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Hochul signs off to a series of environmental bills

Hochul signs off to a series of environmental bills

Gov. Kathy Hochul signed a number of environmental protection bills this week.

New legislation includes protections for soil and water.

Photo of Rick Karlin

Gov. Kathy Hochul signed a number of environmental protection bills this week.

Gov. Kathy Hochul signed a variety of environmental protection laws this week.

Will Waldron/Times Union

ALBANY – Say good-bye to the tiny plastic bottles of shampoo and body lotion that are found in many hotel rooms. Governor.gov has included a package of environmental bills that includes a bill to limit the use of plastic bottles. Kathy Hochul signed this bill.

Hochul stated that climate change and pollution were two of the most serious problems affecting New Yorkers health and quality life. Hochul made this statement after the bill was signed. These pieces of legislation will ensure that New York remains a national leader not only in the fight to clean air and water but also in securing a cleaner and more sustainable future for future generations.

Supporters say that the elimination of plastic bottles, which are a source for plastic waste, should be replaced by permanent soap and lotion dispensers in hotel bathroom bathrooms.

Another bill creates a new list of emerging contaminants. It will be updated three times a year. These unregulated chemicals, based on federal law must be considered for a new regulated substances list that the EPA updates every five year.
If these chemicals are found in drinking waters, the state will be better equipped to regulate them by creating a list.

Also approved was the Soil Health and Climate Resistance Act, which directs both the Department of Agriculture and Markets and the State Soil and Water Conservation Committee in order to adopt policies that maximize soil health and hopefully reduce agricultural chemical use.

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The Lead-Free Water in Schools bill lowers the level at which lead must be removed from school water supplies by reducing it from 0.015 milligrams to 0.005 mgs per liter. This should be partially covered by the state’s Clean Water Infrastructure Act and new federal Infrastructure and Jobs Act.

A new law prohibits pesticides in summer camps’ playgrounds and athletic fields.

Another bill directs state Health Department to conduct an asthma study in cities and towns with more than 90,000.

A bio-heating bill specifies the minimum amount of bio-diesel required for heating. By July 2022, heating oil must contain 5% bio-diesel. The rate will rise to 10% by July 2025. Switching to bioheating fuel reduces multiple pollutants and greenhouse gases.

One bill, which the governor did not announce but was signed by him, was a framework to allow cement-makers examine ways to lower their carbon footprint during manufacturing. While the bill has the support of many environmentalists it is also feared by activists that it will eventually lead to waste incineration at cement plants.

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