Highlights and Happenings: July 2017

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Congress Rejects President's Proposed Cuts to Long Island Sound and Great Lakes

Despite a proposal to eliminate funding for Long Island Sound and the Great Lakes in the President's Executive Budget, the federal budget currently working its way through Congress (for the 2018 fiscal year, which starts October 1, 2017) restores funding for both Long Island Sound restoration ($8 million) and the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative ($300 million)! While this is great news, the fight isn't over. Congress is still looking to make cuts to EPA staff, climate change research, wastewater infrastructure, and other important environmental programs. Stand with us as we keep up the fight to prevent federal cuts to our necessary environmental programs!

A Plan for Offshore Wind in New York

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) is currently developing an Offshore Wind Master Plan that will guide New York in harnessing our vast offshore wind potential while ensuring that local offshore wind projects are developed responsibly. CCE and our partners in the Long Island Wind Coalition attended a series of meetings on Long Island in July to learn more about the master plan and support responsibly-sited offshore wind development for our region. In August, NYSERDA will host its second series of public meetings in NYC. The meetings will all be from 6-8pm; join us and learn more about the plan:

August 14 at 92-25 Rockaway Beach Boulevard in Queens.
August 15 at the St. George Library Center in Staten Island.
August 16 at the NY Aquarium at Coney Island.

Addressing ALL Disposable Bag Pollution in Upstate NY

We testified to the Madison County Board of Supervisors in support of the Board's proposed bill to ban the use of carryout plastic bags but also encouraged the Board to include a fee on paper bags. The ultimate goal is to have the public switch from disposable to reusable, not from plastic to paper. To date, over 75% of the comments received have been in support of the ban on plastic. Email Madison County today expressing your support for a ban on plastic carryout bags and a fee on paper!

Standing Up for Safe Pharmaceutical Disposal in Erie County

CCE's Brian Smith stood with Erie County Legislator Patrick Burke in support of his proposed legislation to implement a comprehensive, pharmaceutical industry-funded safe pharmaceutical disposal program in Erie County, NY. Providing increased public access to safe disposal is critical to prevent flushing (and subsequent water pollution) and drug abuse in the home. CCE and Legislator Burke also called on Governor Cuomo to veto legislation recently passed by the State Legislature that would preempt passage of local laws related to pharmaceutical disposal in Erie County and all local governments in NYS.

Tackling Connecticut's Solid Waste Issues

CCE's Lou Burch participated in the Governor's Task Force on Consumer Packaging, which was established by the CT Legislature in 2016 to reduce consumer packaging in the waste stream. CCE gave recommendations on both policy solutions and best practices for businesses and institutions that will reduce plastic pollution and solid waste while increasing recycling throughout the state.

Tackling New York's Solid Waste Issues

The NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has released its Revised Proposed Part 360 Solid Waste Regulations, and we are pushing to ensure that critical environmental protections are included in the final regulations. The new regulations incorporate many important provisions to prevent illegal dumping, protect air quality and prevent water contamination at compost and mulch facilities, and prohibit the storage of mulch and construction and demolition debris at sand mines within a sole-source aquifer. However, CCE continues to advocate for other critical components not included in the new regulations, including a better tracking system to prevent illegal dumping of C&D debris, a prohibition on the acceptance of fracking waste by New York landfills, and a ban on the use of fracking brine on roadways.
Fishing warning sign.

New Fish Advisory Signs Posted Around Onondaga Lake!

After years of no posted warnings, fish consumption advisory signs have finally been installed at various locations around Onondaga Lake! While the health of Onondaga Lake is improving, fish from the lake are still contaminated with harmful levels of mercury, PCBs, and dioxin due to the lake's history of pollution. Consuming fish from the lake can cause an array of negative health effects. With signs now posted around the lake, the public will be better aware of the dangers of consuming fish from Onondaga Lake.

Suffolk Residents: Replace Your Septic System and Protect LI Water

Suffolk County has launched its "Reclaim Our Water" program, which will provide millions of dollars in direct financial support for Suffolk County residents who want to replace their existing septic systems with new technology that will improve Long Island water quality. Priority will be given to residents in priority areas, including unsewered coastal areas where nitrogen pollution from septics and cesspools quickly reaches surface waters. Find out today if you qualify for up to $11,000, plus low interest loans, to help cover the cost of a nitrogen-reducing advanced on-site wastewater treatment system for your home!

Onondaga County, Don't Flush Your Drugs

Continuing our work on the safe disposal of unused medications, CCE has partnered with the Prevention and Education Committee of the Onondaga County Drug Task Force. With combined efforts, we will work to educate the public on proper disposal of unused medications and increase the use of the newly placed Rx drop boxes in Onondaga County. If you have unused medications, you can bring them to the police departments of Baldwinsville, Camillus, Manlius, DeWitt, Marcellus, Sheriff's Station North and South, Geddes, Solvay, Syracuse, and SUNY ESF (campus police).
Our Blog
Image: CCE Blog at blog.citizenscampaign.org.

New blog post from the month of July:

Trump Administration Attacks on the Environment Are Hazardous to Americans' Health
CCE in the News
July 28, 2017 – from WBFO: Governor urged to veto 'Big Pharma' bill on his desk
July 26, 2017 – from News 12 Long Island: School's future uncertain after discovery of toxic chemicals
July 26, 2017 – from Long Island Business News: Rosengarten: Fighting the anti-green NIMBY machine
July 25, 2017 – from CNY Central: Plastic bag ban proposal debated in Madison County
July 25, 2017 – from Southold LOCAL: L.I. Sound Program funding included in appropriations bill: Zeldin
July 24, 2017 – from News 12 Long Island: Funds for LI Sound cleanup restored in federal budget proposal
July 24, 2017 – from WSHU: LIPA Rejects Small Green Energy Projects
July 22, 2017 – from News 12 Long Island: Radium concerns trigger review of LI Superfund, landfill sites
July 20, 2017 – from News 12 Long Island: DEC executes search warrant at Bay Shore hauling facility
July 13, 2017 – from InnovateLI: As Trump 'Abdicates,' Climate Alliance Picks Up Slack
July 13, 2017 – from Long Island Advance: District faces pressure to act on Frank P. Long
July 12, 2017 – from America Closed: Environmental Groups Fight to Stop Dramatic Cuts to EPA Services and Jobs
July 9, 2017 – from The Daily Gazette: Editorial: Adirondack land bank referendum good for New York
July 5, 2017 – from LI Herald: Plan to re-authorize Queens wells draws skepticism
July 5, 2017 – from LI Herald: Sunrise Highway aqueduct deemed ‘viable host'
July 4, 2017 – from The Day: 14 environmental, energy, consumer groups oppose Millstone bill

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