FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, February 3, 2017
ALBANY— Today the New York State Senate and New York State Assembly introduced S.4158 / A.4883 to delay implementation of New York City’s carryout bag fee until January 2018. In response, NYLCV President Marcia Bystryn issued the following statement:
“Let’s call this amended bill what it is: an unfunded mandate that pre-empts New York City’s law, which is set to go into effect in just 12 days. Last year the New York City Council moved back the enactment date so that we could avoid the situation we are up against. The State Legislature has had seven months to work on changes and now, when New York City has purchased 400,000 reusable bags and is putting the final touches on implementation, the Senate and Assembly are moving to change the goal post again in the eleventh hour.
“New York City should have the power to make decisions about how best to reduce its waste stream. It takes 7,000 garbage truck trips to send NYC’s bag waste to landfills at a cost to taxpayers of $12.5 million, not to mention the price of cleaning them from trees, streets, clogged storm drains and dredging them out of waterways. How can the State Legislature claim to have the best interests of New York City in mind when it refuses to account for this in its pre-emption effort?
“Instead, Albany is aiming for yet another delay, this time until after a new City Council is seated in 2018. The Legislature’s new bill prevents this Council from amending or reauthorizing their own law, clearly hoping that the next Council will not have the political will to stand up to Albany’s bullying.
“We are extremely disappointed in the Senate and Assembly for advancing a bill that is bad for the environment, bad for New York’s budget, and just plain bad policy by unfairly singling out only New York City. For these reasons, Governor Cuomo must veto this bill if it makes it to his desk.”
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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.