Sustainable Long Island
May 2011 
Sustainable Long Island Newsletter
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In This Issue
Brownfields to Greenfields
Clash Over Move to Privatize LI Bus
Environmental Justice For All
EPA's Plan EJ 2014
Sustainable LI awarded $20,000
Apply: HS Fellows
Donate today
Board of Directors

Ruth Negr
n-Gaines: President


Kevin McDonald: Vice President

The Nature Conservancy   

Charlotte Biblow, Esq: Secretary

Farrell Fritz, P.C.



Lauren Furst: Treasurer   


Russ Albanese

Albanese Organization Inc.



Lennard Axinn

Island Estates




Robert Bernard

Capital One Bank   



Dr. Calvin O. Butts, III
SUNY College at Old Westbury



Dr. Miriam K. Deitsch

State University at Farmingdale



Pat Edwards




Richard Grafer


Amy Hagedorn
Hagedorn Foundation



Jeff Kraut

North Shore - LIJ Health System



Mitchell H. Pally

Long Island Builders Institute



Ron Shiffman

Pratt Institute



Robert Wieboldt

















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Brownfields to Greenfield$ 2011 


Sustainable Long Island is proud to announce the release of its 2011 Brownfields to Greenfield$ Manual: A how-to guide on brownfields redevelopment. The manual's revision, updated from the 2006 version, was made possible by funding from New York State Senator Carl Marcellino and contributions by the Action Committee for the Enviornment.

B2G Manual  

Sustainable Long Island is proud to announce the release of its 2011 Brownfields to Greenfield$ Manual: A how-to guide on brownfields redevelopment. The manual's revision, updated from the 2006 version, was made possible by funding from New York State Senator Carl Marcellino and contributions by the Action Committee for the Enviornment.


"I am pleased that I could partner with Sustainable Long Island and the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to update The Brownfields to Greenfields Manual," said New York State Senator Carl Marcellino. "I have always felt that the State's brownfield programs were indispensable in getting these urban eyesores back on the tax rolls and making them community assets rather than letting them eat away at the heart of our cities, towns and villages. These programs promote and the Manual enhances the physical, economic and social revitalization of our communities."


The purpose of this "roadmap" is to provide an understanding of the brownfield redevelopment process and the opportunities available in New York. Brownfields to Greenfield$ is designed to provide information for local government officials seeking to facilitate brownfield redevelopment in their communities, citizens hoping to understand how the process affects them, developers and investors seeking to participate in this growing marketplace, groups that wish to facilitate the redevelopment process, and end-users of redeveloped property.


"Since its launch in 1998, Sustainable Long Island's brownfield redevelopment projects have produced concrete results in numerous communities across Long Island and this manual is just the latest testament of our work," said Ruth Negron-Gaines, Sustainable Long Island Board President. "The ultimate goal is to facilitate full stakeholder participation in the brownfield redevelopment process.Through the transfer of information, collaboration among brownfield stakeholders can promote sustainability and smart growth; creating a positive future for New York's environment and economy."


The manual provides information on: New York State, federal and private funding and financial incentives; technical assistance and liability protection available for the cleanup and redevelopment of brownfield sites in New York State; and an overview of the various brownfield programs offered by New York State. 

Clash Over Move to Privatize LI Bus

Dan Janison of Newsday reports:
As you may have seen, earlier this month Assemblyman Michael Montesano (R-Glen Head) helped argue the case for Nassau privatizing passenger-bus service based on burdensome MTA labor contracts.

LI Bus 

A case for the opposition -- or at least skepticism -- is stated here by Long Island Jobs with Justice on the Sustainable Long Island Web site, in a summary of labor friction and performance questions for three current bidders -- and what has proven to be a lack of profitability in transit service.

Environmental Justice For All



Environmental justice can be looked at as the idea and development of creating socially just, sustainable human and ecological systems, where everyone partakes in making decisions that affect quality of life.


