Senator Andrew Lanza & Assemblyman Michael Cusick Announce New State Law to Prevent Phragmites Fires

Andrew J. Lanza

August 04, 2011

Law Will Empower Property Owners to Protect Themselves & Neighbors  

                 On Wednesday, August 4, 2011, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law a bill, authored by Senator Andrew Lanza and Assemblyman Michael Cusick, that will help protect the residents of Staten Island from phragmites fueled fires. Chapter 306 of the Laws of 2011 requires the Department of Environmental Conservation to establish a residential fire break permit for the borough of Staten Island, and allows property owners to cut and remove phragmites from their property. 


                 “For far too long, DEC was more concerned with protecting these non-native invasive weeds then they were about enacting policies that protect residents and their property,” said Senator Lanza.  “This law will prevent the DEC from thwarting property owners the right to protect their property. Homeowners should not have to ask permission to protect their homes and lives. This law will empower private homeowners with the ability to remove this dangerous weed from their properties without waiting on the ‘OK’ from DEC.”

       “Brushfires have become a serious and potentially dangerous concern on Staten Island,” said Assemblyman Michael Cusick. “This legislation provides residents the opportunity to eliminate phragmites weeds to protect their families and their property. I would like to thank the Governor for signing this important bill into law.

        The entire Staten Island delegation cosponsored the legislation.