New York's Green Amendment: The First Decisions

By Michael B. Gerrard and Edward McTiernan

On Nov. 2, 2021, the voters of New York by a margin of more than 2-1 approved an environmental rights amendment to the Bill of Rights in the New York State Constitution. Article I Section 19 reads in its entirety: “Environmental Rights. Each person shall have a right to clean air and water, and a healthful environment.” In the little more than a year since then, one of the great questions in New York environmental law has been — what does this mean? It looks significant, but just how much? That is left to the courts to decide. We now have two decisions, both of which are under appeal, and four pending cases that have not been decided. This column discusses the emerging jurisprudence under what has been called New York’s Green Amendment.

Read the article New York's Green Amendment: The First Decisions in Columbia Law School's Scholarship Archive here