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Governor Cuomo Releases Pro-Environment Budget
Governor Cuomo's 2019-2020 Executive Budget proposal included many of our top legislative and funding priorities for the year:
$2.5 billion in clean water infrastructure funding.
Increasing NY's renewable energy goal to 70% by 2030, and carbon-free electricity by 2040.•Increasing NY's offshore wind goal to 9,000 megawatts by 2035.
Banning plastic bags and expanding the state's bottle deposit to additional beverage containers.•$300 million for the NYS Environmental Protection Fund.
Banning offshore drilling in NY's waters.
CCE's Adrienne Esposito testified at the Legislature's budget hearing to ensure that these and other priorities are strengthened and make it into the final state budget. We will continue pushing these and other important policies, including banning 1,4-dioxane from consumer products, protecting menhaden (a fish species crucial to whale survival), fighting climate change, and more throughout the 2019 legislative session.
Suffolk County Residents Vote Yes for Sewers!
In January, the Carlls River and Forge River sewering projects were approved with 73% of the vote! In the largest sewer expansion on Long Island since the1970's, 6,500 homes in Mastic and Babylon will be connected to sewers, greatly reducing nitrogen entering our local waterways. A huge thank you to all the Suffolk residents who came out and voted for clean water. We're looking forward to seeing improved water quality, healthier fisheries, and less harmful algal blooms thanks to these much-needed sewering projects.
Working with CT's New Governor to Advance CCE Priorities
As a member of the environmental policy subcommittee, we briefed Governor Lamont and his transition team on key issues in CT, including eliminating single-use plastics, expanding food waste composting, and improving the state's recycling system. We look forward to advancing these and other key priorities in CT this year!
Product Testing for 1,4-Dioxane: Part II
1,4-Dioxane is hidden carcinogen lurking in an estimated 46% of personal care products, but it is not listed on their labels. Last year, we had 30 baby products, detergents, shampoos and body washes tested for the contaminant. Unfortunately, 23 out of the 30 products contained 1,4-dioxane. After releasing a report on these results, we received calls from the public asking us to test additional items, including generic and discount brands. We just sent an additional 50 products to a certified lab to be tested for 1,4-dioxane. The results will be coming this spring along with a shopper's guide of all 80 tested in total, so stay tuned!
Central NY: Stay Warm This Winter with Geothermal!
We are an active member of the HeatSmart CNY campaign, which has been working to help CNY residents and businesses install modern, clean geothermal systems. HeatSmart CNY is a grassroots community initiative to support residents and businesses in exploring ways to improve the efficiency of their buildings, including air source, ground source, and hot water heat pump technologies. To learn more about geothermal technologies, join us at upcoming HeatSmart events. If you own a home or business in Cayuga, Cortland, Madison, Onondaga, or Oswego Counties, you can sign up for a free, no obligation energy assessment!
Fighting Ocean Acidification in NY Waters
New York waters are already showing signs of ocean acidification. This is the result of greenhouse gas emissions combined with polluted runoff from land. This acidity can negatively impact shellfish, finfish, and other marine organisms. The New York Ocean Acidification (OA) Task Force was established to ensure that the best available science is used to assess and respond to this emerging threat to New York's marine waters and fisheries. CCE attended the January task force meeting, and we will continue to monitor the task force and look forward to its plan on how to address ocean acidification in New York waters.
Reducing Plastic Pollution on the South Fork of Long Island
In January, the Town of East Hampton passed a ban on polystyrene foam containers (commonly called Styrofoam)! The Town is also considering banning the intentional release of balloons. Meanwhile, in Southampton, we testified at a public hearing last month to ban polystyrene and plastic straws. These crucial efforts will curb single-use plastics polluting our beaches, bays, and ocean on the South Fork.
Upcoming: Support a Healthy Environment and Healthy Economy at EPF Lobby Day!
A clean, healthy, and thriving environment is the backbone of economic development throughout New York. For the past 26 years, the Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) has invested billions to protect and restore our precious environment in every region of the state. Governor Cuomo included a fully-funded EPF at $300 million in this year's Executive Budget. This funding will support capital projects that protect clean water, conserve open space, save family farms, revitalize waterfronts, protect our oceans and Great Lakes, and much more. Join us in Albany on February 12 for the annual EPF Lobby Day and help us fight for a fully-funded EPF in the final state budget! Register for the EPF Lobby Day.
Upcoming: Suffolk County: Change Out Your Septic System
Throughout 2018 we hosted a series of forums highlighting the importance of reducing nitrogen pollution from outdated septic systems and cesspools. We will be helping residents secure grants to change out their old systems for new, on-site, nitrogen-reducing treatment systems through Suffolk County's Reclaim Our Water program. We continued the series in 2019 with presentations in Holbrook and Port Jefferson Station. Our next forum will be at Connetquot Public Library on March 19 at 7:00pm. We hope to see you there!