(Albany, NY)-Senator Malcolm A. Smith and Assemblyman Bill Scarborough (D-Jamaica) met with Carter Strickland, Commissioner of the city’s Department of Environmental Protection and Joe Martens, Commissioner of the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation to discuss possible remedies for the persistent flooding problem plaguing southeast Queens. Other agency representatives and engineers were also in attendance.
(Long Island City, NY) Senator Michael Gianaris vowed to continue working with the PS 78 Student Council students to repair, restore, and re-beautify Shady Park, also known as Andrews Grove, after the devastation of Hurricane Sandy. In a letter to the Student Council, Senator Gianaris thanked the students for their ongoing participation in the restoration efforts regarding the park and assured students that repairing the park is a top priority.
“Shady Park is a gem in our community and beloved by neighborhood children, who were given a voice by the PS 78 Student Council. We cannot let Hurricane Sandy rob our neighborhood of this beautiful park in an area in need of more outdoor places for children and adults alike to enjoy,” said Senator Gianaris.
ALBANY - Growing the state’s agriculture industry and helping New York’s family farms prosper is the goal of the “Grown in New York” plan, unveiled today at a Capitol news conference by members of the Senate’s Agriculture Committee, as well as leaders of the New York Farm Bureau. The plan is designed to strengthen the state’s $5.2 billion agriculture industry by expanding markets for New York-grown products, improving the bottom lines of family farms, and investing in the future of farming.
Responding to perennial increases in hurricane and disaster related spending, the Independent Democratic Conference will introduce legislation recommending the creation of a new statewide office charged with improving New York's risk management and cost avoidance practices. The new office, which will be funded exclusively by annual cost savings generated by it's operations, will use the same modern-day risk assessment techniques that currently save states such as Florida and Texas tens of millions of dollars each year. The IDC estimates that by utilizing modern-day risk management practices, New York State could avoid up to $150 million in spending over the next three years.
The NYS Department of Financial Services (DFS) is setting new rules to speed the processing of insurance claims in areas affected by Storm Sandy. The new regulation reduces the amount of time an insurer can delay its decision on a claim, and requires insurers to report to the Department on how many claims it is delaying and the reasons for the delays.
PELHAM, NY - State Senator Jeff Klein (D-Bronx/Westchester) joined local elected officials, law enforcement officials, community leaders and task force participants today to announce initiatives designed to respond to issues outlined by the Pelham Task Force on Hurricane Sandy last month. Village of Pelham Mayor Ed Hotchkiss, Village of Pelham Manor Mayor Jim O’Connor and Town of Pelham Supervisor Pete DiPaola, in addition to several of the Task Force participants stood with Senator Klein as they unveiled legislative recommendations and community initiatives designed to address issues with Con Edison facing residents following Hurricane Sandy.
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has proposed new legislation to protect New Yorkers from gas shortages during natural disasters. This legislation would create the strongest back-up power law in the nation for critical gas stations, preventing long lines and station closures in the event of power outages.
The proposal builds on the initial recommendations from the NYS Ready Commission that Governor Cuomo empaneled late last year, and it was developed with input from local government officials and private-sector service station owners. It will be submitted to the Legislature in the 30-day budget amendments.
"As chairman of the Environmental Conservation Committee, I applaud Governor Cuomo's recent announcement on his plans to streamline hunting and fishing licenses and reducing license fees. New York Open for Fishing and Hunting will support various tourism opportunities throughout the state, including here in Western New York.
Senator Mark Grisanti (R,I-60) has been named "Elected Official of the Year" by the Southtowns Walleye Association, the largest single species fishing club in North America.
As chairman of the Environmental Conservation Committee, Senator Grisanti has oversight of all legislation that relates to sportsmen. His work with the Department of Environmental Conservation in advancing legislation that would lower all fishing, trapping and hunting licenses to the levels they were prior to the last fee increase are among the accomplishments the Senator is most proud of during his first two years in office.
After sustained pressure from environmental activists and their allies in government, Governor Cuomo’s administration took a positive step this week in the fight against hydrofracking in New York State. Per a request made by the Commissioner of the State Department of Health (DOH), the State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced that it would delay the finalization of its supplemental generic environmental impact statement (SGEIS) on hydrofracking until the ongoing study of the potential health impacts of this dangerous drilling method is completed. Before this announcement, DEC was slated to complete the SGEIS and issue final regulations before the end of this month, officially opening the door to hydrofracking.
In his State of the City address today, Mayor Michael Bloomberg unveiled a plan to ban styrofoam in stores and restaurants citing a lack of biodegradability and high recycling costs that he called “terrible for the environment” and “terrible for taxpayers.” State Senator Liz Krueger responded to the mayor’s speech by jumping on his ban-wagon and taking it one step further–calling on the Legislature to ban styrofoam statewide.
The following statement can be attributed to State Senator Liz Krueger (D-Manhattan):
“In his State of the City address, Mayor Bloomberg announced that he will prioritize banning styrofoam food containers in New York City. This would be a great step forward for our city, both for the environment and public health – but we shouldn’t just stop at the city limits.”
“I call on my colleagues in the state legislature to race New York City to the goal and pass legislation to ban styrofoam food containers this year, and I ask Mayor Bloomberg to lend his considerable influence with the State Senate’s Republican-dominated majority to this cause.”
(New York, NY)- State Senator José M. Serrano applauded the decision by Joseph Martens, Commissioner of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), to delay the issuing of the final Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement (SGEIS) on high-volume hydraulic fracturing in New York State until the Department of Health (DOH) completes public review of the health impacts of the process. "I am pleased to learn that the DOH is taking more time to carefully complete the public review process of hydrofracking," said Senator Serrano. "It would be blatantly irresponsible to permit hydraulic fracturing to be carried out without thoroughly analyzing its possible consequences on the health of the public. "
Senator LaValle's 2013 Environmental Roundtable at the SCCC Culinary Arts and Hospitality Center was attended by more than 60 citizens, local leaders/elected officials, environmental groups, farmers and others. Be sure to watch when the 2 hour forum is broadcast on WVVH and YouTube. We'll post the links later this month