In the fall of 2020, when New Yorkers saw photos and videos of orange skies over San Francisco caused by the Bay Area’s infamous fog, combined with heavy smoke from what seemed like non-stop wildfires raging throughout California, it looked like a dystopian movie landscape, or even another planet. Even more surreal, Californians in these vivid images were often wearing masks — not necessarily as protection against the smoky skies, but, rather, as protection from a global pandemic. With time, however, the memory of those …Continue Reading
New York may be on board to be the fifth state in the nation to hold producers responsible for packaging products.
Thus far, Maine, Oregon, Colorado, and California have enacted extended producer-responsibility laws. The EPR laws assign both financial and operational responsibility for the end of life of products, and are an important tool for managing and lowering consumer waste. In other words, the programs require the producers of packaging products to finance the costs of recycling or disposing of products that consumers no longer …Continue Reading
On the final day of 2022, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul signed into law the Cumulative Impacts Bill (CIB), which both houses of New York State’s legislature had passed eight months earlier in the year (language here: S.8830 and A.2103D). The legislation amends New York’s Environmental Quality Review Act by now requiring the State to consider during its permitting approval and renewal processes an analysis of the “cumulative impacts” on overburdened communities that could result over time from the introduction or expansion of facilities …Continue Reading
A few weeks after her election as New York’s first female governor, and a couple days before New Yorkers sat down to Thanksgiving dinner, Gov. Kathy Hochul on Nov. 22 finally signed an environmental conservation moratorium on new cryptocurrency mining operations, which both houses of state’s Legislature passed over the summer. (The bill’s progress was followed and reported on by ELM all year, most recently here.)
For two years, the law will disallow crypto mining companies from using the energy-intensive “proof-of-work” method to mint …Continue Reading
Just weeks after both houses of the New York State legislature finally passed an environmental-conservation moratorium on new cryptocurrency mining operations (as previously reported by ELM here: New York is Ready to Attack Crypto Mining), the Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) announced its long-awaited decision concerning the air permit renewal application by a former coal-fired plant near Seneca Lake. The facility, purchased and refurbished by Greenidge Generation to run an extensive crypto mining business, has been dependent on roughly 17,000 servers. As previously addressed …Continue Reading
On June 3, 2022, the New York State Senate passed the first bill in the country that bans certain cryptocurrency (crypto) mining operations. This bill, passed by the New York State Assembly in April 2022, now goes to Governor Kathy Hochul for her signature. The bill imposes a two-year moratorium on crypto mining operations that “require proof-of-work authentication methods to validate block chain transaction.” The bill would also require the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to prepare a “generic” environmental impact statement on cryptocurrency mining operations using proof-of-work authentication …Continue Reading
You may have read about the slew of lawsuits filed over the past few years by Long Island water districts seeking to recover damages arising from alleged contamination of drinking water supplies by 1,4-dioxane. Our blog has covered them here, here, here, and here.
There is news on the settlement front. One of the primary defendants and the U.S. government have agreed to resolutions in two cases: Bethpage (in the amount of $49 million) and South Farmingdale (in the amount of …Continue Reading
On December 23, 2021, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul signed a new amendment to the public health law that will create New York’s first emerging contaminants list, and expand the number of chemicals to be included—many of which are per- and polyfluorinated substances (PFAS). Some say this new law establishes New York as perhaps the strictest jurisdiction in the U.S. with respect to testing drinking water for PFAS. Under the new legislation, titled “An act to amend the public health law, in relation to establishing …Continue Reading
Earlier this year the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) published proposed regulations relating to a statewide ban on the use of polystyrene foam (commonly known as Styrofoam) containers and loose fill packaging. With the comment period now closed, the polystyrene foam ban is set to go into effect on January 1, 2022.
The ban will prohibit any person engaged in the business of selling or distributing prepared food or beverages for on- or off-site consumption from selling, offering for sale, or …Continue Reading
In 2013, New York State set course to become a national leader in clean energy. Later declaring a mission to reduce emissions by 40 percent by 2030, New York developed an aggressive and robust plan to radically change energy production, transportation, and consumption in the state. New York dedicated itself to upgrading its energy infrastructure, promoting renewable energy portfolios to consumers, and most importantly investing in large scale-renewable projects.
Though not an invention of New York, a unique piece of its clean energy plan was …Continue Reading