For Immediate Release: Tuesday, February 7, 2017
Contact: Jordan Levine, New York League of Conservation Voters firstname.lastname@example.org, 917-392-8965
ALBANY, NEW YORK — The New York State Senate and Assembly have passed S.4158 / A.4883 to void of New York City’s carryout bag fee and place a moratorium on passing similar legislation until January 2018. In response, NYLCV President Marcia Bystryn issued the following statement:
“We are disappointed that the State Assembly has joined the State Senate in voting to nullify NYC’s law on single use bags. This bill takes away New York’s ability to control the 10 billion plastic bags that enter its waste stream each year and sets a dangerous precedent for the preemption of local policy. We are asking Governor Cuomo, who is a national leader on environmental issues, to immediately veto the bill.
“Not only would this legislation overturn New York City’s law but it is a blatant example of the State Legislature meddling in a local election. It puts the onus back on New York City to pass a new law, but not before a new City Council is seated in January 2018, making this a campaign wedge issue and undermining the authority of a popularly elected body.
“Similar laws will remain on the books in Suffolk, a county with more than one million people, and Long Beach, a city with less than one million people. The inconsistent application of this law across the state raises further questions about its dubious intentions.
“Finally, to those suggesting a straight ban on plastic bags: such efforts have had mixed success in other municipalities. We know that fees work from the more than one hundred cities, states and countries around the world that have undertaken similar efforts to reduce bag waste. We strongly hold that educating citizens and asking them to pause and think about the environmental consequences of their behavior is the most effective way to create meaningful change.”
The New York League of Conservation Voters (NYLCV) is the only non-partisan, statewide environmental organization in New York that takes a pragmatic approach to fighting for clean water, healthy air, renewable energy, and open space. Follow NYLCV on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.