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Hochul still mum on signing environmental bill

Jul 26, 2022 1:54 pm

Kate Lisa reports for New York State of Politics that farmers, environmental activists, and capitalists are fighting over a bill passed by the legislature that would allow localities to ban the use of pesticides near state freshwater wetlands. The bill is meant to protect the 2.4 million acres of wetlands in New York. The New York Farm Bureau claims the state Department of Environmental Conservation's pesticide oversight rules and regulations are enough to protect the water from chemicals in the pesticides. Bill sponsor state Sen. Pete Harckham counters that municipalities need to be able to protect their drinking water. "Pesticides and herbicides should not have blanket application if a municipality chooses to regulate their local wetlands that way," said Harckham. "...The Farm Bureau tends to have a reflexive reaction when it comes to clean-water initiatives.... I would hope the Farm Bureau would work with us on this. It's a good bill. It's a local bill and it will go a long way to protect our drinking water supplies." So far Hochul is not saying whether she will sign the bill. "Among the many environmental victories in the 2022-23 state budget, the governor’s commitment to improve the state’s wetlands protection program was fulfilled, which will save an estimated 1 million additional acres of unprotected wetlands habitat and help New York adapt to increased flooding and severe storms fueled by climate change," said Leo Rosales, a spokesperson for Hochul. "And she is reviewing this legislation." Read the full story at New York State of Politics.

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