Senate Marks 40th Anniversary of Earth Day with Passage of Major Environmental Conservation Bills
Senator Suzi Oppenheimer (D-Mamaroneck) is pleased to announce Senate passage last week of a package of environmental reforms that promote conservation and a “green” economy. The bills were passed as part of the Senate’s commemoration of the 40th anniversary of Earth Day.
“A greener New York is a healthier New York,” said Senator Oppenheimer. “We must protect the environment not only for our own well-being, but also for our children and future generations. The reforms we have adopted will remove toxins from child care products, encourage the recycling of rechargeable batteries and other e-waste and limit the use of chemicals in our schools and day care centers.”
“Improving our environmental policies and practices has been a longstanding priority of mine,” noted the Senator, who is a member of the Senate Environmental Conservation Committee and a co-sponsor each of the bills that passed the Senate. The legislation would:
- Prohibit the use of the chemical Bisphenol A (BPA) in pacifiers, baby bottles, sippy cups and other child care products intended for infants and young children. (S.3296-G) Recent studies have raised concerns about the potential effects of BPA on the brain and behavior of fetuses and young children.
- Establish a statewide electronic equipment reuse and recycling program. (S.6047-A) This measure will reduce the amount of electronic waste that is diverted to landfills, protecting public health and the environment, while encouraging the recovery and reuse of electronic components.
- Prohibit State agencies and other governmental entities from purchasing non-recyclable paper and mailing products. (S. 5119).
- Limit exposures to toxic chemicals at schools and daycare centers by prohibiting the use of pesticides for lawn and ground maintenance. (S.4983-C). The bill would also direct the State Department of Environmental Conservation in conjunction with the Department of Health to develop guidance on pesticide alternatives.
- Institute a recycling program for rechargeable batteries that would be administered by retailers and manufacturers at no cost to consumers. (S.3593-B). While the rechargeable batteries found in cell phones, digital cameras, laptops and other electronic devices reduce energy usage and waste, they can contain toxic metals that are hazardous to the environment if not disposed of properly.
- Require auto dealerships to post a Gallons Per Mile Fuel Savings Guide within the dealership to assist consumers in comparing the fuel efficiency of various motor vehicles. (S.6141-B).
- Establish and maintain a computer mapping system for plotting cancer incidence and environmental facilities in order to determine if there are any environmental, occupational or social factors contributing to certain types of cancer. (S.3788-C).
“New York is a land of awe-inspiring beauty. On this 40th anniversary of Earth day, we must recommit ourselves to caring for and preserving our majestic environment. Let us take this opportunity to celebrate all that we have accomplished since the first Earth Day in 1970 and remind ourselves of the work that remains to be done for a cleaner and healthier world.”