Serrano Bill to Locate Areas Harshly Impacted by Environmental Hazards Passes Senate

Albany, NY- A bill  introduced by Senator José M. Serrano (D-Manhattan/Bronx) that  requires the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to periodically publish a list of areas in New York that are most adversely affected by existing environmental hazards was passed by the New York State Senate today.

“The Bronx, where I live, has one of the highest rates of asthma in the United States, largely due to air pollution,” said Senator Serrano. “This bill will help to ensure that areas that are currently impacted by contamination do not become victims to further environmental damage.”

The analysis required by the DEC will measure for hazards such as releases of toxic chemicals, released emissions, stored waste, and the amount of pesticides sold and used, among other factors.

This legislation (S1330/A8489) has already been passed by the Assembly, having been introduced by Assemblywoman Crystal D. Peoples-Stokes (D-Buffalo) and it is awaiting action by the Governor.

Serrano, a leading advocate for environmental issues in Albany, serves as Chair of the Senate Committee on Cultural Affairs, Tourism, Parks and Recreation.  “We must consider the cumulative ecological impact that is occurring in certain communities,” he continued. “Requiring a report that outlines the areas that are most affected will help us to determine how we can begin to reduce these health hazards and help these overburdened neighborhoods.”