are catching hell for doing our job as being watchdogs for
our community,” said Rodney Davis, executive director of the
Arbor Hill Environmental Justice Corporation. “You can’t fight
City Hall using taxpayers as the bank.”
Davis is referring to an eviction notice that his office received
last month. AHEJC, along with W. Hayward Burns, have until
Sept. 12 at 5 PM to vacate their offices at 200 Henry Johnson
Boulevard, which is owned by the city of Albany. The groups
have called the building home since 1998. They have been subleasing
the space from the nonprofit organization Council of Community
Services, which is moving to Menands.
Come September, the building will be occupied by the Albany
Community Development Agency and the Police Department’s office
of Professional Standards.
George Leveille, director of Albany Local Development Corporation,
said that the two groups can’t stay simply because the city
needs the space.
they asked if they could stay in the building and the city
said, ‘No, we need the space,’” said Leveille. “That’s all.”
But Davis isn’t buying this excuse and said that needing extra
space just doesn’t add up.
back and look at the staffing level over the years,” said
Davis. “There has not been an increase. What new grants or
funds are they using to pay for this expansion? One plus one
just doesn’t equal three.”
Davis said that he is convinced that this is just a way for
the city to disrupt his organization from doing its work.
He also thinks that the city is trying to get back at EJC
for a recent lawsuit that it filed against the city in federal
court over its lead abatement program.
Pete Sheehan, executive director of W. Hayward Burns, said
that he is completely baffled by the eviction, since his group
is currently working with the city to prepare a $400,000 Environmental
Protection Agency grant to monitor water quality.
are just dismayed that the city would remove one of its partners
from their team,” said Sheehan.
Both groups asked the city if it would consider renewing their
lease, to no avail. Davis said that he is not sure where they
will move, but is adamant that the two groups will remain
in Arbor Hill.
Gas, Please, George
Attorney General Eliot Spitzer wants President George W. Bush
to turn green.
Spitzer joined attorneys general from 10 other states in submitting
a five-page letter to the Bush administration last week calling
for clear leadership regarding the federal regulations of
greenhouse gases and their effect on the global climate.
hard to talk about one without talking about the other,” said
Marc Violette, spokesman for Spitzer. “Air quality is the
defining environmental challenge of the 21st century.”
The joint letter from the state attorneys general points to
the U.S. Climate Action Report 2002 confirming the
dangers of global climate change and projecting that its primary
cause, greenhouse gas emissions, will increase 43 percent
by 2020. The letter stated that several states have taken
regulatory measures concerning the effects of greenhouse gases
on global warming, filling the void left by a lack of federal
greenhouse gases represent serious challenges and potential
threats to the environment and the public health, and it is
incumbent on the administration to take action,” Violette
said. “The State Department of Environmental Conservation
has set up a task force to make recommendations, but that
has not yet been released to the public.”
While the administration is now acknowledging the negative
impacts of global climate change, the attorneys general expressed
concern that is has yet to propose a credible plan addressing
the findings and conclusions outlined in its recent report.
asking the president to show some leadership and make some
decisions based on the solid science behind global warming,”
The study, commissioned by the Environmental Protection Agency,
states that greenhouse gases can result in various harms to
the global environment, including increased average temperatures,
rising sea levels and increased health risks. The letter from
the state attorneys general also notes that the states are
beginning to review their litigation options.
would look to the EPA to take action, and if they don’t it
may be grounds for litigation,” Violette said. “No state is
filing a lawsuit yet, but that is an option. With this administration
we hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.”