Tish James Releases Plan to Investigate Polluters that Collude with the Trump Administration and Defend New York’s Environment

NEW YORK -- Attorney General Candidate Tish James today outlined how she will defend against the Trump Administration’s efforts to undermine environmental regulations, stand up to polluters, and champion environmental justice in the Empire State. As Attorney General she will:

  • Sue the Trump Administration and neighboring states to keep our air clean;

  • Investigate and prosecute polluters who defraud and mislead investors or collude with the Trump Administration;

  • Fight to keep water supplies clean and hold polluters responsible;

  • Take legal action to protect the Hudson River, prevent dumping in the Long Island Sound, and stop the EPA from gutting the Clean Water Act;

  • Sue to stop toxic products from harming New Yorkers and investigate ties between producers and Trump Administration officials;

  • Stand up to illegal dumpers, taking legal action to punish those responsible, fight for restitution, and work to revoke bad actors’ carting licenses;

  • Advance legislation and take legal action to ban fracking infrastructure in New York;

  • Lead the fight to fully divest New York from fossil fuels;

  • Investigate and take legal action to stop environmental injustices that exacerbate racial disparities in asthma rates, lead poisoning, and other illnesses.

To view the full policy brief, click here.

“Tish will fight tirelessly to protect our environment and will stand up to Washington's harmful policies. Protecting our natural resources for future generations is vital,“ said Senator Todd Kaminsky, Ranking Member of the Senate Environmental Conservation Committee.

“In communities across our state and across our nation, the environment is under attack. Whether it’s standing up to Trump’s EPA, investigating environmental injustices in cities like Buffalo, or suing polluters, I know that Tish James will defend New York’s natural resources. I know that Tish’s isn’t just focused on fighting battles today -- she has a plan to help preserve the environment for generations to come,” said Assemblymember Crystal Peoples-Stokes.

“In the era of Donald Trump, the EPA might as well mean ‘Environment Polluting Agency’ -- but New Yorkers won’t stand for that. As New York’s next Attorney General, I’m prepared to defend our environment, from Bethpage to Brooklyn to Buffalo. Whether it’s suing the Trump Administration, investigating environmental racism, taking on the fossil fuel industry, or investigating illegal dumpers, I will not back down. We need to defend the environment -- for this generation and the next,” said Attorney General Candidate Tish James.

Highlights from Tish James’ environmental policy brief include:

Protect Our Air by:

  • Taking legal action over the Trump Administration’s plans to repeal the Clean Power Plan, which aims to cut emissions from power plants;

  • Challenge rules proposed by the Trump Administration to relax vehicle emission standards in court;

  • Sue neighboring states with less-rigorous environmental standards over cross-border pollution;

  • Legislate and litigate to stop the development of fracking infrastructure like pipelines, power plants, and compressor stations;

  • Lead the fight to fully divest New York State from the fossil fuel industry.

Investigate Industry-EPA Collusion by using the Martin Act and other state laws to examine, and potentially prosecute, industry insiders who may have colluded with the Trump Administration to rollback regulations. In possible collusion schemes -- which span from the fossil fuel industry to household cleaning products and makeup -- insiders worked with the EPA to deceive investors and harm New Yorkers, while lining the pockets of wealthy individuals and corporations.

Protect New York’s Water by:

  • Suing the companies responsible for polluting Washington Lake, which previously supplied water to the City of Newburgh; and

  • Taking legal action to ensure the EPA forces General Electric to complete anti-contamination work in the Hudson River and to prevent the EPA from authorizing structures in or near the Hudson that would harm the river’s long-term health; and

  • Suing to stop the EPA from approving dumping in the Long Island Sound and from guttig the Clean Water Act.

Take on Illegal Dumpers by:

  • Advocating for stronger state anti-dumping laws, which incentivize more enforcement and provide for larger, more effective civil penalties; and

  • Pushing for changes in state law to allow the Attorney General to offer rewards for illegal dumping tips, to revoke the carting licenses of those involved in illegal dumping, and to require restitution.

Investigate Environmental Injustices like lead poisoning in Buffalo, which is concentrated in largely-black and Hispanic neighborhoods in the city’s East and lower West Sides. Despite the high rates of lead poisoning, few, if any, water samples from these neighborhoods have been tested -- possibly allowing preventable lead exposure to persist under the radar.