Assembly Passes Earth Day Legislative Package

May 11, 2009
Brooklyn – The Assembly passed a legislative package last week to mark Earth Day and advance legislation to protect New Yorkers and our environment. From meaningful measures to cap greenhouse gas emissions to protecting New Yorkers from pesticides to calling on electronics manufacturers to development of e-recycling programs, this legislative package addresses a variety of environmental concerns.

“The harsh reality is that if we do not address many environmental issues, it may be too late,” said Millman. “I urge my colleagues in the Senate and the governor to expedite passage of these critical laws. It is up to us to leave our environment in better shape than we found it so that future generations can continue to thrive.”

Several of the bills passed make the bold statement that New York State is serious about reducing greenhouse gas emissions. A.7572 requires greenhouse gas emissions be reduced by 80 percent by 2050, bringing New York State in line with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change recommendations. Another bill urges Congress to adopt legislation to cap greenhouse gas emissions and reduce greenhouse emissions on a national level.

To limit exposure to harmful pesticides and waste, the Assembly package included legislation to create a state Urban Pesticide Board; phase out use of harmful pesticides by state agencies; prohibit the use of decabrominated diphenyl ether, a flame retardant proven to cause neurological and developmental damage; and prohibit the sale of toys containing bisphenol-A, a harmful chemical.

The Earth Day package also seeks to encourage recycling. A.7571 requires manufacturers of certain electronics to develop recycling programs which will help keep mercury and lead out of landfills. The New York State Healthy and Green Procurement Act, also part of the package, requires state agencies to purchase products that meet certain standards for recycled content and waste reduction.