparable projects and programs. Review of benefit-cost analyses found that benefits often outweigh costs for similar types of investments. The analysis estimates that the New York State Environmental Bond Act has the potential to:
- Support 65,000 jobs in New York
- Result in an estimated $6.7 billion in project spending, broken into the following categories: an estimated $3.25 billion to protect and restore natural areas to reduce flooding, supporting 30,600 jobs in New York; an estimated $1.6 billion for clean water projects, supporting 18,000 jobs in New York; an estimated $1 billion for projects that would mitigate climate change, supporting 11,500 jobs in New York and an estimated $775 million for projects that protect and restore open space, supporting 4,600 jobs in New York
“AECOM analyzed the economic impacts of the New York State Environmental Bond Act and the benefits that the associated spending would provide both in the near and long-term. Our findings are clear—the Environmental Bond Act would be a useful stimulus, with the potential to support thousands of jobs in numerous sectors while also spurring long-term economic growth and protecting New York’s environment for future generations,” said Garrett Harper, managing principal, Economics + Advisory with AECOM. “By approving the Environmental Bond Act, the governor and legislature became leaders in acknowledging that investments in the environment also benefit the economy.”
“Communities in New York State are already suffering from climate change. Past disasters, such as Hurricane Sandy, and our recent experience with COVID-19, have laid bare the reality that these events disproportionately hurt the most vulnerable populations,” said Amy Chester, managing director of Rebuild by Design. “We need to pass the Bond Act and give communities the resources they need to build infrastructure that will address climate change and put New York on a path to recovery.”
Ross J. Pepe, president of the Construction Industry Council of Westchester & Hudson Valley, Inc., added, ‘We have witnessed Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s historic clean water grants program pay huge dividends in communities across the state, both in terms of environmental protections and quality-of-life improvements. These public monies spent for the public good is the fuel that drives the economic engine to stimulate employment with living-wage jobs and long-lasting improvements to our public facilities and infrastructure. The Bond Act is a powerful resource to help state and local governments meet their obligations to their citizens to protect the environment, create jobs and advance our quality of life. Now is the time to double our efforts to continue this momentum. Let’s work together by reinstating the Bond Act and passing it this November.”
The jobs report followed Rebuild by Design’s report ‘We Cannot Wait Any Longer,’ which showed that over the last 10 years, every county in New York State has been impacted by severe storms and flooding, tropical storms, or hurricanes. More than half were affected by five or more disaster events. The major federal disaster declarations for these counties totaled $37.3 billion in federal aid for recovery efforts.