Policy Research Center discusses Micron’s economic and environmental impact



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Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Civil Rights and Public Affairs Policy Research Center hosted a virtual panel discussion Monday afternoon to discuss the economic and environmental impacts of Micron’s investments in the Central New York region.

More than 150 attendees attended the discussion and heard insights from Professor Maxwell and CPR senior fellows about the future economic changes that Micron’s investment could bring to the region. Panelists also addressed concerns about sustainability efforts, county residents’ access to economic opportunities, and public infrastructure.

Professor Yi-Ling Hou, from the School of Government and International Studies, emphasized the need for Micron and local leaders to balance anticipated regional economic transformation with investments in public infrastructure and sustainability efforts. .

“New York State and Central New York have all the ingredients to once again be glorious and prosperous, but there are many challenges we must accomplish and do well to make that a reality. ‘ said Mr Ho. “Micron’s efforts must come from our side, with the ingenuity of state and local governments and the support and hard work of all central New Yorkers.”

The panel discussion is titled “Micron in Central New York: What’s at stake for the local environment, amenities, and infrastructure?” — Moderated by Rebecca Schaeve, associate professor in the Department of Sociology. After the greetings from each panelist, a question and answer session was held.

Hou and Carmen Carrion-Flores, a research assistant professor in the Department of Economics, pointed to past examples of large-scale manufacturing destroying local environments. Each cited high levels of mercury contamination in Onondaga Lake caused by Allied Chemical and Dye Company decades ago.

“This is not the first time that central New York has faced trade-offs between economic growth and the quality and protection of environmental amenities,” Carrion-Flores said.

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Carrion Flores said Micron should be transparent about its planned sustainability strategy, which includes responsible water management, increased energy efficiency, and the use of materials and processes that do not harm the environment. He added that he should.

As part of our commitment to sustainability, Micron’s current goals include using 100% renewable electricity in our future operations and achieving 100% water reuse, recycling, and restoration. Masu.

Panelists also discussed how Micron’s investments could be affected by the Interstate 81 Viaduct Project, a $2.25 billion effort to replace portions of the highway with community grids. was also discussed.

Alexander Rosenberg, an assistant professor in the Department of Economics, said the Interstate 81 project could help reverse long-standing racial and environmental disparities caused by freeway construction, but commuters He said this could cause logistical problems for some people.

For downtown residents in communities like the South Side, driving to Clay’s new Micron factory from outside the city can be difficult because of traffic diversions caused by highway projects, Rothenberg said. . As part of the project, construction will occur on portions of Interstate 481 and I-690 to accommodate changes in traffic.

Rothenberg said despite all the changes, the city of Syracuse will eventually adapt to the new economy.

“My hope is that Micron’s increased demand for labor will offset the increased density costs and additional environmental costs, and that after a period of adjustment, residents will be better off on average. ,” Rosenberg said. “But I think it’s important to keep in mind that there are some very complex issues around equity and efficiency that are difficult to ascertain and deserve further scrutiny.”

Although environmental and infrastructure issues remain, Rothenberg pointed to the magnitude of Micron’s investment in the region. There are approximately 310,000 workers in the Syracuse area, and the jobs promised by Micron could increase job opportunities by 16%, potentially pushing the Syracuse market to its highest level in more than 30 years, Rothenberg said. he said. The new factory is expected to bring 50,000 jobs to the CNY region through long-term investment.

Hou emphasized how long-term investments give communities the space to implement changes over time and avoid the county’s past shortcomings in sustainability efforts.

“Let’s not make the same mistakes again. Let’s apply high standards (and) grow our high-tech economy while preserving the environment – water, forests, soil, and the overall landscape of central New York – for the long term.” said Mr Ho.


Contact Dominic: [email protected] | @DominicChiappo2

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