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Brodsky Enviro Policy Release 8.26.10

Brodsky Enviro Policy Release 8.26.10

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Published by: Celeste Katz on Aug 26, 2010
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08/26/2010

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Brodsky Issues Environmental Health Plan
Themes include “Polluter Pays,” Constitutional Change,Environmental Enforcement 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 26, 2010Contact: Jon Lipshutz; 914-332-4985
Babylon
– Assemblyman Richard Brodsky (D-Westchester) and candidatefor Attorney General today stood beside colleagues and supporters andannounced the issuance of his comprehensive platform of theenvironmental initiatives that he will undertake when he is elected thestate’s top law enforcement officer. The document outlines variouscritical reforms that will serve as Brodsky’s blueprint for effectiveenvironmental protection.Brodsky, the former chairman of the Assembly Committee onEnvironmental Conservation, leaned on his lengthy experience in theAssembly and his second-to-none record on successful environmentallitigation as foundation for his platform. Brodsky’s agenda is centeredaround re-invigorating the concept of “polluter pays”- the practice of vigorously enforcing environmental protection laws so that those whoendanger the state’s ecosystems by polluting are prosecuted to thefullest extent of the law.“I plan on being the most aggressive defender of our natural resources toever hold the office of Attorney General,” said Brodsky. “It is imperativethat the Attorney General hold private industry, public utilities and localgovernments accountable for their actions when they pertain to theenvironment. We owe it to future generations to take swift, decisiveaction to ensure that this great state’s precious ecosystems remain intact into perpetuity.”
Among the highlights of the Brodsky Environmental Plan:“Polluter Pays”
Simply stated, the states laws should be enforced to assure thattaxpayers do not bear the burden of cleaning up corporate pollution,citizens do not bear economic burden and the public does not bear thehealth and safety burdens caused by such pollution. As a result, theBrodsky plan proposes three main ways that polluters can be heldaccountable by actions taken directly by the Attorney General:
People for Brodsky
155 White Plains Rd., Tarrytown, NY 10591
914-332-4940, www.richardbrodsky.comPrinted in House, Labor Donated
 
Reforming the “Oil Spill Fund” and Empowering the DEC:
 TheState Oil Spill Fund was created to collect fines and penalties frompolluters that will enable the state to clean orphaned pollution siteswithout the taxpayers being forced to foot the bill. Only the mostvigorous enforcement of the law will yield sufficient money to clean upthese sites, thereby protecting taxpayers. Richard will use the powers of the Attorney General’s office to partner with the DEC to collect thesefines in earnest and ensure that the public is protected.
Citizen Suits:
 The “Polluter Pays” principal can also be asserted byprivate citizens who seek to enforce state law when the state does not.As Attorney General, Brodsky will re-introduce his “Citizen Suits”legislation (A.4272) as a program bill legislation. This legislation wouldprovide private citizens with the right to seek enforcement through thecourts in instances involving violations of those provisions of the ECLrelating to protection of waters, water supply, water power, drainage,solid and hazardous waste, freshwater and tidal wetlands, pesticides andhazardous substances bulk storage.
Protecting Our Aquifers, Cleaning up Toxic Waste:
 There must befar stronger and more efficient regulatory enforcement of the efficientdisposal of the waste products that were created my Manufactured GasPlants (MGPS)- which is a glaringly huge issue facing Long Island.Currently, a NYS DEC consent order lists 23 sites on Long Island wherewaste products containing numerous toxic and carcinogenic compoundswere recklessly dumped by MGPS over a 100-year period. Richard willinvestigate, and if necessary, prosecute utility companies who are notmaking the best possible effort to remediate this problem quickly andeffectively.Brodsky said: “As Attorney General, I will set a national standard for theeffective enforcement of environmental laws. Today, there are a myriadof environmental laws currently in place that could go a long way toholding polluters accountable, but are not adequately enforced. Also,there are issues that need to be addressed that will need new,aggressive statuary changes and I will lead the fight to implement them.”
A Constitutional Right to Clean and Safe Environment
Assemblyman Brodsky has led a national effort to enshrine in the UnitedStates Constitution the right to a clean and safe environment. Thisinitiative, when first proposed in 1996, was supported by legislativebodies in 5 states. He proposes that the New York State Constitution beamended to contain the same right.
People for Brodsky
155 White Plains Rd., Tarrytown, NY 10591
914-332-4940, www.richardbrodsky.comPrinted in House, Labor Donated
 
Brodsky said: “The New York State Constitution has long been a vehiclefor principles that help new Yorkers live better, safer and happier lives. There is no more basic right then the right to breathe clean air, drinkclean water and be safe from toxic pollution in our communities.”
Environmental Enforcement Initiatives:
Environmental Enforcement by the Attorney General is key to promotingpublic health changes and improvements. Some of the key issues thatRichard will confront head-on upon taking office are as follows:
Fracking:
 The statewide debate about fracking has highlighted potentiallong-term danger to drinking water in our state. While the legislaturecontinues to debate a moratorium on fracking, and while DEC continuesthe regulatory process. The Attorney General has particularresponsibilities, which must be exercised. As Attorney General, Richardwill use existing powers to appoint a Watershed Inspector General (WIG)who is thoroughly versed on this issue. Richard will use the office of theWIG to make certain that New York City's drinking water is nevercompromised. The WIG needs to be a central part of the statewidedebate and to lead efforts to protect water quality, as the direct employerof the WIG, Attorney General Brodsky will make sure this happens.
“Environmental Justice”:
For too long, there has been an inequitablepattern in the siting of environmental facilities in minority andeconomically distressed communities, which have borne adisproportionate and inequitable share of such facilities. Brodsky willcontinue to support his long-standing legislative initiative (A.4245) thatwould require the state to factor in disproportionate or inequitableburdens on minority communities or economically distressed areas underthe State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA). Richard will launchinvestigations into incidences where this practice is being alleged, andrequire the issuance of all Environmental Impact Statements to take intoconsideration these issues, and also use the Department of Health’sCancer Incidence Mapping System that Richard created this year (A.199)to determine if the siting of environmental facilities is linked to cancerincidences.
Environmental enforcement on Special Taxing Districts
: All acrossNew York, local governments have created “Special Taxing Districtswhich have particular responsibilities to levy and collect taxes. In many
People for Brodsky
155 White Plains Rd., Tarrytown, NY 10591
914-332-4940, www.richardbrodsky.comPrinted in House, Labor Donated

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