25 Apr

What’s in your Cleaning Products?

For more information contact: Bobbi Wilding, CHNY, 518-708-3875, bobbi@cleanhealthyny.org                                                               

WHAT’S IN YOUR CLEANING PRODUCT? 
ANSWERS ARE ON THEIR WAY

New reporting requirements for cleaning product makers will inform public about ingredients, potential hazards

(Albany) Advocates lauded the release for public comment of a new format companies must use to disclose ingredients in cleaning products made for home and commercial use. Under a law passed in 1971, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has the authority to require disclosure of ingredients. This action is the first time such companies will be required to divulge just what their products are made of. In his release, the Governor reiterated his commitment to assess this program as a model for disclosures for other products.

“Laws that are not enforced are not worth the paper they’re written on,” said Deborah Goldberg, an attorney at Earthjustice.  “We are delighted to see the Governor exercise his long-standing authority to protect New Yorkers’ health by requiring disclosure of ingredients in household cleaning products.”

With today’s release, the DEC is directing manufacturers to report on their websites all ingredients – including in fragrances and dyes, as well as known contaminants or impurities. They must also inform the public if any of these ingredients is identified as causing or contributing to a host of diseases, such as cancer, learning and developmental disabilities, reproductive harm, asthma, and allergies. It also requires disclosing potential harm to the environment.

“Clean and Healthy New York celebrates New York’s important action to require cleaning product makers to reveal what’s in their products.  For the first time, companies will also tell consumers about health hazards an ingredient may pose. This gives New Yorkers – and all Americans – freedom to choose safer, healthier products, and gives manufacturers a strong incentive to make products without harmful chemicals,” said Kathy Curtis, Executive Director of Clean and Healthy New York. “We applaud Governor Cuomo’s repeated commitment to use this as a model for other consumer products. Now more than ever, New York must lead.”

“Studies have shown that toxic chemicals from cleaning products can be found in urine, breast milk, and blood – including the umbilical cord blood of newborns. Women need to know what chemicals they are being exposed to in order to make important decisions that may impact their health. We applaud Governor Cuomo for standing up for women’s health,” said Jamie McConnell, Director of Programs and Policy at Women’s Voices for the Earth.

“Full disclosure of all ingredients in cleaning products sold in NYS is a valuable new tool to accompany the state’s highly regarded green procurement program,” said Claire Barnett, Executive Director of Healthy Schools Network. “We congratulate the State on this action.”

“Love Canal is infamous in New York’s history because it exposed low income communities and communities of color to harmful toxic chemicals that negatively impacted the health of so many New Yorkers. Today, Governor Cuomo sent a clear signal for all in our country to see that in the new New York all communities will be protected, regardless of race or income, from harmful toxic chemicals whether they are in the products we use to clean our homes or in the dry cleaners cleaning our clothes. These new regulations couldn’t have come at a better time because of Donald Trump’s proposals to cut all funding to the U.S. EPA, especially its Office of Environmental Justice. WE ACT for Environmental Justice applauds Governor Cuomo’s leadership to protect vulnerable communities,” said Cecil Corbin-Mark, Deputy Director and Director of Policy Initiatives for WE ACT for Environmental Justice.

This action by the Department of Environmental Conservation was spurred by Earthjustice’s legal efforts, on behalf of New York-based organizations, to have cleaning product companies comply with regulatory language developed in the 1970s. Numerous companies requested clarity on the form and extent of the required reporting. This form gives that direction.

The public can comment on the form for reporting through June 14th.  The statement from the NYS DEC and the form with guidance can be viewed at: http://www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/109021.html

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23 May

Clean Jobs New York Report

clean jobs logos

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

PRESS CONTACTS: Pat Mitchell, pmitchell@hastingsgroup.com, 703-276-3266; or Jeff Benzak, jeff@e2.org; 202-513-6248. Study: Clean Energy Employs 85,000 New Yorkers

Four out of Five N.Y. Clean Energy Workers – or 69,000 – Work in Energy Efficiency; Renewable Energy Employs 12,400; Data Searchable by County and Legislative District

NEW YORK (May 5, 2016) – More than 85,000 New Yorkers work in the clean energy industry at 7,500 business establishments across all 62 counties, according to a comprehensive new analysis unveiled this week by the national nonpartisan business group Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2), the Alliance for Clean Energy New York, the New York State Sustainable Business Council and New Yorkers for Clean Power.

