Environmental Advocates NY Call for Action on Essential Legislation

June 5, 2023

Environmental Advocates NY urges the support of New York lawmakers in the passage of six crucial pieces of environmental legislation. As the current legislative session nears its conclusion, these bills are indispensable for the protection of our environment, the safeguarding of public health, and the prosperity of New York’s future economy.

The A-B-Cs of Stream Protection (A.4601-A and S.1725-A) is a vital piece of legislation aimed at safeguarding 41,000 miles of Class C streams in New York. This bill not only contributes to flood control and pollution filtering but also ensures the replenishment of drinking water sources. A forward-thinking approach to environmental health, it aims to prevent future costs associated with water pollution cleanup.

The Birds and Bees Protection Act (A.7640 and S.1856-A) seeks to limit the use of Neonics, dangerous insecticides that pose a significant threat to our food systems, agriculture, and overall ecosystem. The bill addresses the annual loss of over 40% of bee colonies by advocating for safer insecticide alternatives.

The Packaging Reduction and Recycling Infrastructure Act (A5322-A and S4246-A) would require companies to cut their single-use packaging in half and redesign what’s left to make it recyclable, as well as to remove toxic chemicals such as PFAS, benzene, toluene, phthalates, bisphenols, and heavy metals from their packaging. Companies would be required to pay to collect, sort, and manage packaging waste, providing much-needed taxpayer relief and funding for our recycling programs and infrastructure.

The NY HEAT Act (A.4592-A and S.2016-A) proposes the modernization of gas utility regulation and system planning in line with the state’s climate targets. The alignment empowers the Public Service Commission to uphold the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) mandates, fostering a shift towards sustainable energy utilities.

The Just Energy Transition Act (A4866-B and S2935-C) aims to replace fossil fuel facilities by 2030, paving the way towards a zero-emission power grid. This legislation outlines strategies for retiring fossil fuel generators, particularly inefficient peaker plants, in compliance with CLCPA objectives.

Procurement without Deforestation (A.5682-A and S.4859A passed Senate) establishes a procurement standard that helps ensure that companies contracted with the state of New York are not directly or indirectly contributing to tropical intact forest degradation or deforestation.

“Six Bills for a Sustainable Future – it’s not just an agenda, it’s our responsibility,” said Conor Bambrick, Policy Director at Environmental Advocates NY. “These six bills are our blueprint for a healthier, safer, and greener Empire State. They must pass before session ends.”