Highlights and Happenings: January 2018

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Environment Wins Big in Governor Cuomo's Budget Proposal

CCE attended the Governor's State of the State address and several presentations on this year's Executive Budget proposal, and we like what we heard! Many of the programs we have worked diligently to support are proposed to be fully funded, such as the $2.5 billion Clean Water Infrastructure Act and $300 million Environmental Protection Fund. The Executive Budget also includes proposals to advance offshore wind, reduce food waste going to landfills (and feed the hungry), combat harmful algal blooms in upstate lakes, and upgrade the Niagara Falls sewage treatment plant. We will continue to work to ensure that these investments (and others!) are included in the final state budget.
Opposing offshore drilling.

Oil and Water Don't Mix

In January, CCE joined Congressman Lee Zeldin, along with other elected officials, business owners, and environmental leaders across Long Island, to oppose the expansion of offshore oil drilling and protect New York's ocean coast. We're proud of the broad, bipartisan opposition to offshore drilling that exists, and we must all continue to tell the Trump administration and Secretary Ryan Zinke that oil and water do not mix! On February 14, NY Assemblyman Steve Englebright will be hosting a public hearing on the proposal to expand offshore drilling. Join us at the Suffolk Legislature in Hauppauge on Long Island at 10am for a rally against offshore drilling, and stick around for the hearing!

Connecticut State Water Plan Moves Forward!

The Connecticut State Water Planning Council voted to approve the final State Water Plan, which is a comprehensive water management plan to help lawmakers craft state water policies. After thousands and thousands of our members weighed in on the development of this plan in recent years, the final plan provides recommendations that would help balance the public's water supply needs with those of a healthy environment and sustainable economic development. Now, we need the CT General Assembly to build off of the recommendations in the plan to implement science-based, statewide water management policies that will protect our clean water resources for generations to come.

Saving the Clean Power Plan

The Clean Power Plan, which enacted the first-ever nationwide limits on greenhouse gas emissions from existing fossil-fuel power plants, was the most significant step the U.S. has taken to curb harmful carbon emissions at a national scale. The Trump administration has announced plans to repeal the Clean Power Plan, and CCE submitted comments to the U.S. EPA vehemently opposing the repeal of this critical policy. Although the Trump administration did not hold hearings in New York on the repeal of the Clean Power Plan, CCE joined environmental and public health advocates from around the state at the "People's Hearing," hosted by Attorney General Schneiderman. Groups called on the EPA to renew efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions and fight climate change at the federal level. Check out CCE's testimony at the People's Hearing.
Plastic bag in the air.

Suffolk County's BYOBag Law Takes Effect

Suffolk County's legislation to curb disposable bag pollution went into effect on January 1. This law places a 5-cent fee on single-use plastic and paper bags—a fee that can be avoided by bringing your own bags. In the first month, we have already seen stores experience a 50-80% decrease in the use of single-use bags! Check out CCE's Executive Director, Adrienne Esposito, interviewing Suffolk residents about their thoughts on the BYOBag law.

Fighting Hunger While Protecting the Environment

CCE headed to Albany for Food Waste Lobby Day to support the "Food Recovery and Recycling Act." The law, which was included in the Governor's budget proposal, would require commercial establishments (e.g., restaurants, hotels, colleges, supermarkets, and hospitals) that generate large amounts of excess food to send excess edible food to those in need, and send food scraps to compost facilities and anaerobic digesters (and create renewable energy!). Currently, food waste makes up 18% of NY's waste stream, most of which is sent to landfills. A diverse coalition of food banks, composters, renewable energy advocates, business leaders, and environmentalists are working to make sure the bill passes in this year's state budget!
Lou Burch.

