Peter Iwanowicz, executive director of Environmental Advocates NY (EANY), has announced he will be stepping down from the organization at the end of the year.
Iwanowicz’s nine-year tenure at EANY was a return to the organization where he served as air and energy program director in late 1990s.
Under his watch, EANY became a powerhouse advocacy organization, integral in helping pass the 2019 Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA), one of the most ambitious climate laws in the country. Iwanowicz also serves on the Climate Action Council (CAC), which is tasked with developing a framework for implementing the law.
At the helm of EANY, Iwanowicz became a thorn in the side of Gov. Andrew Cuomo when in 2014, he and other environmentalists urged the three-member Public Authorities Control Board (PACB) to vote no on a Cuomo administration request to help finance what is now known as the Mario Cuomo Bridge with money earmarked for municipal clean water and sewer projects.
"We want them to reject what the Cuomo Administration would like to do in terms of raiding these clean water funds for the use of a bridge," Iwanowicz told North Country Public Radio at the time.
After a so-called “bomb train” was responsible for a 2013 explosion in Quebec that killed 47 people, Iwanowicz, who chaired the Albany County executive’s Expert Advisory Committee on Crude Oil Safety, helped push for and implement a series of recommendations to ensure the safety of residents near the port of Albany.
Iwanowicz’s advocacy also contributed to passage of the 2021 “Green Amendment” to the New York State constitution, which secured each person’s “right to clean and water, and a healthful environment.”
“I am most proud of being able to work for an organization that is truly committed to elevating racial and social justice and public health in the fight for better environmental policy,” he told Capital Tonight. “We have a long way to go to achieve environmental justice in New York, but with the climate law and a new constitutional right to clean air and water and healthful environment, we are making good progress.”
Iwanowicz’s environmental work within state government extends back to 2007 when he was appointed the first director of the New York State Office of Climate Change. He also served as both deputy secretary for the environment and then acting commissioner of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation under Gov. David Paterson.
Before his tenure in state government, Iwanowicz served as assistant vice president with the American Lung Association where he directed the Association’s Healthy Air Campaign – an effort to protect the Clean Air Act.
While Iwanowicz wouldn’t comment on the next step in his career path, he told Capital Tonight he would make an announcement by the end of the year.