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ALBANY (TNS). Say good-bye to the tiny plastic bottles of shampoo and lotion that are found in many hotel rooms. Governor Kathy Hochul signed a package of environmental bills last week that includes a bill restricting the use and disposal of the bottles.

Hochul said that pollution and climate change are two of most serious issues affecting New Yorkers’ health and quality of living. Hochul released a statement following the bill signing. “These pieces will ensure that New York remains a national leader not only in the fight to clean air and water but also in securing cleaner, more sustainable futures for future generations.”

Supporters argue that the removal of plastic bottles should be replaced with permanent soap and cream dispensers in hotel bathrooms.

Another bill creates a list for emerging contaminants that will be updated every three year. These unregulated chemicals, which are based on federal law must be considered for a new regulated substances list that theEPAupdates every 5 years.

If these chemicals are found in drinking waters, the state will be better equipped to regulate them by creating a list.

Also approved was theSoil Healthand Climate Resiliency Act, which directs theDepartment of AgricultureandMarkets, in cooperation with theState Soil and Water Conservation Committee, to adopt policies to maximize soil health and hopefully cut down on the chemicals used in agriculture.

The Lead-Free Water in Schools Bill reduces the amount of lead in school water supplies from 0.015 to 0.005 milligrams a liter. The state’s Clean Water Infrastructure Act and federal Infrastructure and Jobs Act should pay a portion of this.

A new law bans pesticides on summer camps’ athletic fields and playgrounds.

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Another bill directs stateHealth Departmentto conduct an asthma study in cities and towns with more than 90,000.

A bio-heating bill sets minimum levels of biodiesel that can be used for heating. Heating oil must contain 5% bio-diesel by July 2022, with the rate increasing to 10% by July 2025. Switching to bioheating fuel reduces emissions of multiple pollutants as well as greenhouse gases.

The governor signed one bill that was not publicized but which was still signed by the governor. It was a framework to allow cement-makers to examine ways to reduce their carbon footprint in the manufacturing process. Although it has the support of many environmentalists and activists, some activists worry that it could lead to waste incineration at cement plant.

(c)2021 The Times Union (Albany N.Y.).

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