Senate Passes Environmental Bill Package Celebrating Earth Day

State Senator David J. Valesky (D-Oneida) today applauded the
passage of several bills in the State Senate that mark the celebration of
Earth Day, and provide protections to reduce pollution and improve public

“As a state, we continue to make good progress enacting policies that
protect our environment, reduce the amount of pollution and protect against
exposure to harmful chemicals,” Senator Valesky said. “I supported this
legislation because it is incumbent upon us to act responsibly to ensure
our children and grandchildren will have clean air, clean water and a
healthy environment.”

Senator Valesky co-sponsored (S6047a) legislation that would establish an
e-waste recycling program. E-waste currently represents the fastest growing
category of waste in the municipal solid waste stream. Consumer demand for
the latest cutting-edge electronics products, coupled with the devices
relatively short life-spans, has created an overwhelming growth in the
amount of e-waste the state produces. This legislation which will create a
State-wide electronic equipment reuse and recycling program.

“OCRRA believes that this well-built and workable e-waste take-back
legislation is critically important,” Tom Rhodes, Executive Director of the
Onondaga County Resource Recovery Agency (OCRRA), said. “E-waste
legislation represents an important step for New York State by advancing
true product stewardship and shifting primary responsibility for e-waste
management at the end of a product’s useful life from local taxpayers or
solid waste system ratepayers to manufacturers.

“This shift in responsibility ultimately results in product design changes
that reduce toxicity and enhance future reuse and recycling. Also important
in today’s economic climate, real jobs are created by harvesting
electronics from the trash.”

The Senate also passed legislation (S4983) that would limit the use of
pesticides on school and daycare center grounds except in emergency health
and safety situations.

Other legislation passed:
Mapping Cancer Rates (3788C)
This legislation will require the department of health, in consultation
with the DEC and the technical advisory group, to create a cancer mapping
program in the State that tracks links between exposures to manmade toxics
in our environment and certain cancers.

Eliminating BPA from Child Care Products (S3296)
Bisphenol A (BPA), commonly used in child care products such as pacifiers,
bottles and sippy cups, can have potentially harmful effects on children.
This legislation eliminates its use from child care products. 

Rechargeable Battery Recycling Program (S3593B)
Creates a rechargeable battery takeback program at no cost to consumers.

Prohibiting the State from Purchasing Non-Recycled Paper (S5119)
New York State, with more than 80 State entities, is a major purchaser and
user of stationary and paper products, and this legislation will prohibit
the purchase of non-recyclable paper and mailing products. 

Fuel Efficiency Guide (6141B)
This requires auto dealerships to display a requiring automobile dealers
display a “Gallons-Per-Mile (GPM) Fuel Savings Guide” to provide consumers
with accurate information about fuel efficiency for vehicles.