Looking Out for New York’s Environment & Health
by Artvoice Staff (@Artvoice) - posted 1:43 pm, November 4, 2014
The Senate Environmental Conservation Committee Chair holds a unique position within the New York State legislature that allows them to take action on important issues like climate change, clean air, clean water, fracking, and so on. Unfortunately, Buffalo’s Senator Mark Grisanti, the current Chair, hasn’t used the position to be the environmental leader we need. Grisanti’s appropriately poor score on EPL/Environmental Advocates Environmental Scorecard details just how bad his track record has been. The scorecard shows that Grisanti voted the wrong way on several environmental bills, including raiding our communities’ clean water funds to pay for construction of a new Tappan Zee Bridge. Grisanti also dropped the ball on much-needed brownfields reform that would ensure the program cleans up more toxic sites and is no longer a burden for taxpayers. He showed his lack of knowledge about environmental protection by falsely claiming that hazardous fracking waste from Pennsylvania is not being dumped in New York, when it has and continues to be disposed of in our communities.
Sadly, as Chair, Senator Grisanti has allowed the Environmental Conservation Committee to become the place where important environmental legislation goes to die. In 2013, the Child Safe Products Act, which would have removed toxic chemicals from toys and more, was stalled in his committee until the bill failed due to lack of his leadership. And this year, eight vital bills died in the Environmental Conservation Committee: 3-Year Fracking Moratorium, Keeping Recyclables Out of Landfills, Climate Protection Act, Microbead-Free Waters Act, Cover Your Crude, Environmental Justice for All, Reduce Toxic Mercury in Light Bulbs, and Cadmium-Free Toys. If New Yorkers can’t count on the Environmental Conservation Committee to pass necessary environmental legislation, then who can we count on to protect our communities and our health?
By Rita Yelda