September 3, 2020

In a new report released today, Clean and Healthy New York (CHNY) assessed five major cleaning product companies to determine if and how they conform to California law and New York State’s Best Management Practices for ingredient disclosure. The report found that four of the five companies are substantially in compliance with California legal requirements, but none of the companies have incorporated 50% of NYS Best Management Practices. CHNY called on the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation to adopt the Best Management Practices as regulations to give household and corporate purchasers the information they need to know to make informed decisions.

July 30, 2020

Advocates released a new report, “The Mattress Still Matters,” which explores and shares findings on the materials and chemicals present in crib mattresses. Chemicals of concern found include are organohalogen and organophosphate flame retardants.​ The report is a combination of a market survey – Clean and Healthy New York reviewed product webpages for 227 products from 37 brands for disclosed materials and the extent to which brands provide that information to consumers – and laboratory testing – Ecology Center tested over 100 components of 13 crib mattress models, each from different brands, for chemicals of concern.

Today, the New York State Assembly and Senate passed 6829-B (Kaminsky) / A. 8829-A (Englebright), toprohibit the use of trichloroethylene (TCE) as a vapor degreaser, a refrigerant, an extraction solvent, and in other applications. Pending Governor Cuomo’s signature, the law will take effect on December 1, 2021. Chronic effects from TCE include liver damage and death. It is a known carcinogen and has been banned in most corners of the industrialized world

Today, the New York legislature passed S. 8817 (Hoylman et al.) / A. 4739-C (Fahy), a bill to prohibit the use of perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl (PFAS) substances from food packaging. The bill passed 116-25 in the Assembly and 49-11 in the Senate. The law will take effect on December 31, 2022. PFAS, which scientists call “forever chemicals”, is neither naturally-occurring nor biodegradable, remaining in the environment – and in living things -- in perpetuity. It can cause the human body harm in a number of ways, including cancer, thyroid disease, birth defects, decreased sperm quality, immunotoxicity, and pregnancy-induced hypertension.

By overwhelming margins, both houses of the New York legislature passed S. 3392 (May) / A. 2655 (Englebright) to amend the Environmental Conservation law by appropriately classifying waste from oil and gas exploration, development, extraction or production as hazardous. This designation ensures that such waste is subject to all laws and regulations governing generation, transportation, treatment, storage, and disposal, if such waste meets New York’s established definition of hazardous waste.  The law will take effect immediately upon enactment by Governor Cuomo, at which point the state has six months to bring its regulations into compliance with the law. While the Cuomo Administration banned fracking in New York State in 2015 and the New York State Legislature codified this ban in April of 2020, hazardous fracking waste produced in other states has been spread upon New York’s roads for de-icing purposes or disposed of in municipal water treatment plants, subsequently entering the state’s soil and water. Most water treatment plants do not have the capacity to detoxify water contaminated with fracking waste. The passage of this act renders both of these practices unlawful. 

April 22, 2020

Today, over two dozen advocacy organizations representing a broad, diverse range of constituencies and areas of expertise hosted a virtual event commemorating Earth Day’s 50th anniversary. The event, which focused on New York State’s environmental policies and role in safeguarding the environment, took place from 1:00 to 2:30pm. The program featured a statement from Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, discussions with the state's Environmental Conservation Committee Chairs, Basil Seggos, Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Conservation (which marks the 50th anniversary of its creation today as well), and more. Over 400 people registered to participate as of this morning. Several New York State lawmakers attended the event, including Assemblyman Steve Otis, Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal, Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo, Assemblyman Félix Ortiz, Assemblyman Harvey Epstein, and Senator Brad Hoylman.

February 7, 2020

Today, Governor Cuomo signed the Child Safe Products Act (S.501-B Kaminsky / A. 6296-A Englebright) into law. The move marks the fulfillment of a decade-long campaign by a broad, diverse coalition of environmental health advocates, health-impacted groups, sustainable businesses, environmental justice leaders, health care providers, child care providers, parent groups and many others. The law will require manufacturers to disclose chemicals of concern in children’s products and restrict the most toxic, while authorizing the State to add chemicals to disclose and restrict by regulation. The bill passed 53-9 in the Senate and 100-23 in the Assembly on April 30, 2019 as part of a first-ever bicameral Earth Day package.

While toxic chemicals can affect anyone, babies and children are particularly vulnerable segments of the population. Chemicals can alter their childhood development and have been linked to cancer, asthma, infertility, developmental disabilities, allergies, diabetes and more. The Child Safe Products Act requires manufacturers to report the presence of chemicals of concern and phase out the most toxic chemicals such as formaldehyde, arsenic, and asbestos, while simultaneously establishing a mechanism for reporting and banning dangerous chemicals from children’s products in perpetuity.

January 21, 2020

Today, Governor Cuomo signed the Child Safe Products Act (S.501-B Kaminsky / A. 6296-A Englebright) into law. The move marks the fulfillment of a years-long campaign by a broad, diverse coalition of environmental health advocates, health-impacted groups, sustainable businesses, environmental justice leaders, health care providers, child care providers, parent groups and many others to secure legislation to disclose chemicals of concern in children’s products and restrict the most toxic. The bill passed 53-9 in the Senate and 100-23 in the Assembly on April 30, 2019 as part of a first-ever bicameral Earth Day package.

In addition to his verbal comments, the Governor's Fiscal Year 2021 Executive Budget Book lists priorities previously backed by Clean and Healthy New York, including an expansion of the existing extended producer responsibility programs pertaining to e-waste, mercury thermostats, and rechargeable batteries to include carpets and mattresses. Clean and Healthy New York also supports the proposed $300 million towards the Environmental Protection Fund, with an expectation that some funding will be put towards innovating green chemistry solutions to confront environmental health challenges.

January 8, 2020

Today, Governor Cuomo delivered his annual State of the State address in Albany, making substantial commitments to climate and environmental health priorities. Specifically, the governor committed to banning single-use styrofoam food containers and packing peanuts.

"Styrofoam is one of the most common pollutants and a public health hazard that impacts humans and the environment alike," said Governor Cuomo. "From take-out containers to packing peanuts, this material is everywhere and it will continue to pollute our waters and harm our wildlife for generations to come if we do not act. With this proposal, we can build on our nation-leading initiatives to protect the environment and move New York another step closer to a greener, more sustainable future." 

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