The report – “Clean Jobs New York,” available here – is based on U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics information and new data from the U.S. Department of Energy, as well as a comprehensive survey of hundreds of businesses across the state.

“Tens of thousands of New Yorkers make clean energy a big and growing part of our state’s economy,” said Ron Kamen, CEO of Rhinebeck, N.Y.-based clean energy developer EarthKind Energy Inc. and a director of E2’s New York Chapter. “Clean energy now employs as many New Yorkers as some of the most prominent sectors in our economy. With the right policies, we can continue to create jobs in our state, while also helping our environment.”

The report was released Monday in Manhattan at the Solar One Green Energy Education Center as part of the launch of New Yorkers for Clean Power, a new campaign to rapidly shift to a clean energy economy in New York.

“This new campaign is bringing together organizations, businesses, municipalities, and communities to implement clean energy, clean vehicles and create good jobs for New Yorkers,” said Renee Vogelsang, campaign coordinator for New Yorkers for Clean Power.

The Clean Jobs New York analysis was done for the groups by BW Research Partnership and includes detailed jobs data down to the county, metropolitan area, congressional and state legislative district levels – making it the most comprehensive tally of clean energy jobs ever in New York. More details are available at the searchable BW Energy Employment Index website developed for the groups.

Based on responses from employers surveyed by BW Research, clean energy jobs are projected to grow by more than 6 percent over this year – substantially greater than the overall state and national economic growth rate.

“New York is a regional and national clean energy jobs leader with plenty of room for growth,” said Philip Jordan, vice president and principal at BW Research Partnership. “In speaking with employers from all over the state, our researchers repeatedly heard that enthusiasm for adding more clean energy jobs is high.”

According to the Clean Jobs New York study, energy efficiency is by far the state’s largest clean energy employer, with more than 69,000 New Yorkers working in areas such as high-efficiency lighting, Energy Star appliance manufacturing and high-efficiency HVAC services to reduce wasted energy in homes, schools and businesses.

More than 12,400 New Yorkers work in renewable energy, the study found. The state’s top renewables sector was solar, with more than 10,600 jobs.

“We know New York’s clean energy industry is thriving, and today’s numbers are exciting to see,” said Anne Reynolds, executive director of the Alliance for Clean Energy New York. “And when the state doubles the amount of electricity generated under the new 50 percent Clean Energy Standard, these economic benefits and jobs will grow even more. New job opportunities will come from renewable energy, like wind, solar, and fuel cells, and energy efficiency. We see a bright future for New York’s strengthening clean energy economy.”

The report shows that state energy efficiency and renewable standards, federal tax incentives and other policies have helped drive exponential growth in clean energy jobs in recent years.

To keep these jobs growing, lawmakers should continue to support the policies that are driving the clean energy sector, according to the groups behind the report. These policies range from the international climate agreement reached in Paris and the federal Clean Power Plan, to state and regional clean energy goals in New York like Gov. Cuomo’s Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) initiative and the state’s plan to get 50 percent of its energy from renewables.

“To maintain the growth in clean energy jobs and economic opportunities, our state leaders must continue their leadership in revolutionizing New York’s energy policy and limiting investments in fossil fuel infrastructure that would lock us in for decades to come,” said Laura Ornstein, director of the NYS Sustainable Business Council.

Additional report findings include:

  • There are clean energy jobs in every county in New York. Taking a closer look at metro areas, New York City has 57,400 residents working in clean energy, followed by Troy-Schenectady-Albany (nearly 5,000 jobs) and the Buffalo-Niagara Falls area (more than 4,000).
  • About 650 New Yorkers work in the advanced vehicle industry, 77 percent of whom work on electric vehicles. Strength in this industry is due in part to new fuel-efficiency standards for vehicles and trucks.
  • More New Yorkers work in clean energy than work in investment banking, and clean energy is nearly as big as the state’s building construction industry, according to data from the New York State Department of Labor.

The report includes case studies of a clean energy consulting firm in Albany that employs 120 people, a wind farm near Ithaca that will power 5,000 homes and a 27-year-old Ithaca company with Syracuse roots that employs 45 people.

 To speak with clean energy business leaders in your area, please contact E2 press secretary Jeff Benzak at 202-513-6248 or jeff@e2.org. For more information on the New Yorkers for Clean Power campaign, please contact Renee Vogelsang at renee@cleanpowerny.org or 315-380-2708.

In addition to Clean Jobs New York, E2 and its partners have conducted in-depth clean energy jobs studies in numerous other states. We recently released www.CleanJobsMidwest.com, which maps clean energy jobs in 12 Midwestern states, and Clean Jobs America, which shows more than 2.5 million clean energy jobs across the country.

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 Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2) is a national, nonpartisan group of business leaders, investors, and professionals from every sector of the economy who advocate for smart policies that are good for the economy and good for the environment. Our members have founded or funded more than 2,500 companies, created more than 600,000 jobs, and manage more than $100 billion in venture and private equity capital. For more information, see www.e2.org or follow us on Twitter at @e2org.

 New York Sustainable Business Council (NYSSBC) is an alliance of business organizations and businesses committed to advancing a vibrant, just, and sustainable economy in the state. The organization promotes strategies and policies designed to build strong local economies, prioritizes investment and innovation in clean technologies from green chem­istry to renewable energy sources, and advances the development of sustainable communi­ties in New York State.

The Alliance for Clean Energy New York (ACE NY) is an alliance of private clean energy companies and non-profit public interest organizations, dedicated to promoting clean energy, energy efficiency, a healthy environment, and a strong economy for the Empire State. Our members include companies focusing on wind energy, solar power, and hydro­power, fuel cells, biogas, and biomass. ACE NY is New York’s premier advocate for the rapid adoption of clean energy alternatives and energy conservation. We are an active participant in public education and outreach efforts, legislative and regulatory affairs, and the oversight of electricity markets.

New Yorkers for Clean Power is a statewide campaign to rapidly shift to a clean energy economy. Through education, advocacy and organizing, the campaign engages the public, local governments and businesses to advance a range of renewable energy, efficiency and clean transportation solutions.

 

17 Dec

Businesses say ‘no’ to gas storage on Seneca Lake

For Immediate release: Thursday, December 17, 2015

For More information, Contact: NYSSBC: Laura Ornstein, 845 202 0591; Chefs for the Marcellus: Hilary Baum, 917 822 9445; Gas Free Seneca Business Coalition, Yvonne Taylor, 607-342-1278

aerial view of seneca lake

Aerial view of Seneca Lake, threatened by proposed gas storage facilities on southwestern shore.

Businesses Call on Governor Cuomo
to Reject Crestwood Gas Storage Facility
in the heart of the Finger Lakes

See Threat to Center of Wine and Tourism and Local Economies

NEW YORK – Today business organizations and business coalitions with thousands of members and partners throughout New York delivered a letter to Governor Cuomo urging him to reject the establishment of Houston-based Crestwood Equity Partners liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) industrial storage facility in unlined salt caverns under Seneca Lake, in the heart of the Finger Lakes Region. This facility, if approved by NYS, would enable the development of the largest hub in the Northeast for fracked gas transportation and LPG storage.

The letter expresses alarm about the development’s threat to the Finger Lakes’ future as a multi-billion dollar center of wine, grape production and tourism. It also condemns expansion of the fossil fuel industry at a time when the priority must be transitioning to a clean energy economy.

“Every day, across the country, businesses are taking bold steps to reduce climate change because they recognize the economic and environmental risks of inaction,” said Richard Eidlin, vice president of the American Sustainable Business Council. “We ask that New York’s leaders strengthen the state’s record of taking bold steps to a clean energy economy and say no to fossil fuel companies that continue to dig us deeper into fossil fuel dependence, sacrificing strong, job producing local economies like the Finger Lakes along the way.”

“The natural gas storage facility underneath Seneca Lake is indicative of the crossroads that communities all over New York State are facing,” said Laura Ornstein, coordinator of the New York State Sustainable Business Council. “Like an LNG facility off Long Island’s southern shore or oil trains on the Hudson River, allowing the Northeast’s largest natural gas hub to be developed in the heart of the Finger Lakes isn’t worth the risk to the local economy, community character, and precious water resources. Investment should instead be directed to supporting innovation and job growth in the energy efficiency and renewable energy sectors.”

Jimmy Carbone, NYC ‘s Jimmy’s 43, Chefs for the Marcellus cofounder, said, “ The Finger Lakes produces great wines, spirits, and food products that restaurants depend on. The Governor has invested plenty in helping build these kinds of business and he should continue. This is the right kind of economic development for the future of New York as a premier wine and food brand.”

“The LPG storage facility is a bad idea — bad for our businesses, bad for tourism, bad for agriculture and bad for the environment,” said Fox Run Vineyards’ Scott Osborn, President of the Finger Lakes Wine Business Coalition, “That’s why it’s opposed by over 100 of our member wineries and a combination of 360 Finger Lakes wineries and tourism-related businesses. Governor Cuomo, by rejecting this bad idea you will show that New York is a leader in reducing fossil fuel use and the leader of renewable energy production.”

Signatories of the letter include: The American Sustainable Business Council, Green America, The NYS Sustainable Business Council, the Binghamton Regional Sustainability Coalition, Buffalo First, Chefs for the Marcellus, First Local Ithaca, Northeast Organic Farmers Association of NY (NOFA-NY), Gas-Free Seneca Business Coalition, The Finger Lakes Wine Business Coalition, Re-Think Local.

The New York State Sustainable Business Council (NYSSBC) http://nyssbc.org/ is an alliance of business organizations and businesses committed to advancing a vibrant, just, and sustainable economy in the state. The organization promotes strategies and policies designed to build strong local economies, prioritize investment and innovation in clean technologies from green chemistry to renewable energy sources, and advance the development of sustainable communities in New York State.

 The American Sustainable Business Council www.asbcouncil.org advocates for policy change and informs business owners and the public about the need and opportunities for building a vibrant, sustainable economy. Through its national member network it represents more than 200,000 businesses and more than 325,000 entrepreneurs, executives, managers and investors.

13 Nov

Governor Cuomo Vetoes Port Ambrose LNG Facility

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 12, 2015
Contact: Jorge Martinez, (516)713-2079, martinez1962@icloud.com
Laura Ornstein, (607)591-2314, laura@nyssbc.org

Business Leaders Applaud Decision to Veto Port Ambrose

 Addresses the Threat to Business from Climate Change and Safeguards the Potential for Renewable Energy Development

NEW YORK – In response to a decision by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to veto the proposal to construct Port Ambrose, a liquefied natural gas facility located approximately 19 miles off the coast of New York that would have the capacity to move 400 million cubic feet of gas per day, the American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC), which represents more than 200,000 businesses nationwide, and the New York State Sustainable Business Council (NYSSBC), an alliance of business organizations and individual business from across the state, today released statements praising the action.

Many businesses across Long Island and the state opposed the project based on concerns that it would increase the region’s vulnerability to climate change, terrorist attacks, and contamination of marine ecology – all risks to businesses in the region.

“Vetoing Port Ambrose was the obvious choice,” said Jorge Martinez, Long Island Coordinator for the American Sustainable Business Council and Deputy Mayor of Freeport. “Our region is still rebuilding after the ravages of Superstorm Sandy, and Port Ambrose would have posed an unacceptable risk to the industries, such as outdoor recreation, hospitality, coastal tourism, and fishing, on which the local economies and community character of Long Island depend.”

“Our business members from Long Island to Buffalo applaud Governor Cuomo for vetoing Port Ambrose and continuing his leadership to mitigate the threats of climate change,” said Laura Ornstein, coordinator of the New York State Sustainable Business Council. “Business owners in the region of the proposed project understand all too well the need to transition to 100% renewables. They are already paying the costs of climate change, such as increased insurance rates, repairs for infrastructure damaged by extreme weather events, and forced closures.”

“Governor Cuomo has made the right choice to veto Port Ambrose and keep the door open to develop offshore wind in the same location, which could create up to 17,000 jobs,” said Richard Eidlin, VP of Policy and Campaigns for the American Sustainable Business Council.

The New York State Sustainable Business Council (NYSSBC) http://nyssbc.org/ is an alliance of business organizations and businesses committed to advancing a vibrant, just, and sustainable economy in the state. The organization will promote strategies and policies designed to build strong local economies, prioritize investment and innovation in clean technologies from green chemistry to renewable energy sources, and advance the development of sustainable communities in New York State.

The American Sustainable Business Council www.asbcouncil.org advocates for policy change and informs business owners and the public about the need and opportunities for building a vibrant, sustainable economy. Through its national member network it represents more than 200,000 businesses and more than 325,000 entrepreneurs, executives, managers and investors.

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27 Oct

Business Leaders Call on Governor Cuomo to Veto Port Ambrose

For Immediate Release, Tuesday, October 27, 2015
For More Information, Contact: NYPIRG: Rose Barone, 615-512-2855 (cell)
Megan Ahearn, 212-349-6460 ext 1166
Sane Energy Project: Patrick Robbins, (917) 364 7461 patrick@saneenergyproject.org

Over 60 Local Businesses Call on Governor Cuomo to Veto Port Ambrose Gas Project – Business Leaders Join Together Ahead of November Public Hearings To Call Attention to Harms the Project Could Pose to the Local Economy

(Long Beach, NY)— Today, business leaders and elected officials from Long Island and neighboring communities joined advocates to unveil a letter (link HERE) to Governor Andrew Cuomo urging him to veto the Port Ambrose Liquefied Natural Gas facility.  Many of the over 60 businesses represented on the letter are located in front line communities such as Long Beach.  They are acutely aware of how Port Ambrose could harm local businesses, cost jobs, and damage fishing, recreation, and tourism in the area.

“This City Council has remained steadfast in its opposition to Port Ambrose,” said City Council President Len Torres. “We will continue to voice our disapproval of having an LNG terminal off our shore, and we are again calling on Governor Cuomo to veto this project. We must protect the safety of our residents and preserve our environment — we say ‘no’ to Port Ambrose.”

So far, 64 businesses from Long Beach and the surrounding area have joined the letter. That number is expected to grow heading into public hearings on the project, being held at the Long Beach Hotel on November 2nd and 3rd.  After public hearings in New York and New Jersey have concluded, Governor Cuomo will have a 45-day window in which he may issue a veto of the project.  Business owners and community members are calling on him to do just that.

The signatories expressed concern about potential public safety threats, as well as harm to beaches, ocean ecology, and wildlife that the project poses.  Critical sectors of the local economy could be left ravaged by Port Ambrose.  At the same time, it would preclude the creation of many more jobs in wind energy.”Nobody in the area wants this,” said Mark Taglianetti, owner of a local print shop. “No other business owners I’ve spoken with are for this project. I couldn’t believe it when I heard they were proposing a gas port right here off the coast. We are completely against it – it will hurt recreation and tourism, and that affects all of us. If it’s bad for some of our businesses, it’s bad for all of us.

Mark Tannenbaum, Executive Vice President of the Long Beach Chamber of Commerce, spoke on behalf of the over 200 businesses who are a part of the Long Beach Chamber of Commerce. “The beach is the driving force of our summer business. We are fortunate to have one of the highest rated quality beaches in the country. The ocean is not only a recreational jewel but also important to our fishing industry. Not only could Port Ambrose create possible environmental problems to the ocean where we swim and fish but it is not in harmony with the development of renewable, cleaner energy for our future generations. The development of Port Ambrose can eliminate the possibility of ever using that area of the ocean for wind energy. There is only one side to this project and that is to be against it. We must not permit the Port Ambrose project to go forward.”

“In Long Beach, we stand united against the Port Ambrose LNG terminal. Our businesses and neighbors alike seek to preserve the natural beauty of the Barrier Island and ensure that we are moving away from energy sources that promote climate change. This outpouring of opposition against Port Ambrose should send a clear message to Albany,” said Assemblymember Todd Kaminsky, who sent a statement.

The region where Port Ambrose would be built was hard-hit by Superstorm Sandy, so it’s not surprising that there is overwhelming public opposition. The group hopes that Governor Cuomo furthers his legacy as a climate leader by using his authority to veto the Port Ambrose Liquefied Natural Gas facility.Local business owners recognize that Port Ambrose is a bad deal for New York – for local jobs, businesses, and the communities in which they live and work. Furthermore, the project’s official Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) does not even address how construction will impact the local recreation or tourism economies.

Businesses and business associations from the region spoke out in solidarity with the local business community. “Businesses are proud to operate in NYC because it’s a center for progress and thinking about a sustainable future,” said Liz O’Donnell, NYC District Environmental Coordinator for Patagonia.

“This LNG facility flies in the face of those values held deeply by New Yorkers and sends the wrong message to the entire world.””New York businesses understand all too well the costs of climate change, from increased insurance prices to rebuilding storm-damaged infrastructure,” said Laura Ornstein, coordinator of New York State Sustainable Business Council. “Governor Cuomo has taken bold steps to lead the transition to 100% renewables and must continue this leadership by vetoing Port Ambrose, which would threaten the local economy and community character, and instead explore the potential for offshore wind development.”

Port Ambrose is an offshore Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) facility proposed about 20 miles off the coast of Long Beach.  LNG is natural gas that is super cooled to -260 degrees F. At this temperature, the natural gas changes from a gaseous state to a liquid state, becoming 600 times denser and easier to transport, but also much more volatile.

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