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What we are watching from the end of the legislative session

The New York State Legislature ended its 2024 session on June 7, 2024. We were pleased to see some environmental wins and progress made on some key items despite not getting them over the finish line. Throughout the session, BNW joined our friends in Albany almost bimonthly for meetings and lobby days. We met with our local representatives at home as well to discuss WNY priorities.  

Although time ran out on some items, there is a rumored special session that may happen early this summer which could provide another opportunity to pass some of these bills. Here is a brief recap on some of the actions of this session.

Bills that passed the Assembly and Senate and are now on their way to Governor Hochul to veto or sign into law.  

Climate Change Superfund Act (S2129/A3351-B)

Creates a cost recovery program that requires companies that have contributed significantly to the buildup of climate-warming greenhouse gases in the atmosphere to bear a share of the costs of needed infrastructure investments to adapt to climate change.  Read the full bill here 

Bills that passed the Senate but not the Assembly include: 

Rain Ready (S. 8861/A. 9435)

Adds Stormwater to the definition of discharge. This bill will empower sewer authorities’ management of stormwater allowing them to better prepare for the increasing frequency and intensity of rainfall and reduce stormwater impacts locally.   Read the Senate bill here 

Packaging Reduction and Recycling Infrastructure Act (PRRIA)

This monumental feat previously known as the Extended Producer Responsibility Act (EPR) would push some of the costs of recycling onto the produced in lieu of the user. Studies have shown that the City of Buffalo spends $6.5M on recycling annually  Read the Assembly bill here 

These bills did not get voted on this session, but we are continuing to watch:

PFAS Discharge Disclosure Act (SB227B/AB3296A)

A bill that would require the testing of industrial and wastewater discharges released into waterways for the presence of PFAS chemicals.  Read the Senate bill here 

PFAS in products bills

A suite of bills aimed at removing PFAS from various products. This suite of bills, “recognizes that protecting people and the environment from PFAS exposure and contamination begins with the elimination of nonessential uses of PFAS that can be found in everyday items.  Read more here.  

Bigger Better Bottle Bill

This bill expands the types of bottles that can be recycled and raises the deposit from .05 to .10 per item. This rate was set in early 1980s and has not been raised since. Studies have shown that a deposit system is an effective tool for state’s to encourage recycling of microplastics that plague the Great Lakes. Plastic is the top item found during BNW’s annual spring sweep. Expanding NY’s program will benefit the health of the Great Lakes and protect our resources 

You can always contact your NYS Assemblymember and/or Senators to voice your support or concern on issues. or  

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