Senate Passes Small Business Energy Assistance & Advocacy Services Program
Legislation to reduce energy costs on small businesses in New York State, introduced by Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins, passed unanimously in the Senate. The bill is part of a Senate Democratic Majority legislative package that will significantly reduce the costs of energy for homeowners and businesses statewide, putting money back into the pockets of families and making businesses more competitive.
Since late last year, residents across Westchester County have witnessed, with disbelief, the disappearance of the natural landscape that has shielded homes and properties from exposure for decades. In the days following the removal of broad swaths of vegetation with chainsaws, the lush greenery that had always been there was gone and left behind were areas littered with debris and the stumps of trees.
(35th District – NY) Today, Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins announced the Senate Democratic Majority has passed legislation mandating a temporary moratorium on gas drilling (“hydro-fracking”) to ensure adequate time to research safety measures and regulations. Gas drilling in New York could contaminate the drinking water of more than 12 million NYC-area residents.
The Senate, on August 3, 2010, overwhelmingly passed S8129B/Thompson by a vote of 48-9. This bill provides for a suspension, until May 15, 2011, of the issuance of new permits for the drilling of a well which utilizes the practice of hydraulic fracturing. The legislation is now awaiting action by the Assembly before it can be sent to the Governor for his support.
A bicycle safety law sponsored by State Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins(D-Yonkers) has been signed by Governor David Paterson.
The bill, which was dubbed "Merrill's Law" was so named after 66 year old Merrill Cassell, an avid cyclist, who was struck and fatally crushed by a BeeLine Bus in November 2009 as he was riding on Route 119 near Aqueduct Road in Greenburgh.
Amy Kupfberg, a Hartsdale resident, stood before about forty concerned citizens and a hearing officer for New York's Public Service Commission Tuesday and said: "My mantra used to be 'I love shoes.' But now everything I do is about saving trees."
Residents from around Westchester converged in the Greenburgh Public Library to take the state Public Service Commission to task regarding its current regulations for the clearing of trees near power transmission lines…
"The PSC must use the hammer at its disposal to regulate the utility company's actions," State Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins said. "Lawmakers will be able to forgo legislation and fines if you would just regulate."
Thank you for this opportunity to comment on the Public Service Commission (PSC) Staff’s Recommendations regarding Case 10-E-0155. I would also like to thank you for opening this review, and for affording the public a high level of involvement in the process. As stated in my original comments, I recognize that vegetation management practices are necessary to maintain a safe and reliable electric utility system. However, changes to Public Service Commission policies for utility companies engaging in this work are necessary to improve public involvement and reflect greater concern for the environment and quality of life. To that end, it is my belief that the PSC staff’s recommendations do not go far enough in addressing the concerns of affected residents.
Senator Stewart-Cousins joined students, parents and faculty of the Hawthorne Elementary School at the 4th Annual “Walk the Green Walk” this week. The yearly event raises awareness about the importance of protecting the environment. The “Green Walk” began at the elementary school with a parade across Chelsea Street to the Hawthorne Fire Department, and culminated with a ceremony where Senator Stewart-Cousins and other dignitaries addressed the crowd. In her remarks, the Senator summed up the importance of being environmentally conscious with the following poem: “Remember the Earth Carries You Care for her Lovingly Every day.”
Senator Stewart-Cousins attended the opening day of the Science Barge in Yonkers, NY. The Science Barge "is a prototype sustainable urban farm developed by NY Sun Works and acquired by Groundwork Hudson Valley in October, 2008 to be operated as an environmental education center. The Science Barge greenhouse, floating on the Hudson River, grows an abundance of fresh produce including tomatoes, melons, greens, and lettuce with zero net carbon emissions, zero pesticides, and zero runoff".
Continuing what has become a new tradition for Democratic Conference Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, the Leader recognized Arbor Day this year by planting a lovely white swamp oak, her 6th tree, at the Greenburgh Nature Center in Scarsdale, NY.