What's going on in October sustainability news
NEW YORK — The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation will begin enforcement of the state’s ban on single-use plastic carryout bags on Monday, October 19. The plastic bag ban, which went into effect on March 1, was not enforced per an agreement between the parties in a lawsuit brought by Poly-Pak Industries, Inc., Green Earth Food Corp., Francisco Marte, Mike Hassen and the Bodega and Small Business Association in New York State Supreme Court.
DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said, “The Court’s decision is a victory and a vindication of New York State’s efforts to end the scourge of single-use plastic bags and a direct rebuke to the plastic bag manufacturers who tried to stop the law and DEC’s regulations to implement it.”
New Yorkers use an estimated 23 billion plastic bags annually-each for about 12 minutes-and approximately 85 percent of this staggering total ends up in landfills, recycling machines, waterways and streets.
For more information about the plastic bag ban, reusable bags, or to file a complaint about entities using single-use plastic carryout bags, visit www.dec.ny.gov, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 518/402-8706.
ONLINE — Catskill Mountainkeeper will host a webinar on the issues of high use and overuse in the Catskills and Adirondacks. On Thursday, October 22 at 6 p.m., the free webinar will feature a panel discussion with advocates as well as state and national agencies to explore challenges and solutions.
Katherine Nadeau of Catskill Mountainkeeper, Andy Mossey of The Catskill Center and Rocci Aguirre of The Adirondack Council will share their first-hand experiences of the damaging impacts of overuse on our trails and brainstorm potential solutions.
Ingrid Peterec from the National Parks Service will offer her perspective about how these issues are addressed in our national parks and discuss tactics New York State might use to better manage visitors to the forest preserves. And Deputy Commissioner of Natural Resources at the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Katharine Petronis will discuss how New York is promoting sustainable use of state lands, particularly during the state’s ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Via an interactive free Zoom webinar, attendees will submit questions in real time and panelists will provide concrete ideas about what individuals, organizations, communities and our state partners can do to balance the goals of providing a great visitor experience while protecting our natural resources. The webinar will be closed captioned for greater accessibility. If you have any other accessibility needs, please email email@example.com.
For more information and to register, visit www.bit.ly/catskillmountainkeeper42.
WASHINGTON, DC — On October 9, the Environmental Working Group Action Fund released legislative scorecards for members of Congress based on their votes regarding toxic chemicals. Rep. Delgado has earned a 100 percent, a perfect score for his leadership to address PFAS contamination. The scorecard is based on legislators’ votes on eight bills and amendments during the 116th Session of Congress.
As founding member of the bipartisan Congressional PFAS Task Force, Rep. Delgado has made addressing PFAS contamination in NY-19 an urgent priority in Congress and introduced a number of measures to increase transparency and accountability around PFAS exposure.
“The work to rid our water of toxic pollutants is far from over,” said Rep. Delgado. “I am committed to continuing these efforts, along with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, to reduce the levels of these dangerous chemicals in our air and water, and help our communities address the unthinkable consequences of PFAS contamination.”