Pushing for a Better Bottle Bill in Connecticut

CCE's Lou Burch participated in the 2018 Connecticut Recycler's Coalition Annual Conference in Plantsville and presented on the importance of modernizing the state's Container Deposit Law (a.k.a. "Bottle Bill") to improve recycling rates. Connecticut's Bottle Bill is an effective incentive to recycle single-serving bottles and cans, but it urgently needs to be updated to capture the growing number of juices, teas, sports drinks and other non-carbonated beverages on the market today.

Victory! Patchogue Village Bans Polystyrene Foam

Patchogue Village passed a ban on expanded polystyrene (commonly known as Styrofoam™) carryout containers. The Village, which sits on the south shore of Long Island, became a leader in the fight to prevent plastic pollution in 2016 by enacting a ban on single-use plastic bags. Thank you to Trustee Joe Keyes and the Board of Trustees for keeping up the fight to protect our waters and reduce pollution!

Upcoming Event: Environmental Protection Fund Lobby Day

Join us in Albany to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Environmental Protection Fund, and help us fight for a $300 million EPF this year. For the last two years, the EPF has received a record-high $300 million, which has helped preserve parks and open spaces, reduce polluted runoff, protect drinking water, and much more. Governor Cuomo has once again included $300M for EPF in his budget proposal; now we need the Senate and Assembly to do the same. Register today, and come fight for continued funding for New York's environmental protection programs.
CCE in the News
January 31, 2018 – from The East Hampton Star: The Poison in Your Laundry
January 31, 2018 – from CBS New York: State Looks At MacArthur Airport In Ronkonkoma As Possible Superfund Site
January 30, 2018 – from WSHU: New York Claims 'Unprecedented Commitment' To Offshore Wind Power
January 29, 2018 – from News 12 Long Island: Plan details NY state's vision for offshore wind energy
January 29, 2018 – from News 12 Long Island: Freon 22 detected in 2 Glen Cove drinking water wells
January 29, 2018 – from East End Beacon: Zeldin & Environmentalists Call for L.I. Hearing on Oil Drilling
January 29, 2018 – from Shelter Island Reporter: Zeldin, local leaders call for Long Island to be dropped from offshore drilling plan
January 29, 2018 – from LongIsland.com: Rep. Zeldin, State & Local Officials, Environmental Stakeholders & Business Leaders Unite in Opposition to Offshore Drilling Off LI Coast
January 26, 2018 – from News 12 Long Island: Lawmakers, environmentalists rally against drilling off LI coast
January 26, 2018 – from Riverhead LOCAL: Don't drill for oil and gas off Long Island coast: Zeldin, local officials, environmental and business leaders protest fed plan
January 25, 2018 – from The Buffalo News: If U.S. won't meet Paris accord, Erie County will, Poloncarz says
January 21, 2018 – from Newsday: State testing for 1,4-dioxane on LI off to a slow start
January 18, 2018 – from Queens Chronicle: Plastic bag task force findings to Legislature
January 17, 2018 – from Newsday: Opinion/Letters
January 15, 2018 – from auburnpub.com: Plastic bag ban, fee among options floated by NY task force
January 14, 2018 – from RTO Insider: Conn. Regulators Hear Conflicting Advice on Millstone
January 12, 2018 – from WSHU Radio: What To Do With 5 Million Cubic Yards Of Dirt From New Haven Harbor?
January 11, 2018 – from Riverhead LOCAL: Federal plan to open coastline for oil and gas drilling draws bipartisan opposition
January 10, 2018 – from New England Public Radio: Recent Cold Spell Cited In Debate About Millstone's Future
January 10, 2018 – from The South Hampton Press: New Offshore Drilling Proposal Could Hit Close To Home; Zeldin Voices Opposition
January 5, 2018 – from LI Herald: FEMA gives $5M for Sunrise pipe project
January 4, 2018 – from The Long Island Advance: Plastic bag fee now in effect
January 3, 2018 – from Newsday: Suffolk County's 5-cent fee for plastic and paper bags, explained
January 2, 2018 – from Wellsville Daily Reporter: Local pharmacies in NY pilot drug take-back program

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