NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
BILL NUMBER: A8744A
SPONSOR: Sweeney (MS)
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the environmental conservation law, in
relation to prohibiting the manufacture, distribution and sale of
personal cosmetic products containing microbeads
PURPOSE: The bill would prohibit the sale of personal cosmetic
products which contain microbeads.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section one of the bill provides the legislative intent of title 9 of
article 37 of the environmental conservation law.
Section two amends article 37 of the environmental conservation law by
adding a new title 9 which:
1. establishes the title of the Act as the "Microbead-free Waters Act";
2. defines the terms "microbead" and "personal cosmetic product";
3. prohibits the sale of personal cosmetic products which contain micro-
4. vests all matters pertaining to microbeads in personal cosmetic
products with the State; and
5. authorizes the Department of Environmental Conservation to promulgate
rules and regulations to implement Title 9.
Section three amends section 71-3703 of the environmental conservation
law to establish penalties for violations.
Section four is the effective date.
JUSTIFICATION: New York State has spent a tremendous amount of money
to revitalize and redevelop its waterfronts. Recently, microbeads, a
plastic product often measured to be as small as a grain of sand, have
been found in high concentrations in the Great Lakes. The source of this
pollution appears to be the sinks, bathtubs and showers in our own
homes. Consumers using personal cosmetics that contain microbeads, like
shampoos, soaps and toothpastes, are washing away what most believe are
harmless consumer waste. Unfortunately, our wastewater treatment plants
are unable, absent costly upgrades, to filter out these tiny plastics.
In response to this new source of pollution, some major corporations
have pledged to phase out the use of microbeads in their personal
cosmetic products. To this end, the Microbead-free Waters Act seeks to
ensure all other personal cosmetic companies follow suit by prohibiting
the manufacture, distribution, and sale of personal cosmetic products
that contain microbeads.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: This is new legislation.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect January 1, 2016.
STATE OF NEW YORK
Cal. No. 490
February 11, 2014
Introduced by M. of A. SWEENEY, SCHIMEL, PEOPLES-STOKES, JAFFEE,
KAVANAGH, OTIS, ENGLEBRIGHT, ZEBROWSKI, ROSENTHAL, FAHY, LIFTON,
KEARNS, NOJAY, WEPRIN, COLTON, LUPARDO, JACOBS, CLARK, RYAN -- Multi-
Sponsored by -- M. of A. GALEF, GLICK, MONTESANO, PERRY, STIRPE --
(at request of the Department of Law) -- read once and referred to the
Committee on Environmental Conservation -- reported and referred to
the Committee on Codes -- reported from committee, advanced to a third
reading, amended and ordered reprinted, retaining its place on the
order of third reading
AN ACT to amend the environmental conservation law, in relation to
prohibiting the manufacture, distribution and sale of personal cosmet-
ic products containing microbeads
The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-bly, do enact as follows:
1 Section 1. Legislative intent. The legislature hereby finds that
2 microbeads, a synthetic alternative ingredient to such natural materials
3 as ground almonds, oatmeal and pumice, found in over one hundred
4 personal cosmetic products, including facial cleansers, shampoos and
5 toothpastes, pose a serious threat to New York's environment.
6 Microbeads have been documented to collect harmful pollutants, already
7 present in the environment, and harm fish and other aquatic organisms
8 that form the base of the aquatic food chain. Recently, microbeads have
9 been recorded in New York's water bodies, and in particular, the waters
10 of Lake Erie. Research has suggested that the majority of these micro-
11 beads are entering water bodies through disposal down household drains
12 following the use of such personal cosmetic products.
13 Without significant and costly improvements to the majority of New
14 York's sewage treatment facilities, microbeads contained in personal
15 cosmetic products will continue to pollute New York's waters and hinder
16 the ongoing efforts to restore the state's lakes and rivers, recreation-
17 al and commercial fisheries as well as recent substantial economic
18 investments in redeveloping New York's waterfronts.
19 § 2. Article 37 of the environmental conservation law is amended by
20 adding a new title 9 to read as follows:
EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
 is old law to be omitted.
A. 8744--A 2
1 TITLE 9
3 Section 37-0901. Short title.
4 37-0903. Definitions.
5 37-0905. Personal cosmetic products containing microbeads.
6 37-0907. Preemption.
7 37-0909. Rules and regulations.
8 § 37-0901. Short title.
9 This title shall be known and may be cited as the "microbead-free
10 waters act."
11 § 37-0903. Definitions.
12 1. The term "microbead" shall mean any plastic component of a personal
13 cosmetic product measured to be five millimeters or less in size.
14 2. The term "personal cosmetic product" shall mean any (a) article
15 intended to be rubbed, poured, sprinkled, or sprayed on, introduced
16 into, or otherwise applied to the human body or any part thereof for
17 cleansing, beautifying, promoting attractiveness, or altering the
18 appearance, and (b) article intended for use as a component of any such
19 article. The term "personal cosmetic product" shall not include any
20 product for which a prescription is required for distribution or dispen-
21 sation as provided in section two hundred eighty-one of the public
22 health law or section six thousand eight hundred ten of the education
24 § 37-0905. Personal cosmetic products containing microbeads.
25 No person shall sell or offer for sale any personal cosmetic product
26 which contains intentionally-added microbeads; provided, however, a
27 personal cosmetic product that is also regulated as a drug by the United
28 States Food and Drug Administration may be sold or offered for sale
29 until January first, two thousand seventeen.
30 § 37-0907. Preemption.
31 Jurisdiction in all matters pertaining to microbeads which are regu-
32 lated pursuant to the provisions of this title shall be vested exclu-
33 sively in the state.
34 § 37-0909. Rules and regulations.
35 The department is authorized to promulgate such rules and regulations
36 as it shall deem necessary to implement the provisions of this title.
37 § 3. Section 71-3703 of the environmental conservation law is amended
38 by adding a new subdivision 4 to read as follows:
39 4. Any person who violates any of the provisions of, or who fails to
40 perform any duty imposed by section 37-0905 of this chapter or any rule
41 or regulation promulgated pursuant thereto, shall be liable for a civil
42 penalty not to exceed two thousand five hundred dollars for each day
43 during which such violation continues, and in addition thereto, such
44 person may be enjoined from continuing such violation. Such person shall
45 for a second violation be liable to the people of the state for a civil
46 penalty not to exceed five thousand dollars for each day during which
47 such violation continues and such person may be enjoined from continuing
48 such violation.
49 § 4. This act shall take effect January 1, 2016.