For Immediate Release: May 4, 2016
Amid Concerns Over Unregulated Chemicals & Lax Regulations,
Assembly Passes Earth Day Package
Child Safe Products Act, Other Bills, Await Senate Vote
Albany – As part of its Earth Day legislative package, under the leadership of Environmental Conservation Chair, Steve Englebright, the New York State Assembly overwhelmingly passed the Child Safe Products Act (A5612-A), common-sense legislation that has been supported by a majority of legislators in both the Assembly and Senate for several years, but which has been prevented from receiving a fair vote in the Senate following lobbying by the chemical industry.
In 2015, the bill nearly identical to the one passed by the Assembly today stalled in a Senate committee despite cosponsorship by 40 senators – 63% of the Senate.
Additionally, the Assembly passed other public and environmental health measures like:
- A5844: reduces toxic mercury found in light bulbs;
- A3063: requires the state to incorporate environmental justice into planning and permitting practices due to communities of color and low-income communities bearing a disproportionate burden of health hazards; and
- A3382: creates a localized tracking tool on how communities are impacted by environmental and health hazards to inform fairer planning and permitting practices.
Peter Iwanowicz, executive director of Environmental Advocates of New York, said, “The Assembly has demonstrated leadership time and again on the environmental and public health issues that are having a direct effect on people’s lives. This package comes at a particularly sensitive time, when communities across the state and country are facing concerns over the safety of their water and air due to unregulated chemicals, and fewer ‘cops’ on the environmental beat.”
He added, “After four years, there can’t be any more excuses; the Child Safe Products Act should become law this year. It has the overwhelming support of Assemblymembers and Senators, and Governor Cuomo called for its passage earlier this year. Republicans and Democrats representing rural, urban, and suburban regions all agree that not allowing toxics like arsenic, mercury and lead in children’s products makes sense. We thank the Assembly for once again leading the charge and urge the Senate to focus on doing what’s right for children and families.”