NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
BILL NUMBER: A4739c
TITLE OF BILL:
An act to amend the environmental conservation law, in relation to the
use of perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances in food packaging
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 1 of the bill amends section 37-0203 of the environmental
conservation law by defining the terms "food package" and "perfluoroal-
kyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances" or "PFAS chemicals".
Section 2 of the bill renumbers certain sections of the environmental
Section 3 of the bill adds a new section to the environmental conserva-
tion law that prohibits the manufacture, sale, or distribution of food
packages in which PFAS chemicals are present in any amount.
Section 4 of the bill requires manufacturers to develop a compliance
certificate after the prohibition on PFAS chemicals goes into effect,
and requires manufacturers to reissue a compliance certificate if the
packaging is reformulated.
Section 5 of the bill is the effective date.
The chemicals PFOA and PFOS have come under scrutiny in New York over
the last several years due to water contamination cases. While existing
federal and state efforts to regulate PFOA and PFOS are critical, there
is a troubling gap in these efforts. PFOA and PFOS are part of a class
of man-made chemicals called PFAS, or perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl
chemicals. Regulations on PFOA and PFOS do not address less common chem-
icals in the PFAS family that could pose similar and unknown human
health impacts, not to mention the potential for new PFAS chemicals to
be developed in the future.
This bill ban PFAS chemicals in food packaging containers used in New
York. Chemicals that are similar in chemical makeup to chemicals we know
to be harmful should not be automatically approved for use, because it
is likely they also lead to harmful health impacts. Rather, we should
utilize a precautionary principle and prohibit the use of all PFAS chem-
icals in food packaging.
New York's recent water contamination cases have brought public atten-
tion to the harms of PFOA and PFOS. In Hoosick Falls and Petersburgh,
PFOA was used in local factories to manufacture Teflon (non-stick
surfaces) and waste product including the chemical entered the local
water supply. In Newburgh and Suffolk County, PFOS was used in fire-
fighting foam that seeped into the groundwater through firefighting and
training activities. In these communities, residents have demonstrated
high levels of these chemicals in their blood, and have 'experienced
health impacts including kidney cancer, testicular cancer, thyroid
disease, and birth defects, which studies have linked to these chemi-
The attention to PFOA and PFOS has led to some recent federal and state
regulatory action. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) first
issued provisional health advisories for PFOA and PFOS in 2009, and
followed up with lifetime health advisories in 2016. However, it has
not established national drinking water standards. Under the provisions
of the Fiscal Year 2017-2018 New York State budget, New York's Drinking
Water Council is undergoing a review of chemicals including PFOA and
PFOS with the stated goal of setting strong enforceable limits on the
chemicals. In April 2016, the New York State Department of Environmental
Conservation issued an emergency rule that added PFOA-acid, PFOA-salt,
PFOS-acid, and PFOS-salt to the state's list of hazardous substances,
with particular attention to their use in class B firefighting foams.
Finally, over the last dozen years, many companies agreed to voluntarily
phase out their use of PFOA and PFOS, though their use continues in
limited forms today.
The case of Wilmington, North Carolina offers a case in point about the
need for stronger action on chemicals in the broader PFAS family.
There, a chemical in the PFAS family called GenX was found in the water
supply as a result of contamination from a local plant (Chemours, an
offshoot of DuPont) that manufactured the chemical. According to
DuPont, GenX was developed as a safer alternative to PFOA, which it had
phased- out due to environmental health concerns. However, studies
submitted to the U.S. EPA by DuPont showed that GenX caused tumors and
reproductive problems in lab animals. Residents and local officials are
Food packaging is a key place to look for PFAS chemicals, as they often
include non-stick components to repel grease. PFAS chemicals in food
packaging can enter a human's bloodstream by leaching into food that is
consumed, as well as find its way into the environment through disposal.
