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New York and Connecticut Legislative Victories
CCE had one of our most successful years lobbying in Albany and Hartford ever. Here are the highlights:
Approved the State Water Plan, which will ensure that water is a public trust and that CT’s current and future water supply needs are met equitably for years to come.
Placed a 10 cent charge on plastic bags and bans them completely by August 2021.
Banned hazardous hydrofracking waste statewide.
State mandate of 2,000 MW offshore wind procurement by 2030.
Passed a package of “New Green Economy” initiatives that will extend existing renewable energy programs, encourage solar development, and invest in net metering.
Banned hidden carcinogen 1,4-dioxane in household products.
Passed the Climate and Community Protection Act, which requires net-zero green house gas emissions by 2050, 70% renewable energy by 2030, funding to help disadvantaged communities, and more.
Banned toxic chemicals from children’s products.
Required that large generators of food waste to donate edible food to the needy, and send food scraps to create compost or generate renewable energy through anaerobic digestion.
Banned plastic bags. The law will go into effect March, 2020.
Prohibited offshore drilling off NY’s coast.
Protected Menhaden, (aka bunker fish) from dangerous overfishing.
Required manufacturers to establish a paint recycling program, which takes the burden off municipalities and taxpayers for disposing of unwanted paint.
Funded the Environmental Protection Fund at a historic $300 million.
Allocated an addition $500 million to upgrade wastewater and drinking water infrastructure.
Welcoming “Shelley the Turtle” to Sunken Meadow State Park
CCE and Atlantic Marine Conservation Society are working to keep plastic pollution out of Long Island Sound. In June, we held a beach cleanup at Sunken Meadow State Park. Following the clean up we unveiled Shelley the Sea Turtle, a 3D art instillation crafted from mesh metal and filled with the plastic pollution we collected. Shelley the Turtle will be a lasting reminder for the public to never leave garbage on the beach and to reduce their use of throw-a-way plastics.
Cleaning Up the Bethpage Plume
The NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation proposed a comprehensive plan to clean up contamination at the US Navy/Grumman Plume in Bethpage, Long Island. The plume, which contains 24 contaminants including known and likely carcinogens, has impacted the drinking water and human health of residents in and around Bethpage for decades. CCE is supporting the state’s proposal but will be also be urging NY to include a plan for public involvement, soil remediation, an expedited clean up timeline, and treatment for contaminants like 1,4-dioxane and Radium in their final plan.
Fighting for a More Resilient Lake Ontario Coastline
As Lake Ontario homes and businesses continue to suffer from coastal flooding caused by record snowmelt and precipitation, we continue our efforts to build a coast that is more resilient to the impacts of extreme weather. We welcomed the news in June that the Governor committed $300 million for Lake Ontario resiliency, and CCE is working to ensure that nature-based solutions, like wetlands and green infrastructure, play a key role in those resiliency efforts.
Calling for Federal Action on Emerging Contaminants
In Connecticut, about 50,000 gallons of firefighting foam containing PFAS was spilled into the Farmington River near Bradley airport. CCE and our partners stood in support of federal legislation, sponsored by Senator Blumenthal, which will provide funding to clean up toxic PFAS in our groundwater and identify safer alternatives to PFAS in firefighting foam. In New York, we joined our Long Island Congressional Representatives, Nassau County Executive Laura Curran, Suffolk County Water Authority, environmental groups, and residents for a press conference calling on the EPA to set safe drinking water standards for emerging contaminants 1,4-Dioxane and PFAS chemicals.
Celebrating the Kings Park Solar Farm
New York has passed the most aggressive plan to fight climate change in the country. The only way we'll get there is to promote local renewable energy projects, which is why we were thrilled to stand with NextEra Energy Resources and PSEG Long Island for a ribbon cutting at the Kings Park Solar Farm. The project will bring 4 megawatts of clean, renewable energy to 1,000+ Long Island homes!
Polluters, not the Public, Must Pay for Clean Drinking Water
CCE was proud to stand with Hempstead Town Supervisor Laura Gillen to demand that polluters pay to remove contaminants PFOA and PFOS from our drinking water. Treatment for emerging contaminants will cost millions. The companies that contaminated our water must pay to clean up their mess. Now, we need Governor Andrew Cuomo to sign legislation (passed by the Senate and Assembly) that will allow the Town of Hempstead and other municipalities to sue the manufacturers of products containing these emerging contaminants.
Say YES to Wind for LI’s South Fork
In June, the Public Service Commission held public hearings on South Fork Wind Farm and the much-needed cable connection between the offshore wind turbines and the East Hampton power grid. We came out in force and testified on the importance of bringing 130mw of clean wind to Long Island. CCE thanks everyone who came out to support wind power. If you missed the hearings, you can check out Adrienne Esposito’s testimony here and submit your own letters of support to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Restoring Long Island’s Shellfish
We joined Governor Cuomo and many of our water protection partners in Bellport to support the Long Island Shellfish Restoration Project. It was a beautiful day to head out on the boat and help seed native clams, which will help improve water quality in the bay.
Nominations are Open Now for the South Shore Estuary Reserve Stewardship Award
The SSER Council Stewardship Award Program recognizes citizens and organizations that have made significant contributions to protect and restore the South Shore Estuary’s unique natural environment and maritime traditions. Do you know someone who has made contributions to preserve and protect the South Shore Estuary? Nominate them for the 2019 South Shore Estuary Reserve Council Stewardship Award by July 31st here.