Nathalia Fernandez’s plan for a greener Bronx

State Assemblywoman Nathalia Fernandez, a candidate for Bronx borough president, Thursday released a comprehensive plan for creating a more sustainable and green Bronx.

The purpose, she said, is to bring progress to environmental issues that the borough has had to endure, which have helped contribute to the Bronx’s sky-high asthma rate.

“We cannot meet this need by relying on traditional, incremental ideals. We must meet the magnitude of this moment by implementing new policies, and funding investments that not only revitalize but transform the Bronx,” said Fernandez in introducing the plan.

A centerpiece of her multi-part plan is the implementation of the Environmental Bond Act, which authorizes spending $3 billion to increase resiliency, protect wildlife habitats, and create 65,000  jobs statewide. A second initiative, the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, sponsored by the assemblywoman, would adopt measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and create renewable energy sources in the Bronx.  Both measures have been signed into law but have yet to be implemented in the Bronx, she said.

Other elements in Fernandez’s plan include investing in green infrastructure, creating green jobs, curbing the Heat Island effect, modernizing waste removal, and investing in projects that positively impact vulnerable communities citywide. Some of these projects involve installing solar panels on NYCHA complexes, schools, and city buildings.

Her plan also calls for more funding to support urban farming initiatives and replacing standard street lights with LED lights.

The assemblywoman also looks to make transportation in the borough more sustainable, citing the harmful side effects of the constant gridlock that emits toxic pollutants that foul the air.   She would curb this by expanding bus service and building out bus and bike lanes in underserved communities.

Other transportation initiatives in her plan include the expansion of bike-sharing throughout the borough, the completion of four already proposed subway stations in the borough, and support of tax incentives for those who purchase electric vehicles.

The full plan can be found here.