Over the past 12 years, Sustainable Long Island has worked with communities across Long Island to address planning issues that impact current and future quality of life, such as land use and redevelopment, transportation choices, housing options, and natural resource consumption; all of which are related to environmental justice and sustainability. We help Long Islanders identify priorities for development and create practical strategies to build a safer, stronger, more sustainable community.



We accomplish this work via a number of projects including genuine community based planning, brownfields redevelopment and food access programs. Brownfield redevelopment is an environmental justice issue as communities with a plethora of underdeveloped and perceived-to-becontaminated sites are typically located in lower socioeconomic neighborhoods. Sustainable Long Island maps brownfields on Long Island where they occur, advocates for redevelopment legislation, and always strives to move community-basedredevelopment forward. We work with low-income communities to save our open spaces and breathe life into communities through redevelopment that can bring jobs and tax and business revenue to the region.


Sustainable Long Island's food equity program addresses the lack of access many low-income communities have to nutritious food - a fundamental issue of environmental justice and basic human right.Research and experience through our work tells us that communities of color and low-income neighborhoods may often have limited access to supermarkets and other stores that offer a variety of fresh, affordable food. Communities with limitations in resources, disposable income, language, and transportation also often have restricted access to, and knowledge about, a variety of healthy food options. When neighborhoods lack supermarkets, farmers' markets, and community gardens, residents have no choice but to rely on convenience stores, bodegas, and drug stores as their primary food sources.


Sustainable Long Island has recognized the connection between the food system and labor, racial, environmental, and economic justice issues and has worked to address these issues with numerous community-based initiatives. These projects include the launch of youth-run farmers' markets in low-income communities and the development of a food access mapping project that identifies supermarket locations across Long Island, illustrating the availability and gaps of fresh, affordable food on an interactive map located on the Long Island Index's website.


Environmental justice also encompasses numerous transportation concerns, such as bus and rail integration, highway design, neighborhood street safety, and transit oriented development.


Many of the community plans Sustainable Long Island has facilitated focus on transit-oriented development (TOD), which is defined as a mixed use neighborhood within close proximity of a transit stop and core commercial area. TODs increase transportation choices and access and enhance mobility for all community members, while creating compact mixed-use neighborhoods. With transit-oriented development, communities also reduce traffic congestion, air pollution, and energy consumption, as well as the need for costly roadway improvements.


By focusing development around existing transportation infrastructure, municipalities place transportation within reach of citizens who cannot afford to drive or don't have access to transit; creating more equitable communities. High commutation by train allows for more efficient land use patterns and use of resources, reduces the impact of sprawl, and mitigates climate change.

Salt water intrusion also affects our region; threatening Long Island's fresh groundwater supply. Intrusion threatens critical natural resources, as well as shoreline communities that are jeopardized by sea level rise and high density areas that are vulnerable to water supply shortages. Sustainable Long Island continues to advocate concentrating development near existing infrastructure, including sewer systems and promotes efficient use of water in residential, commercial, and agricultural areas. Long Island must adopt strategies that promote increased natural recharge and filtration and that minimize harmful runoff.

Salt Water Intrusion


We need to continue to link environmental justice with its mission of advancing economic development, environmental health, and social equity across our region. Critical to progress moving forward is the involvement and awareness of environmental justice throughout the region. We urge all Long Islanders to get involved and build strong, working relationships between communities and their residents, while always including environmental justice principles in their decisions. 

Comments on the EPA's Plan EJ 2014


On May 10, 2011 the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Charter of the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council (NEJAC) held a National Public Meeting in Brooklyn, NY that gave the opportunity to attendees to provide feedback on where it should focus its advisory attention for the implementation plans associated with Plan EJ 2014. Recently EPA began a comprehensive effort to enhance its Agency-wide integration of environmental justice by developing Plan EJ 2014. The plan is intended to go beyond current EJ related efforts (such as the EJ Small Grants, Brownfields Redevelopment, the CARE Program, EJ Showcase Communities, and the Urban Waters Initiative, to name a few) and instead focuses on new efforts. Below are our excerpts of our written submitted comments to the EPA about the "Supporting Community-based Action Programs" section of the Implementation Plan:


