Town of Hempstead Becomes Latest and Largest Local Municipality to Take State "Climate Smart Communities" Pledge

-America’s Largest Township Pledges to Reduce Pollution and Increase Renewable Energy-

Issued by: Town of Hempstead, Office of Supervisor Laura Gillen

(HEMPSTEAD, NY) – The Town of Hempstead, America’s largest Township, is New York State’s latest and largest local municipality to take the “climate smart communities” pledge; which includes a commitment to reduce community energy use and the discharge of pollutants into the environment, while increasing the use of sustainably managed renewable resources.

“The development of a green innovation economy is not only beneficial to the environment, it is better for the bottom-line, saving taxpayers money while providing new and exciting job opportunities,” said Town of Hempstead Supervisor Laura Gillen. “As America’s largest township, we have a responsibility to lead by example, as well as to inform and inspire the public.”

The pledge also calls for enhancing community resiliency projects and other public works to prepare for the effects of climate change that can endanger the Town’s infrastructure and economy, as well as reduce recreational opportunities and pose health threats to residents.

“We believe that the Town's response to climate change can provide an unprecedented opportunity to build livable, energy-efficient communities, vibrant economies, and resilient infrastructures,” said Gillen. “By setting goals to decrease our reliance on fossil fuels and making purchases that are more environmentally friendly, we can combat the disastrous effects of climate change.”

“I am proud to have voted in favor of adopting the Climate Smart Communities Pledge,” said Councilwoman Erin King Sweeney, Town Board Majority Leader. “The Town of Hempstead has always been a leader in environmental conservation, and we are dedicated to continuing our commitment to reduce our carbon footprint for future generations.”

“Hempstead Town is at the forefront of clean energy and continues to serve as an outstanding model to other towns with its innovative approach to protect our environment,” added Councilman Bruce Blakeman.

"It’s important for the Town of Hempstead to show our residents the importance of being environmentally responsible, and to develop and support initiatives which will reduce our dependence on fossil fuels while increasing our use of renewable energy,” said Senior Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby.

“I look forward to doing what we can to protect our environment while finding economic and financial incentives to make it practical and possible,” said Councilman Edward Ambrosino.

Councilman Dunne added, “I look forward to Hempstead Town’s participation in the New York State Climate Smart Communities Pledge to continue our long standing tradition of being environmentally conscious.”

The measure was also lauded by local environmental groups and residents in the Town.

“The South Shore of Long Island is currently engaged in an historic battle to protect our communities from climate change impacts,” said Adrienne Esposito, Executive Director of Citizens Campaign for the Environment. “As the biggest town in America, Hempstead Town’s engagement in Climate Change Communities will have a positive impact locally and regionally. Reducing greenhouse gasses, saving tax dollars, and fighting climate change is just good government.”

“It’s great that the Town is so inclined to do this and is focused on cleaning up our environment,” said local East Meadow resident and Sierra Club Member Jay Blackman.