Environmental Protection Legislative Package Signed by Hochul

J.M. Lesinski

A shot of snowy weather taken along Route 60 in Cassadaga, New York.Photo by J.M. Lesinski

New York State Governor Kathy Hochul recently signed legislation that included eight different bills aimed at protecting New York’s natural environment. Legislation passed in the package includes S.0543/A.5082 which prohibits hotels from using small single-use plastic bottles for personal care products, S.4478-A/S.0528-A which prohibits the use of pesticides at children’s summer day and overnight camps, and S.2122-A/A.0160-B which expands the frequency and testing capacities for lead in school drinking water across New York state.

“Climate change and pollution are two of the most serious issues affecting New Yorkers’ health and quality of life,” Hochul stated of the legislative package. “These pieces of legislation will ensure our state remains a national leader, not only in the fight for clean air and water, but in securing a cleaner, more sustainable future for generations as well.”

One of the most vital bills included in the legislation is S.4722-A/A.5386-A, which officially establishes the Soil Health and Climate Resiliency Act. The goal of this piece of legislation is to both enhance and sustain the well-being of soil on farms to better defend their natural resources, reduce farming’s effect on climate change, and mitigate climate change’s impact on farming.

“The Soil Health and Climate Resiliency Act recognizes the vital role agriculture can play in helping the state achieve its climate goals,” said New York State Assemblymember Donna Lupardo of the legislation. “It starts off with the simple premise that the health and resiliency of New York’s agricultural soil is an important priority. Healthy soil produces healthier foods, mitigates climate change through carbon sequestration, and protects our natural resources. Sometimes referred to as regenerative agriculture, this bill is a first step toward encouraging a ‘culture of soil health’ in New York State. I’d like to thank Senator Hinchey for her partnership on this issue, and to Governor Hochul for recognizing the importance of nurturing and protecting New York soil.”

Additionally passed in the legislative package were S.1759-A/A.0126-A which both established New York state’s first emerging contaminants list and added a list of chemicals to it, S.3321-A/A.7290 which established the minimum levels necessary of biodiesel in heating oil to reduce harmful environmental heating consumption, and two directive studies to be conducted by the New York State Department of Health (DOH) and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). Legislation S.0646-B/A.2670-B instructs the DOH to study incidences of asthma in cities with a population higher than ninety thousand, while S.0966-B/A.2140-B orders the DEC to examine the quality of life and human health impacts at John F. Kennedy international and LaGuardia airports.

“For far too long, my constituents as well as residents throughout Long Island, Queens, and Brooklyn have continued to experience a detrimental impact and a diminished quality of life from the excessive daily noise of air traffic above their homes,” New York State Assemblymember Judy Griffin remarked of the legislation. “This excessive noise, which often exceeds accepted decibel levels, has continued unabated for decades and has had a detrimental impact on the well-being of residents. While air traffic is primarily a federal jurisdiction, this state study will scientifically validate what residents already know – the noise is excessive, harmful to humans and needs to be better regulated and mitigated. Although we will always endure a level of airplane noise, the goal of this study is to serve as a call to action for the Federal Government to act to remediate. I thank Governor Hochul for signing A2140-B into law today." ​

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I have worked as a professional journalist for over five years now, covering the arts, music, food, politics, and culture up and down both coasts of the United States. I have a B.A. in English from SUNY Fredonia with minors in Psychology and Creative Writing, as well as an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from California State University, Fresno.

Buffalo, NY

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