IE 11 Not Supported

For optimal browsing, we recommend Chrome, Firefox or Safari browsers.

New York Announces "Clean Green Schools" Initiative

A $59 million program unveiled by Gov. Kathy Hochul will assess "high-need" public schools across the state and fund clean-energy technology, HVAC systems and other measures to improve air quality and energy efficiency.

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul announced a "Clean Green Schools" initiative to improve air quality and energy efficiency in the state's public schools.
Lev Radin Shutterstock/Shutterstock
(TNS) — Gov. Kathy Hochul recently announced a $59 million fund for a "Clean Green Schools" initiative, which will look to improve air quality, advance clean energy and reduce carbon emissions in public schools.

Public schools across New York state that are named as high-needs by the New York State Education Department, will be eligible for the program.

Hochul expressed that providing cleaner, healthier places for children to learn and grow "is an absolute must if we want to deliver on a green transition that benefits all."

"The Clean Green Schools initiative will bring meaningful change to communities that have been too often left behind, allowing our schools to be models of innovation, while giving educators and students the type of learning environment they deserve," said Hochul in a release issued Friday.

The initiative supports the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, which aims for an 85 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, according to the governor's office.

Hochul expressed that this program will be included in the historic $4.2 billion Clean Water, Clean Air, and Green Jobs Environmental Bond Act. The act will provide funding to more than 1,000 under-resourced public schools and benefit close to 1 million students.

The act will also:
  • Support New York needs to provide safe water to drink.
  • Invest in critical water infrastructure.
  • Restore critical environmental habitats; reduce flood risks.
  • Preserve outdoor spaces and local farms.
  • Invest in climate change mitigation and adaptation projects that will reduce air pollution.

New York State Energy Research and Development Authority President and CEO Doreen M. Harris expressed that addressing the impacts of climate change is critical in schools every day.

"Making improvements to increase energy efficiency and clean heating and cooling, and supporting educational activities centered around decarbonization are foundational efforts for this initiative, and they ensure the Clean Green Schools initiative will benefit our communities and state for generations to come," said Harris.

Any HVAC projects funded under the Clean Green Schools initiative will address indoor air quality in any disadvantaged community schools, as well as high-needs areas.

Applications for the Clean Green Schools initiative are now being accepted by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA).

There are two tracks to the application. Track I will provide schools with professional services to help evaluate and facilitate energy reduction, decarbonization, environmental sustainability and indoor air quality improvements within the school.

Track II will provide schools with the funding needed for construction projects that may decarbonize building portfolios. This includes any conversion of central heating and/or cooling plants to clean energy technologies, such as heat pumps.

Track I funding is available for open enrollment, on a first-come-first-serve basis, while Track II will be provided on a competitive basis.

The following schools on Staten Island meet the Clean Green Schools initiative criteria:
  • Ralph R. McKee Career and Technical High School, St. George
  • PS 16, Tompkinsville
  • PS 31, New Brighton
  • PS 78, Stapleton
  • PS 59, New Brighton
  • Susan E. Wagner High School, Sea View
  • PS 20, Port Richmond
  • PS 46, South Beach
  • PS 57, Clifton
  • Concord High School
  • Curtis High School, St. George

In addition to the initiative, Hochul announced that New York State is looking to purchase new electric school buses through the New York Truck Voucher Incentive program, to improve air quality for school-age New Yorkers and communities.

The State Budget will provide $500 million through the Bond Act to support school districts in purchases of zero-emission buses and related charging infrastructure, including charging stations, to ensure there are zero-emission buses used.

Assemblyman Michael Cusick applauded Hochul in her mission to improve schools across the state.

"While we work to decrease our emissions to meet our statewide goals, it is important that we make sure to protect our children," said Cusick. "The Clean Green Schools initiative protects our environment and our young students by reducing emissions and improving indoor air quality in our state's schools."

©2022 Staten Island Advance, N.Y. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.