One in five homes facing wildfire risk, report says

The risk of wildfires is heating up across the country as climate change and other factors fuel more frequent and strong incidents. Nearly 80 million residential and commercial properties are at risk of being damaged by a wildfire in the next 30 years, according to analysis from nonprofit research firm First Street Foundation reported by the Wall Street Journal. Realtor.com used First Street’s property-level wildfire-risk scores to determine that one in every five homes in

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As lawmakers race to electrify buildings, industry pushes back

With just three weeks left of the legislative session, lawmakers debated a key question for developers: Is it possible to make all new buildings electricity-powered in just a few years? Environmental advocates have pushed for the state to ban gas hookups in new construction throughout New York starting in 2024. Gov. Kathy Hochul pitched a 2027 deadline in her executive budget, but neither proposal was included in the final spending bills. Now, lawmakers and advocates

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How we make cement isn’t set in stone: Brimstone raises $55M in huge pre-revenue round

Brimstone Energy is taking on a challenge of biblical proportions: producing mass-market, zero-carbon Portland cement, a key building material. If it succeeds, the implications for the real estate and construction industries are so enormous that investors have poured $55 million into the startup before it has made a single dollar. Bill Gates’ Breakthrough Energy Ventures and DCVC co-led the Series A round, with participation from Fifth Wall’s climate tech fund, Amazon through its Climate Pledge

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NY unveils “playbook” for building owners to cut emissions

With the clock ticking on owners of the city’s biggest buildings to cut emissions, the state has launched a resource to steer them through the process. Dubbed the carbon neutrality playbook, the online guide outlines four steps for owners to reduce greenhouse gases without breaking the bank. Gov. Kathy Hochul, joined by Mayor Eric Adams, announced it Thursday at the Empire State Building, which has gotten the green treatment from owner Empire State Realty Trust.

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New York’s last-mile boom meets anti-pollution push

As the spread of last-mile warehouses picks up steam in New York, one lawmaker is aiming to cut down on the pollution that follows. Assemblymember Marcela Mitaynes introduced a bill this week to reduce pollution from truck exhaust associated with these warehouses, The City reported. The bill would force the New York Department of Environmental Conservation to adopt a rule that labels e-commerce facilities as “indirect sources” of air pollution. New York would be the

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City eyes emissions-cap reprieve for some buildings

Some property owners may get a break from the city’s stringent greenhouse gas rules. At a City Council committee hearing Wednesday, the Adams administration laid out possible options for building owners who face an “insurmountable barrier” to complying with Local Law 97. Such owners could have their fines reduced or their emission caps raised if they demonstrate that they have made every effort to meet the law’s caps. The administration also floated the possibility of

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City calls for offshore wind facility dev on Staten Island

New York City’s green energy push is blowing towards an offshore wind facility on Staten Island. The city’s Economic Development Corporation issued a request for proposals last week to build a facility in the Rossville area of Staten Island, the Commercial Observer reported. The deadline for submission is June 1. The wind manufacturing facility will be sited at 2629 Arthur Kill Road across a 33-acre site on the Arthur Kill Channel. The site includes 2,000

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Lawmakers, advocates blame Heastie for holding up gas ban bill

As state budget negotiations drag on, lawmakers and environmental groups are fighting to push through a bill that would require new buildings to go electric within two years. Advocates have blamed Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie for “balking” at including the measure in the state budget. Gov. Kathy Hochul had proposed requiring new buildings to produce zero on-site carbon emissions by 2027. The Senate was more aggressive in its budget resolution, calling for a ban of

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Flood insurance rates to rise as new rules take effect

While changes to the National Flood Insurance Program set to take effect April 1 will raise prices for 80 percent of policy holders, only a few New York City homeowners will pay substantially more. Generally, the increases will be modest, and many will see dramatic decreases. It all boils down to how prone your home is to flooding — and how safe your neighbors’ homes are. “If you live in these risky places your insurance

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