NYS Legislature Passes Suite of Bills That Protect Air, Water, and Health

For Immediate Release: April 30, 2019

NYS Legislature Passes Suite of Bills That Protect Air, Water, and Health

Assembly Again Passes Environmental Bills; New NY Senate Majority Breaks Logjam on Perennially Stalled Legislation

Albany – In honor of the 49th Anniversary of Earth Day, the New York State Legislature passed a package of bills that will protect our air, water, and environment. Many of these bills have been passed by the Assembly in recent years but had not advanced in the Senate.

Peter M. Iwanowicz, executive director of Environmental Advocates NY said, “For too long, common-sense environmental measures that would protect our air, water, and health had little chance of becoming law in New York. Now, in just one afternoon, the Legislature is making up for lost time by passing a suite of bills that help protect New Yorkers’ health and precious natural resources. The actions today by the Senate and Assembly will help ensure all New Yorkers have the right to clean air, water, and a healthful environment and defend us against toxic chemicals in our drinking water and our children’s toys, as well as harmful pesticides sprayed on our foods.”

Legislation that passed today includes:

  • Environmental Rights – This bill provides an amendment to the State Constitution that would guarantee New Yorkers a right to clean air and water. Comprised of 15 words, this ‘Green Amendment’ would amend Article 1 of the State Constitution to include: “Each person shall have a right to clean air and water, and a healthful environment.”
  • The Child Safe Products Act – This legislation protects children from avoidable illness and toxic exposure by requiring disclosure and reporting of dangerous chemicals used in children’s products and empowers the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to ban a variety of dangerous chemicals, such as formaldehyde and asbestos.
  • Chlorpyrifos Ban – This bill will phase out the use, distribution and sale of this dangerous pesticide.  This bill will immediately prohibit the aerial spraying of Chlorpyrifos, and seriously limit its use in agriculture applications, leading to a full ban of all product uses by December 1, 2021.
  • Environmental Justice Zones – This bill requires DEC to issue biennial reports listing high local environmental impact zones across the state. Such zones are defined as areas adversely affected by existing environmental hazards. The list would be compiled by aggregating toxic release and pollution data from a number of state and federal environmental databases in one concise report.

Environmental Advocates NY
Environmental Advocates NY’s mission is to protect our air, land, water, wildlife and health. Celebrating its 50th Anniversary, EANY monitors state government, evaluates proposed laws, and champions policies and practices that will ensure the responsible stewardship of our shared environment. EANY works to support and strengthen the efforts of New York’s environmental community and to make New York a national leader.

Climate and Community Protection Act
We expect that the commitment and cooperation shown today will inform the way forward as the Legislature focuses on combating climate change by passing landmark legislation in the form of the Climate and Community Protection Act. Sponsored by Senator Todd Kaminsky (D-Long Beach) and Assembly Steve Englebright (D-Setauket), the bill will create a blueprint for New York to achieve an economy-wide shift to 100% renewable energy.