This week, the New York State Assembly passed new environmental measures in honor of Earth Day. This package follows on past state actions in an effort to improve safeguards previously established to secure the health of New York’s environment.
Assemblywoman Galef enthusiastically supported these measures taken by the State Assembly. “As a longtime advocate for the environment, I believe it is critical that we protect our natural resources now and for future generations. I am proud to come together with my colleagues and pass these bills which I sponsored to ensure the environment’s health, as well as our own.”
The bills, which passed the State Assembly and have been advanced to the State Senate, include legislation to ensure the protection of New York’s air and drinking water, to safeguard communities from exposure to harmful chemicals, and to establish innovative practices of waste-treatment and environmental justice, among other things.
Three bills addressed securing the health of New York’s air and water, to ensure the protection of the one million New Yorkers with private wells (A.667BJaffee), increase public notice of sewage overflow (A.9420A/Sweeney), and regulate greenhouse gas emissions (A.5346/Sweeney).
Another set of bills in the package were intended to protect communities and individuals from exposure to toxic chemicals. These bills, (A.611/Peoples-Strokes), (A.3141/Sweeney), and (A.9421/Sweeney), call for publishing a list of areas most affected by environmental hazards, publishing and prohibiting certain harmful chemicals in children’s products, and preventing unintended environmental stress resulting from incorrectly disposed of pharmaceuticals and over the counter drugs.
The Assembly’s Earth Day package rounds out with three pieces of legislation, which will secure the future of New York’s environment. One bill, (A.947/Peoples-Strokes), will permanently establish both an environmental justice advisory group and an environmental justice interagency coordinating council to protect low-income communities from suffering the weight of disproportionate pollution. Another, (A.1241AColton), will improve the efficiency of recycling by diverting recyclables from landfills, and reassessing materials to be separated for recycling. Finally, (A.9422/Sweeney) this bill will strengthen the prevention and control of invasive species in the environment.
Regarding the environment, Galef has recently begun screening footage of her personal trip to Bradford County, Pennsylvania, where she traveled in February 2012 to learn more about the controversial process of gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) and its potential impact on New York State.