May 5, 2014

Assembly Marks Earth Day with Legislative Package that Promotes Environmentally Friendly Practices

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver today joined with Environmental Conservation Committee Chair Robert Sweeney to celebrate Earth Day by announcing the passage of legislation to protect and preserve our environment including measures to protect drinking water, minimize pollution, improve recycling measures and address climate change.

"The Assembly has always been committed to protecting New York's vast natural resources through measures that ensure clean air and safe drinking water," Speaker Silver said. "Today's Earth Day legislation continues this important work. After all, we rely so much on our environment - the very least we can do is keep it safe and healthy for many generations to come."

"In order to thrive on every level - from our own personal health to the stability of our economy - we need a safe and clean environment," Sweeney said. "It is vital that we safeguard our environment by passing measures that preserve our natural resources and create cleaner, healthier communities for our families. I would like to thank the Speaker and my Assembly colleagues for continuously making the health of our families and the sustainability of our environment a top priority."

The Earth Day package takes steps to protect our water and air from further pollution. It establishes the Microbead-Free Waters Act (A.8744-A/Sweeney) which prohibits the manufacturing, distribution and sale of personal cosmetic products containing microbeads such as shampoos, soaps and toothpastes. Microbeads, a plastic product often measured to be as small as a grain of sand, have been found in high concentrations in the Great Lakes. The Earth Day package also includes legislation to:

Despite efforts to bolster recycling, accumulating recyclable materials still take up space in New York's landfills. Included in the package is a bill to encourage and enhance statewide recycling efforts and compliance by local governments and waste-haulers (A.3754/Colton).

Additional legislation would preserve our environment and promote safe practices. This includes bills to:

Earlier in this session, the Assembly passed additional legislation to keep our families safe from harm and to further safeguard our environment including measures to: