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Environmental Cleanup

Would you support increased funding for state hazardous substance cleanup efforts, as well as holding polluting companies liable for cleanup?

New York's State Superfund program is running out of money, and the list of contaminated sites is still long. The definition of hazardous waste, as written into New York law, compounds the problem. Hundreds of sites contain hazardous material and are not even included in the list. The Clean Water/Clean Air Bond Act of 1996 and the Department of Environmental Conservationís (DEC) Voluntary Cleanup Program face other difficulties besides funding. In order for these hazardous sites to be cleaned up, more funding needs to be appropriated to these agencies. It is important that clear, uniform cleanup standards that will protect both the public health and the environment are established and enforced.

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Urban Forestry

Would you support measures that would provide funding to urban forestry programs across the state?

State law recognizes the benefits of urban forestry, which include aesthetic appeal, improving property values, producing oxygen, absorbing air pollutants, limiting soil erosion and providing wildlife habitat. In spite of this, presently there is no capital funding provided by the state for urban reforestation. Article 53, Title 3 of the Environmental Conservation Law recognizes the benefits of urban forestry, yet no funding is allocated to promote this practice. Bill number A.2383/S.1124 would establish an Urban Reforestation Fund, which would provide funds for the existing state urban forestry programs throughout the state.

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If elected, what measures would you take to ensure that emissions are reduced and our water quality and air quality are clean?

The Governor acknowledged the need for cleaner energy when he announced the plan to reduce SO2 and NOx emissions from power plants. Mercury and CO2 emissions, which poison the waters and contribute to global warming, respectively, must also be reduced. Mercury has poisoned many of the bodies of water throughout New York State and has affected the resident fish population. The Department of Health has, in response, issued a fish consumptive advisory to children and women of childbearing age to not eat fish from 18 of the 200 sites tested for mercury poisoning. Reducing SO2 and NOx emissions is a good move, but only the first step to truly cleaner energy.

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