07 Feb

WIN: Governor Cuomo Signs Child Safe Products Act Into Law

Child Safe Products Act signed into law

Albany, NY — February 7, 2020: Governor Cuomo signed the Child Safe Products Act (S.501-B Kaminsky / A. 6296-A Englebright) into law.  The move marks the fulfillment of a decade-long campaign by a broad, diverse coalition of environmental health advocates, health-impacted groups, sustainable businesses, environmental justice leaders, health care providers, child care providers, parent groups and many others. The law will require manufacturers to disclose chemicals of concern in children’s products and restrict the most toxic, while authorizing the State to add chemicals to disclose and restrict by regulation. The bill passed 53-9 in the Senate and 100-23 in the Assembly on April 30, 2019 as part of a first-ever bicameral Earth Day package.

“The New York Sustainable Business Council represents thousands of businesses committed to the triple bottom line of social responsibility, environmental stewardship, and economic prosperity,” said Bob Rossi, Director, New York Sustainable Business Council.  “The Child Safe Products Act cuts across all three tenets. It not only protects our most vulnerable and reduces environmental contamination, it will strengthen our economy. Smarter chemical regulations will drive green tech innovation. Chemical disclosure will allow our retailers to meet the growing demand for non-toxic products. Plus, the children we aim to protect are our future workforce. We thank Governor Cuomo and the leaders in our legislature for seeing this bill through.”

“Passing the Child Safe Products Act is a major step forward for protecting children’s health and it makes good business sense.  It protects shareholders, workers, and companies’ brand names, while restoring consumer confidence in product safety. This legislation will drive innovation and lead to greater profits and job growth for responsible New York State businesses. Our businesses are proud to stand in appreciation of the Governor and the New York State legislature for passing this historic legislation,” said David Levine, President, American Sustainable Business Council.

ASBC and NYSBC want to thank all the businesses that joined us in helping to support this important bill.  We also want to thank our coalition partners in the Just Green Partnership for their leadership.  See the coalition’s full press release here.

 

17 May

3 Days Of Advocacy

If you have joined NYSBC for our annual Sustainable Business Summit before, you will remember a full day of education and advocacy on a gambit of important subjects that impact your business, your community, and your environment.  We’ve learned that many of you wish to focus more deeply on one subject area.  To that end, we now invite you to select from 3 separate days of advocacy:
  • Tuesday 5/28: Healthcare — Show your support by attending the first ever joint Senate-Assembly hearing on the NY Health Act, which would create a statewide universal healthcare system.  You will also have the option to share testimony of your personal struggle to access healthcare, provide healthcare for your employees, etc.
  • Wednesday 5/29: Energy Democracy — Join the first ever Energy Democracy Lobby Day and advocate for energy efficiency and renewable energy policies that would create a more resilient, localized, and democratically controlled clean energy economy in New York State.
  • Thursday 5/30: Environmental Health & Justice — Advocate for policies that would ensure transparency of chemicals in common products, eliminate harmful chemicals in children’s products, require government action on known toxics, and provide green procurement incentives to make safer products more available and affordable.

Each event above is separate.  Each is a full day—roughly 10am to 4pm—and attending a portion of a day may be possible.  Expect more details including formal RSVPs to roll out next week.  You may use this form to share your interest in the above events or for general feedback to NYSBC.

In the spirit of our Earth Day email, we are inviting you to engage around the issue(s) that you are most passionate about.  The better connected your heart is with your advocacy, the more fulfilling and long-lasting your impact will be.  NYSBC will continue to build allies and curate policies that reflect triple bottom line principles and the feedback of sustainable business leaders like you.

Your business voice is critical to this advocacy work.  Together, we bring a much needed counter narrative to debates dominated by the largest profit-driven corporations that claim to represent businesses—including yours.  NYSBC can help you explore how you and your business relate to the above issues and hone your story to have the deepest impact. 

01 May

WIN: Child Safe Products Act Passes NYS Legislature

CONGRATS & THANKS to the many business leaders who have joined us over the years fighting for this bill that requires children’s product makers to disclose harmful chemicals and phase out the worst.

A decade since its first introduction, the Child Safe Products Act passed yesterday 53-9 in the NYS Senate and 100-23 in the NYS Assembly within minutes of each other—while many of us ran back and forth to witness history.

Warm gratitude to bill sponsors Assemblyman Steve Englebright and Senator Todd Kaminsky for shepherding the bills through, and thanks as well to every legislator that had the wisdom to vote in favor.

More work to do before this bill becomes law, that law is effectively implemented, and New Yorkers are safer.
To NYS businesses… YOUR VOICE is still needed as we see this through!

Congrats to JustGreen PartnershipClean and Healthy New YorkWE ACT for Environmental JusticeNourish Wealth ManagementJSA Financial Group, and many others.

Image may contain: 1 person, possible text that says 'WE NEED THE Child Safe Products Act TO PROTECT ME FROM HARMFUL CHEMICALS THAT CAN MAKE ME SICK! Just Green Partnership'
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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