Assemblywoman Addie J. Russell: Protecting Our Environment for a Healthier, Cleaner New York

May 5, 2009

Assemblywoman Addie J. Russell (D-Theresa) announced that in recognition of Earth Day, the Assembly passed several pieces of important legislation designed to better protect New Yorkers and our environment.

“Now – more than ever – we must make meaningful changes to protect and preserve our environment,” Russell said. “Some of the North Country’s vast assets include its bountiful open space, clean lakes and rivers, and numerous state parks. In order to preserve the beauty of our landscape we must protect the environment.”

Addressing the threat of greenhouse gases and global warming

“New York State’s increased focus on alternative energy and green products as a means of reducing our carbon footprint will directly benefit the North Country, a region which has been a leader in the research and production of alternative energy,” Russell said. “Our local colleges and universities have been at the forefront of alternative energy technology which directly transfers into environmental and economic benefits.”

The Assembly’s 2009 Earth Day package includes legislation:

  • requiring greenhouse gas emissions in New York to be decreased by 80 percent by 2050, bringing the state in line with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s recommended levels (A.7572); and
  • urging Congress to enact legislation to cap greenhouse gas emissions and reduce them by 80 percent by the year 2050 (K.410).

Responsible environmental initiatives and fair legal recourse

Assemblywoman Russell believes that it is important to have a constant re-evaluation of environmental laws and regulations to make them more effective. Under two pieces of legislation, more protection from environmental hazards is ensured by:

  • expanding individuals’ rights to take legal action in regard to violations of the State Environmental Quality Review Act (A.3423); and
  • granting citizens the right to pursue timely enforcement through the courts when the Environmental Conservation Law is violated (A.4272).

“I encourage the State to look to the North Country as a model of environmental protection,” Russell said. “Our continued focus on clean alternative energy production, coupled with the tremendous research and development in green technology being done at our local colleges and universities, continue to guide New York State on the path of environmental protection and energy independence.”