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FingerLakes1 featured Haub Law Professor Nicholas Robinson in "Will New Yorkers have a constitutional right to clean water and air? Voters will decide this year"

02/19/2021

FingerLakes1 featured Haub Law Professor Nicholas Robinson in "Will New Yorkers have a constitutional right to clean water and air? Voters will decide this year"

New Yorkers will vote in November on whether to add the “right to clean air and water and a healthful environment” to the state constitution, joining a nationwide “Green Amendment” movement. Nicholas A. Robinson, professor emeritus at Pace University, has argued that New York once led the nation in environmental conservation but has slipped markedly in recent years.“New Yorkers suffer today from a deficit of environmental justice,” Robinson wrote in a 2017 article calling for a constitutional convention to deal with the problem. A former general counsel at the state Department of Environmental Conservation, Robinson noted sharp cutbacks in DEC funding in the past decade that “effectively nullify the guarantees in New York’s Environmental Conservation Law.” He cited contamination of drinking water in Hoosick Falls as a prime example of the regulatory breakdown. “Since 2014, (Hoosick Falls residents) have had to drink, bathe in, and cook with water laced with toxic perfluoctanoic acid (PFOA), long before New York’s government acted to protect them.” The Cuomo Administration eventually responded by setting limits on PFOA and PFOS that are among the strictest in the country. But those regulations are only beginning to be enforced on local water systems across the state. “Proverbially, don’t we all live in Hoosick Falls?” Robinson mused in his 2017 article.

Read the full FingerLakes1 article.