New York’s Environmental Bond Act: Progress to Date

New York’s Environmental Bond Act: Progress to Date

As the six-month anniversary of the passing of New York’s Environmental Bond Act approaches, two questions come to mind: “How much progress has been made?” and “What’s next?”

In November of 2022, the $4.2 billion Environmental Bond Act was overwhelmingly approved by New York voters to promote water quality, reduce pollution, and protect natural resources and communities from the effects of climate change. The Act will give state agencies and local governments access to funding, while providing leverage to take advantage of other state and Federal funding sources as well. The state has committed to ensuring at least 35% of funds – with a goal of 40% — go to disadvantaged communities.

According to GothamGazette (Geringer-Sameth, Ethan. February 13, 2023): “State officials expect to issue the first bonds under the $4.2 billion Environmental Bond Act in the upcoming fiscal year, which begins April 1.” Between April of 2023 and March of 2024, $100 million is expected to be financed. Still, spending oversight, administration, staffing, and infrastructure are in development.

To get the ball rolling, the Hochul administration charged the State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) with leading a group of eight state agencies to set the criteria and guidelines for funding. The agencies involved include the DEC, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA); Environmental Facilities Corporation; Department of Agriculture and Markets; Department of Transportation; Department of State; Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation; Adirondack Park Agency; Office of General Services; and Homes and Community Renewals.

According to’s webpage on the act, “Governor Hochul directed an inter-agency working group to begin identifying needs for environmental funding across the State. The group will develop program logistics, including how projects will be selected and how funds will be delivered, through a transparent and collaborative process.” Next, the state will embark on an Educational Listening Tour to discuss what the Bond Act will fund and get input on criteria for potential projects.

It looks like progress is already underway for clean water infrastructure projects, which can leverage the infrastructure already set up for Water Infrastructure Improvement (WIIA) and Intermunicipal Grants (IMG) programs. On March 15, the Environmental Facilities Corporation announced proposed eligibility guidelines and is inviting public comment through 5 p.m. on April 14 (submit written comments to Máire Cunningham at or 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12207).

No doubt, more information will be forthcoming soon. While your municipality prepares to help your community maximize these and Federal funds, RBT CPAs is here to partner with you on your accounting, tax, audit and advisory service needs. We’re one of the leading accounting firms in the Hudson Valley and we believe we succeed when we help you succeed. To learn more, give us a call.