Highlights and Happenings: April 2015

Read the latest on all of our campaigns,
and get involved by signing our petitions today.
Lou Burch speaking at a rally.

CCE Celebrates Earth Day

Although every day is Earth Day at CCE, we had a great month participating in fairs, festivals, rallies, and celebrations all across New York and Connecticut. Some of our favorite activities included:

Holding the first ever Microbeads Take-Back Day, when we took back products containing the plastic beads for safe disposal and gave out samples of microbead-free products.
Working with Long Island high school students and future environmental leaders at the WAC Science Fair, Dowling College Youth Summit, and regional Envirothon.
Rallying and lobbying on priority legislation to reduce plastic bag pollution, ban microbeads, and protect open space in Connecticut.
Attending the Brooklyn, NY film screening of "Plastic Tides," a documentary about microbead pollution.
Tabling at Earth Day celebrations across NY and CT.

Microbeads Bill Passes New York Assembly!

On Earth Day, the New York Assembly passed critical legislation to ban plastic microbeads from personal care products by an overwhelming margin of 139-1! Plastic microbeads are polluting the Great Lakes, Finger Lakes, Long Island Sound, and other treasured waters. We are turning up the pressure on the Senate on this issue, so if you haven't yet, sign the petition in support of the microbead ban today!
The sun will work for free!

Making It Easier for You to Go Solar

We all know that solar saves us money and reduces pollution. What many people may not know is how to go about shopping for solar for their home or business. That's why we've partnered with EnergySage, who makes comparison shopping for solar simple and transparent so you can understand the true costs and benefits of each quote across all of your financing options. Compare solar quotes online and save!

Sand Land Expansion Stopped

After CCE spent years fighting a proposed expansion of the Sand Land mine in Bridgehampton, NY, we are proud to report that the expansion proposal was officially denied! The current sand mine operation is located in one of Suffolk County's Special Groundwater Protection Areas (SGPA's), critical recharge areas for our drinking water quality and quantity. The operation receives numerous community complaints about dust, noise, and water pollution.
Drug take-back success.

Keeping Drugs Out of Our Water

It is about to get a lot easier to safely dispose of your old medications! CCE and Riverkeeper are working with municipalities throughout NY to implement the largest safe pharmaceutical disposal effort in the state. The program adds 12 drop boxes at police departments throughout NY and will expand drug take-back in the 11 King Kullen pharmacies throughout Nassau and Suffolk Counties. Plus, there will be over 30 municipal take-back events held on Long Island and in Westchester. Programs will soon be announced in Erie and Onondaga Counties as well!

Calling on the Federal Government to Adopt Plan 2014 for Lake Ontario

After 14 years of studies and public input, there is no reason to delay the adoption of Plan 2014. Plan 2014 is a modern water level management plan that will restore the health of the lake after 50 years of damaging regulations. CCE recently delivered an additional 4,000 petition signatures and 1,000 letters from New York residents to Secretary of State John Kerry calling for the adoption of Plan 2014!

Demanding a Cleaner, Healthier Hudson River

CCE rejoined our partners in the Campaign for a Cleaner Hudson to push for General Electric to do a full cleanup of the Hudson River. At the end of this summer, GE will no longer be legally obligated to remove PCBs from the Hudson, but the company has only cleaned up 65% of the problem. The remaining contaminants are dangerous to our health and our environment, and we are calling for GE to do a full cleanup.

Banning Toxins from Children's Toys

Many children's products, from toys to furniture to clothing, contain toxic and dangerous chemicals. Last year, Albany County passed a Toxic Free Toys law, which banned some of the most harmful chemicals, including lead, mercury, and benzene, from children's products. Now, Westchester and Suffolk are considering similar legislation. CCE testified in support of the legislation in both counties, and we will keep fighting to ensure that the Toxic Free Toys bills are enacted.

Next Steps in Long Island Water Protection

For Earth Day, CCE and the Long Island Clean Water Partnership announced our Action Plan for improving water quality on Long Island. The plan includes recommended actions for federal, state, and county governments to reduce nitrogen and other contaminants, reduce pesticide contamination, and upgrade residential wastewater systems.

Protecting Our Great Lakes Drinking Water

Last summer, an algal bloom in Lake Erie resulting from excess nutrients like phosphorus and nitrogen caused half a million people living in Toledo, Ohio to lose access to clean drinking water. On Earth Day, CCE supported Brian Higgins as he introduced legislation that would provide funding to upgrade sewage treatment plants throughout the Great Lakes region in order to prevent excessive nutrients form being discharged into the lakes.
CCE in the News
April 22, 2015 – from Newsday: Patchogue Village calls for hearing on plastic bag ban
April 22, 2015 – from Time Warner Cable News: Earth Day Turns 45: Successes and Challenges in Western New York
April 21, 2015 – from Newsday: Brookhaven council member: Bag trash before it goes into residential garbage cans
April 21, 2015 – from WKBW Buffalo: Water infrastructure proposal would keep Great Lakes clean
April 21, 2015 – from wnypapers­.com: Higgins announces legislation to protect Great Lakes, update water infrastructure
April 21, 2015 – from The Buffalo News: Higgins seeks federal aid to upgrade Great Lakes wastewater treatment plants
April 20, 2015 – from Newsday: Grant aims to reduce flushed drugs by boosting drop-off locations
April 8, 2015 – from Newsday: Bridgehampton sand mine expansion halted by DEC in Albany after Long Island office OKs plan
April 1, 2015 – from Northeast Public Radio: Sewer And Water Infrastructure Funding Praised

Thank you for your support. Together we make a difference!


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