The latest news from our New York State policy team…
Toxic TCE Banned in New York State
New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the legislation we developed with our JustGreen Partership and New York State Senator Todd Kaminsky and New York State Assemblymember Steve Englebright prohibiting the use of trichloroethylene (TCE). TCE is a widely used toxic chemical that can cause cancer and damage to the liver, kidneys, and the immune, central nervous, and endocrine systems. We can be exposed to it through inhalation, the consumption of food or beverages in its vicinity, from the soil, and from our drinking water. Thanks to all the WE ACT members who participated in the digital outreach, urging the Governor to sign this into law, protecting our communities across the state from exposure to yet another toxic chemical. We thank Governor Cuomo, Senator Kaminsky, and Assemblymember Englebright for their leadership on this.
PFAS Banned from Food Packaging in New York State
We are pleased to announce the passage of New York State legislation to prohibit the use of perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in food packaging, which Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed into law. PFAS is widely used in food packaging to coat paper and cardboard wrappers for fast food and bakery goods because it is resistant to grease, water, and oil. However, that resistance comes at a huge cost. These man-made chemicals are extremely difficult to break down and can accumulate in our bodies for so long that they are commonly referred to as “forever chemicals.” Exposure to PFAS has been linked to a variety of health concerns, including cancer, liver and kidney disruption, reproductive and developmental disorders, increased cholesterol, and low infant birth weights. And one of the most-alarming health concerns of PFAS exposure is the disruption of the immune system, which studies have found could put people at higher risk of getting severely sick from COVID-19.
WE ACT had been working to ban the sale and distribution of food packaging that contains PFAS because it is an environmental justice issue. While PFAS exposure effects everyone, Blacks/African Americans are at greater risk from PFAS exposure through food packaging due to higher concentrations of fast food in their communities.
We thank New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo, New York State Senator Brad Hoylman (D-Manhattan), and New York State Assemblymember Patricia Fahy (D-Albany) for their leadership in advancing this legislation. Read the Press Release
Hazardous Fracking Wastewater Banned from New York State
We are also happy to inform you that the JustGreen Partnership, which WE ACT co-leads with Clean and Healthy New York, helped close the Hazardous Waste Loophole in New York State. While fracking is banned in New York, hazardous fracking wastewater could still be spread on our roads for de-icing or dumped into our wastewater treatment facilities. Closing this loophole put an end to that. Read the Press Release
Statement on the 2021 New York State Budget
Read the Release
Announcing the Child Safe Products Act Being Singed Into Law
Read the Release
Read our 2020 New York State Policy Agenda.