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15, 2013

CONTACT Dan Hendrick, (212) 361-6350, ext. 206 Cell (917) 207-8715

Six Lawmakers Earn Eco-Stars For 2013 Environmental Achievements

NEW YORK --- New York State made significant progress on environmental issues in 2013 and those successes would not have been possible without legislators on both sides of the aisle and in both houses of the Legislature. To recognize their important accomplishments, the New York League of Conservation Voters today named six Eco-Stars, presenting awards to three Senators and three Assembly Members who each went above and beyond for New Yorks environment in 2013. The Assembly and Senate made important sustainability progress this year, particularly in the areas of local food and public health, said Marcia Bystryn, president of the New York League of Conservation Voters. Although there is still much work to be done, these six leaders deserve a round of applause for their efforts to make New York State stronger, healthier and greener. NYLCVs 2013 Eco-Stars are: Sen. Mark Grisanti, Chair of the Environmental Conservation Committee, sponsored the Mercury Thermostat Collection Act (S.1676A/A.8084) that establishes a mandatory collection program for out-of-service, mercury thermostats. Each year more than a ton of mercury ends up in New Yorks landfills and waste combustion facilities from improperly discarded mercury thermostats, and this legislation will help create a healthier environment throughout New York State. In addition to authoring the Senate version of this bill, Grisanti successfully lobbied his colleagues to pass it. This bill is now awaiting Gov. Andrew Cuomos signature. Assembly Member Robert K. Sweeney, Chair of the Environmental Conservation Committee, sponsored the Mercury Thermostat Collection Act in the Assembly. Sweeney was essential in drafting a version of the bill with robust performance standards and was

vital in working with his colleagues in both the Assembly and the Senate in order to create common language that both houses could agree upon. Assembly Member Crystal Peoples-Stokes sponsored the Food Metrics Bill (S.4061/ A.5102), which will establish a tracking system to determine how much local food New York State agencies are purchasing and create procedural guidelines for buying local. Assembly Member Peoples-Stokes role was crucial in the unanimous passage of the bill in the Assembly. The Food Metrics Bill is now waiting for Gov. Cuomos signature. Senator Patty Ritchie, chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee, sponsored the Food Metrics Bill in the Senate. Senator Ritchie has emphasized the need for state agencies to use their purchasing power to help improve New Yorks struggling agricultural economy. This bill will help farmers from all regions of the state, and Senators Ritchies spirited lobbying helped to pass this bill in the Senate. Senator George Maziarz played a pivotal role in the Senates passage of the Mercury Thermostat Collection Act. During the final hours of the legislative session when there is intense competition and limited time for bills to be placed on the voting calendar, Maziarz was successful in prioritizing this bill and lobbying his conference to pass it. Senator Liz Krueger played a behind-the-scenes yet critical role in the Senates passage of the Food Metrics Bill. As founding director of the New York City Food Bank and a longtime anti-hunger advocate, Krueger successfully prioritized food issues on the Senates agenda. Thanks to her advocacy on the Senate Finance Committee, where she serves as the Ranking Member, Krueger worked with colleagues on both sides of the political aisle to usher this legislation to a full vote on the Senate floor.

For more information on the legislation above and other recent environmental activities in the New York State Legislature, check out NYLCVs 2013 Legislative Progress Report. ######
The New York League of Conservation Voters (NYLCV) was founded in 1989 as a nonpartisan, policy making and political action organization that works to make environmental protection a top priority with elected officials, decision makers, and voters by evaluating incumbent performance and endorsing and electing environmental leaders to office in New York State.