A study published in February 2017 (Silent Spring Institute et. al.,
Environ. Sci. Technol. Lett., 2017, 4 (3), pp 105-111) looked at 400
samples of food packaging from fast food restaurants in the United
States. It found that PFAS chemicals were found in 46% of food contact
papers and 20% of paperboard samples, including a breakdown of 56% of
dessert and bread wrappers, 38% of sandwich and burger wrappers, and 20%
This bill would ban the entire class of PFAS chemicals from food packag-
ing containers used in New York. Washington State signed similar legis-
lation into law in April 2018. In order to protect the health and safety
of New Yorkers, we must take an aggressive approach by prohibiting the
use of all PFAS chemicals in food packages.
2019: 5.2000 (Hoylman)/ A.4739
2018: 5.8576 (Hoylman) - Died in Environmental Conservation
This act shall take December 31, 2022.
STATE OF NEW YORK
Cal. No. 179
2019-2020 Regular Sessions
February 5, 2019
Introduced by M. of A. FAHY, THIELE, GOTTFRIED, L. ROSENTHAL, EPSTEIN,
ORTIZ, GALEF, STIRPE, JAFFEE, DINOWITZ, MAGNARELLI, LIFTON, CARROLL,
COLTON, STERN, D'URSO, MOSLEY, PAULIN, REYES, PERRY, STECK, WALLACE,
GRIFFIN, ABINANTI, JONES, BUCHWALD, BARRON, QUART, SIMON, ZEBROWSKI,
FERNANDEZ, PEOPLES-STOKES, DAVILA, BARRETT, McDONALD, WOERNER, RYAN,
HEVESI, M. G. MILLER, SAYEGH, GLICK, LiPETRI, McMAHON, SIMOTAS, ROZIC,
RODRIGUEZ, SOLAGES, WEPRIN, SANTABARBARA, GUNTHER, HUNTER, WALKER,
O'DONNELL, BURKE, FRONTUS, VANEL, RIVERA, OTIS, KIM, D. ROSENTHAL,
SEAWRIGHT, ENGLEBRIGHT, SCHMITT, COOK, NIOU, BARNWELL, ASHBY, JACOB-
SON, CRUZ, HYNDMAN, BRONSON, DE LA ROSA, LUPARDO, CUSICK -- Multi-
Sponsored by -- M. of A. CROUCH, CYMBROWITZ, LENTOL, TAYLOR -- read
once and referred to the Committee on Environmental Conservation --
committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and
recommitted to said committee -- ordered to a third reading, amended
and ordered reprinted, retaining its place on the order of third read-
ing -- again amended on third reading, ordered reprinted, retaining
its place on the order of third reading
AN ACT to amend the environmental conservation law, in relation to the
use of perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances in food packaging
The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-bly, do enact as follows:
1 Section 1. Section 37-0203 of the environmental conservation law is
2 amended by adding two new subdivisions 5 and 6 to read as follows:
3 5. "Food packaging" means a package or packaging component that is
4 intended for direct food contact and is comprised, in substantial part,
5 of paper, paperboard, or other materials originally derived from plant
7 6. "Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances" or "PFAS
8 substances" shall mean, for the purposes of food packaging, a class of
9 fluorinated organic chemicals containing at least one fully fluorinated
10 carbon atom.
EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
 is old law to be omitted.
A. 4739--C 2
1 § 2. Sections 37-0209, 37-0211 and 37-0213 of the environmental
2 conservation law are renumbered sections 37-0211, 37-0213 and 37-0215.
3 § 3. The environmental conservation law is amended by adding a new
4 section 37-0209 to read as follows:
5 § 37-0209. Prohibition on the use of perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl
6 substances in food packaging.
7 1. No person shall distribute, sell or offer for sale in this state
8 food packaging containing perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl (PFAS)
9 substances as intentionally added chemicals.
10 2. For purposes of this section, "intentionally added chemical" shall
11 have the same meaning as subdivision eleven of section 37-0901 of this
13 § 4. This act shall take effect December 31, 2022. Effective imme-
14 diately, the addition, amendment and/or repeal of any rule or regulation
15 necessary for the implementation of this act on its effective date are
16 authorized and directed to be made and completed on or before such
17 effective date.