EPA Logo

With the publication of Plan EJ 2014, the EPA has re-dedicated itself to addressing nationwide environmental justice concerns. The plan calls for recognition of community health, community empowerment, and partnerships as important goals to achieve by integrating environmental justice considerations into the Agency's programs and policies. As we move towards more equitable and sustainable development, it becomes incredibly important to understand the value of community and create opportunities for those overburdened by pollution, health hazards, and other environmental harm to participate in the process. This begins with honest community engagement, conducting outreach and connecting community members with each other and their local, state and federal officials, as well as to the knowledge and resources needed to create their own strategies and solutions.


Sustainable Long Island supports the desired outcomes of the Draft Supporting Community-based Action Programs Implementation Plan and commends the EPA for their emphasis on the significance of community. We believe that these goals will help to promote integration of environmental justice considerations into a broad spectrum of federal government programs. By enhancing placed-based community programs though better information access, coordination, and leveraging, the EPA will create many more opportunities to engage stakeholders in the process and to better identify and a community's needs and desires. The strategies set forth in the plan have the potential to serve as a model for other federal, state, and local agencies interested in coordinating and streamlining processes.


Read our comments in their entirety here. 

Sustainable Long Island awarded $20,000 from JPMorgan Chase Foundation


Earlier this year, Sustainable Long Island was awarded $20,000 from JPMorgan Chase Foundation to continue to increase access to healthy, affordable food in Long Island's most distressed communities. We continue to look for ways to advance economic development in Long Island's most distressed communities through the promotion of name brand supermarkets and Long Island's local farming economy.  


More Long Islanders than ever are seeking assistance for basic necessities, perhaps the most basic being the need for food. With JPMorgan Chase Foundation's assistance, Sustainable Long Island is able to address the long-term economic development issues related to food equity.

Food Image 

Currently in the third year of our Food Equity Program, we continue to build a network of national experts and regional leaders to identify policies and implement projects that lead to economic development and increased access to healthy food in low-to-moderate income communities.  


Long Island's economically distressed communities suffer from food redlining - a trend that segregates low-income communities from access to high-quality nutritious food, like milk and fresh fruit and vegetables. Experts call this a "food desert" - a community with little or no access to foods needed to maintain a healthy diet. In addition to the devastating impact on individuals' health, the lack of supermarkets has a significant impact on the economic vitality of communities. Sustainable Long Island's Food Equity project addresses the economic, health, and community issues of food redlining.  

Apply Today to Join Sustainable Long Island's High School Fellowship


HS Fellows 2 

Sustainable Long Island is seeking junior or senior high school students interested in issues of sustainability, community planning and development, and civic engagement to participate in planning processes, engage other young adults in planning for the future, and learning about local and regional food systems.  


The Fellowship is an opportunity to learn about and participate in community based planning and regional efforts to ensure a sustainable Long Island for generations to come.


The goal of Sustainable Long Island's High School Fellowship is to empower young people with planning tools, information, and knowledge so as to enable them to make a positive impact in their communities.  


Students will be paid a stipend and will work in Sustainable Long Island's Bethpage office, as well as in their local community for 20 hours per week (eight weeks) during the summer and six hours per week (40 weeks) during the school year.


High School juniors and seniors interested in the fellowship should send letter of interest and resume to Artineh Havan no later than May 27, 2011 or read more about the program here. 

Together we can build a more sustainable LI



These rough economic times have magnified the problems we Long Islanders face each and every day. With our leaders warning us of tougher times to come, thinking regionally and acting locally is urgent. It is in all of our best interest to stay engaged and do what we can together to build a more sustainable Long Island.


Please consider making a tax-deductible gift to Sustainable Long Island that will help support our past, ongoing, and future work within your Long Island communities; while helping advance economic development, environmental health, and social equity!

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The Board and Staff of Sustainable Long Island