Highlights and Happenings: May 2017

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CCE's 2017 Gala.

Celebrating at CCE's Annual Gala

CCE celebrated 32 years of working to protect public health and the natural environment at our annual Environmental Equinox Gala this May. We were proud to honor Deepwater Wind for its work building the nation's first offshore wind farm, located off of Rhode Island, and for winning a contract with LIPA to build a 90 MW wind farm off the coast of Montauk, NY. Thanks so much to everyone who attended and celebrated with us!

Victory! Largest Central NY Land Acquisition in 45 Years!

CCE attended an event at the Salmon River Fish Hatchery, where Governor Cuomo announced that the State has acquired over 6,000 acres of protected lands in Oswego County. This is the largest land acquisition in Central New York in 45 years. This will benefit our environment, bolster the local economy, and preserve the pristine landscape in the Salmon River-Tug Hill region.

Victory! NYS Will Create a Drinking Water Standard for 1,4-Dioxane!

New York State has confirmed its commitment to creating a statewide drinking water standard for 1,4-dioxane, the hidden carcinogen lurking in 46% of our personal care products! Just over 90 days ago, New York made the commitment to act on 1,4-dioxane regulations if the US EPA failed to create a nationwide drinking water standard within that time. The EPA did not create a standard, so the New York State Department of Health will now be taking the first steps toward creating a health-based statewide drinking water standard. CCE will be involved every step of the way to ensure that the end result is a standard that is truly protective of public health based on the best available scientific research.

Fighting to Save Connecticut's Bottle Bill

CCE hosted a lobby day in Hartford with environmental groups from across the state to oppose a bill that would replace Connecticut's bottle deposit with a tax. The bottle deposit on beverages is one of Connecticut's most successful environmental programs, having significantly reduced litter throughout the state. By replacing the deposit with a tax, the incentive to recycle would be scrapped, litter could increase in communities, and the cost of recycling would increase. To help us in the fight to save the bottle bill, email your legislators today.

Moving from Fossil Fuels to Renewable Energy on Long Island

LIPA and PSEG recently completed their latest Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), a comprehensive analysis of Long Island's energy demands and potential sources of energy generation for the next 30 years. The IRP recommends that renewable energy displace new fossil fuel power plants, since wind and solar are the most cost-effective solutions for the long-term power supply needs of the grid. Join us for public hearings on the IRP, and support moving from fossil fuels to renewables! The Suffolk hearings are at the Legislature in Hauppauge at 1pm and 6pm on June 21, and the Nassau hearings are at the Legislature in Mineola at 1pm and 6pm on June 22.

Pushing for a Foam-Free NYC

Back in 2013, NYC banned expanded polystyrene (EPS, commonly called Styrofoam™) containers to reduce plastic pollution and litter, protect public health, and reduce the burden on recyclers, but unfortunately a lawsuit backed by the plastics industry stopped the ban from being implemented. New, improved legislation to ban EPS foam has now been introduced, but the plastics industry is at it again, this time pushing for legislation that deems EPS foam "recyclable" and would prevent a new ban on polystyrene. The NYS Sanitation Department and environmental groups throughout the city have consistently found that recycling EPS food and drink containers is neither environmentally nor economically viable. We joined these stakeholders at a public hearing before the City Council Sanitation Committee in May to testify against the industry-backed "recycling" bill and in favor of banning EPS foam.
Hanna Ring.

Working to Eliminate Plastic Bag Pollution in Upstate NY

Continuing our work to prevent plastic bag pollution, CCE's Hanna Ring gave testimony to the Madison County Board of Supervisors on its proposed ban on plastic carryout bags. CCE supports Madison County's proposed ban; however, we have been working to secure a fee on paper bags in addition to the ban in order to strengthen the bill. If the County implements a ban on plastic and a fee on paper, it will be able to truly address the issues of single-use bags and ensure that the bill is effective in pushing the public to switch to environmentally-friendly reusable bags. The next hearing on this bill will be June 13 at 2pm in the Supervisor's Chambers. We hope to see you there!

Water We Going to Do?

We joined our partner groups at the Long Island Clean Water Partnership (LICWP) for our annual "Water We Going to Do?" conference. Policy makers, scientists, business leaders, environmental stakeholders, residents, and civic groups discussed the most pressing issues facing Long Island's drinking and surface water and what we need to do restore Long Island's water resources and fisheries for future generations. We also received updates on critical projects, including upgrading the Bay Park Sewage Treatment Plant and installing advanced on-site wastewater treatment systems to replace outdated septics and cesspools.

Screening of the Film "Before the Flood"

As a continuation of the "Concert for a Cause: Climate Change" series, we attended a film screening of "Before the Flood." This National Geographic documentary features Leonardo DiCaprio on a journey as a United Nations Messenger of Peace, traveling to five continents and the Arctic to witness climate change firsthand. After the film, CCE led a discussion of the film, discussed the impacts of climate change, and highlighted how citizens can work to address climate change at home and through influencing policy decisions.

Discussing Plastic Bag Policy in NYS

CCE's Jordan Christensen participated in an expert panel on plastic bag policies at the Federation of NY Solid Waste & Recycling Conference in May. We discussed how bans and fees on plastic and paper bags have benefited communities throughout New York and the nation, and offered potential next steps for reducing plastic bag pollution throughout the state.
Our Blog
Image: CCE Blog at blog.citizenscampaign.org.

New blog posts from the month of May:

Long Island Sound Day in D.C.!
People's Climate March – Washington D.C. 4/29/17
CCE in the News
May 31, 2017 – from Capitol Pressroom: May 31, 2017: Bill Cooke
May 31, 2017 – from Spectrum News: Environmental Group Disagrees With Cuomo Criticism of Lake Commission
May 31, 2017 – from Great Lakes Today: Lake Ontario flooding: Debate continues over cause
May 30, 2017 – from Politico: Cuomo's attack on Lake Ontario water management riles supporters
May 24, 2017 – from Newsday: Water under the bridge?
May 21, 2017 – from Newsday: State plans to set limits for chemical found in LI groundwater
May 17, 2017 – from Hartford Courant: Editorial: Keep Connecticut's Bottle Deposit
May 16, 2017 – from Newsday: Suffolk lawmakers approve $10M grant for high-tech septic systems
May 16, 2017 – from CBS New York: Yaphank Well Water Found To Be Contaminated With Dangerous Chemicals
May 15, 2017 – from Newsday: Tainted water found in wells near Suffolk fire academy in Yaphank
May 11, 2017 – from Food & Water Watch: Will Connecticut Finally Ban Fracking Waste?
May 10, 2017 – from Resource Recycling: Connecticut and Iowa serve as bottle bill case studies
May 9, 2017 – from localsyr.com: Proposed plastic bag ban in Madison County divides locals
May 9, 2017 – from LongIsland.com: Suozzi Brings Together Major Stakeholders to Address Northrop Grumman/Navy Groundwater Plume
May 1, 2017 – from Madison County Courier: Movie for a Cause to be screened at Oneida Public Library

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