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Albany County expands Styrofoam ban

Aug 14, 2018 10:33 am
Amanda Fries reports in the Albany Times Union that the Albany County Legislature voted Aug. 13, 23-13, with three absentees votes, to expand its polystyrene ban to the food service industry. “This is an opportunity to protect the environment and protect the health of the workers who are making polystyrene,” said Judith Enck, a former U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regional commissioner. Now businesses that used Styrofoam products will need to switch to recyclable, or compostable, materials or face fines. The first offense, under the law, brings a $250 fine, the second costing $500, and three or more violations costing $1,000. Nonprofit organizations selling food at fundraising events and grocery stores are exempt from the local law. Republican Legislator Paul Burgdorf voted against the measure. “If you really want to make an environmental step forward you don’t go after the 2 percent, you go after the 90 percent,” Burgdorf said. Coeymans Democrat Richard Touchette disagreed. “It’s a reasonable approach to keep some polystyrene off our streets and out of our waterways,” he said. Read the full story in the Albany Times Union.