Protecting our Environment

Jerry has worked hard to safeguard our natural resources globally and here in New York by vigorously supporting – and defending – federal environmental laws like the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act, by working locally on initiatives to reduce pollution and curtail polluting industries, and by supporting sustainable and green local projects. 

Following the environmentally catastrophic attacks of 9/11 on his district in Lower Manhattan, Jerry emerged as the preeminent advocate for a safe, timely and comprehensive cleanup, and for the safety of workers, responders and locals during the cleanup efforts.  He has continued to work to ensure that such botched environmental remediation operations are not repeated elsewhere.

Jerry has fought for decades to reduce truck-borne pollution, which is a major cause of childhood asthma and other respiratory problems, especially in low-income parts of the city.  He supports initiatives to improve truck emissions standards and is the sponsor of the Clean Ports Act in order to allow ports nationwide to implement clean truck programs to curb pollution.  He has been a leading voice for rationalizing the movement of goods and decreasing overdependence on polluting trucks, and moving toward more sustainable modes, like container shipping and rail freight.  Among the many projects he has championed toward this end are the Cross Harbor Rail Freight Tunnel, to establish a rail connection between the mainland U.S. and the East of Hudson region, and a major deepwater container port in Brooklyn.

Jerry has also authored the Green Taxis Act to allow cities like New York to create green taxi fleets and dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Jerry has received numerous honors for his pro-environment policy work and advocacy, from groups such as the Natural Resources Defense Council, Earth Day New York and the National Wildlife Federation.  He has also consistently received 100% legislative ratings from the League of Conservation Voters.