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.




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.



15 Jun

Retail Council of NYS & Advocates Announce Unprecedented Agreement

Retail Council of New York State and Advocates Announce Unprecedented Agreement on Path to Passage of Child Safe Products Act

June 15, 2015
Cathy Rought cathy.rought@berlinrosen.com 202-263-9097
Jordan Levine jlevine@nylcv.org 917-392-8965

All eyes on Senate, Assembly, Governor to move bill across finish line

ALBANY, NY – In an unprecedented agreement, The Retail Council of New York State and advocates endorsed language to amend the Child Safe Products Act (CSPA). With those amendments, advocates and retailers stand united in their call for the bill’s passage.

Ted Potrikus, President and CEO of the Retail Council of New York State, issued the following statement announcing the association’s support:

“Governor Cuomo, the Assembly, and the Senate all made the Child Safe Products Act a priority for the 2015 session. Their leadership spurred a constructive, candid, and honest discussion between the retailers selling these products and the health and environmental advocates looking for clear guidelines on what can be sold in New York stores.

I’m pleased that our discussions have led to what we think is the strongest product safety bill in the nation.  We think it reflects the priorities we’ve heard from Governor Cuomo and state legislature, from advocates, and from the people who shop in our stores, as well as the practical considerations we needed to ensure an effective, statewide application of a single standard.

“We thank our friends in the environmental and health advocacy communities for participating so vigorously in these conversations, and we thank Governor Cuomo, Chairman Englebright, and Senator Boyle for setting the tone and recognizing the seriousness of the issue.  We hope that they’ll agree to a final product that lets all of us move forward on an issue that means so much to so many people across New York State.”

This endorsement furthers evidences the momentum of the bill after Senator Phil Boyle acknowledged “we are close” on bill negotiations.

“With so much hard work by so many it would be a downright shame if our leaders dropped the ball.  New York’s kids are depending on us and we can’t let them down,” said Kathy Curtis, Executive Director of Clean and Healthy New York.

“The advocates have worked hard with those who have opposed this bill in the past to find a way to come together for the good of the kids of New York State. Now, what we need is leadership from the Governor, the Senate and the Legislature to close the deal to protect millions of New York State’s kids from the chemicals that can harm their health.  Don’t let them down,” said Cecil Corbin-Mark, Deputy Director of WE ACT for Environmental Justice.

“This agreement is the result of a good old fashioned compromise. We commend the Retail Council for joining us in putting our differences aside to reach a fair and reasonable deal,” said Marcia Bystryn, President of the New York League of Conservation Voters. “Collectively we are sending a clear message: statewide action is in the best interests of business, children, and the environment. Now it is up to the Governor, Senate, and Assembly to make sure this plan becomes law.

We applaud the Retail Council of New York State’s leadership in standing up for our kids,” offered Ashley Orgain, Manager of Mission Advocacy and Outreach for Seventh Generation. “Seventh Generation has shown time and time again that you can be profitable AND operate in the best interest of the public. We look forward to the Senate’s vote on this crucial piece of information.”

“We are pleased with the new language in this bill. It achieves the twin goals of protecting New York’s children and enabling New York business to compete in the global economy,” said Laura Ornstein, coordinator of the New York State Sustainable Business Council, an alliance of business organizations and businesses advancing a sustainable economy in New York State. “Now the bill is set to provide the market clarity that businesses are calling for as well as accelerate the transition to the safer marketplace that consumers are demanding.”

“As a mom, its so refreshing to see industry and advocates working together on this issue – it’s common sense – we don’t want toxic chemicals in products meant for children. The message is loud and clear from New Yorkers across the state, we want passage of the Child Safe Product Act, and we are not waiting till next year, next session, or next week, we want it today,” said Renee Scholz, Moms for Non-Toxic NY.

“Moms Clean Air Force applauds the broad support for the Child Safe Products Act”, states Trisha Sheehan, Regional Field Manager for Moms Clean Air Force. “Toxic chemicals have no place in children’s products and we thank the Retail Council of New York State for working to find a path forward for the Child Safe Products Act. We are urging our Senate, Assembly, and Governor to now make this bill a law.”

“Toxic chemicals have no business in children’s products like toys, clothing, or car seats,” said Elie Ward, Director of Policy & Advocacy for NYS American Academy of Pediatrics. “Yet product makers have reported more than 5,000 types of children’s products that contain dangerous chemicals. New York must act now to protect our children’s health with a comprehensive approach, modeled after effective policies in other states and countries, she continued.”

“Advocates and retailers have worked hard to come together to craft legislation to  protect children’s health in New York.  Now the question is will the NY Senate & Assembly work together to pass this legislation?” said Adrienne Esposito, Executive Director, Citizens Campaign for the Environment, “A primary role of government is to protect public health, even when it’s inconvenient to industry.  It is past time that our elected officials make protecting children from toxic exposure a priority.”

“The Child Safe Products Act will help ensure the safety of New York’s pregnant women, infants and young children by limiting their exposure to certain toxic chemicals which are known to have a negative impact on the health and well-being of these highly vulnerable populations”, said Frank DeMeo, Director of March of Dimes New York Chapter. “March of Dimes is grateful to the many advocates and legislators who have worked together to advance this critical mission.”

06 May

NY Businesses Launch Companies for Safer Chemicals NY Campaign

For Planning Purposes: Monday, May 4, 2015
Contact: Cathy Rought, cathy.rought@berlinrosen.com, 646-200-5287

 New York Businesses Launch Companies for Safer Chemicals NY Campaign 

Group Releases Report on Positive Market Potential for Safe Chemicals

Campaign Demonstrates Business Support for Chemical Safety Reform by Endorsing Child Safe Products Act

Albany, NY—Top New York Businesses announced at the Albany Business Summit  the launch of Companies for Safer Chemicals New York (CSCNY), a coalition of enterprises and brands headquartered and/or doing business in New York State committed to advancing a safer, non-toxic marketplace. Members of the coalition include Seventh Generation, Eileen Fisher, the New York State Sustainable Business Council (NYSSBC), Ecovative, Re>Think LocalTidy Tots, Staach, Hawthorne Valley Association and others.

As part of its formation, the coalition presented Making the Business & Economic Case for Safer Chemistry,a report that explores the use of safer chemicals, and its potential for creating business and economic value. To further support the report’s findings, CSCNY officially endorsed S.4102, the Child Safe Products Act (CSPA),New York’s recently reintroduced legislation that would increase transparency, safety & innovation of non-toxic alternatives for businesses.

The American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC) and the Green Chemistry & Commerce Council (GC3) partnered with Trucost to evaluate the potential of “safer chemistry”—which can include reducing the use and generation of hazardous substances, reducing the human health and environmental impacts of processes and products, and creating safer products. The research included interviews with 17 industry experts, as well as a review of literature and available data on the business and economic opportunities achievable through safer chemistry and the business and economic value at risk from not adopting safer chemistry.

In the coalition’s report, researchers found that safer chemistry’s potential in businesses is promising, but not yet fully realized. Customers are conveying positive signals to brands, manufacturers, formulators and chemical companies to use safe chemicals in their products. Those actions are being taken, but these changes are limited–mostly reactionary, not proactive, and situational, not comprehensive.

Based on the research findings, the CSCNY makes the following recommendations:

  1. Businesses that have not yet evaluated their individual business case for safer chemistry within their specific product portfolio and market segment are strongly encouraged to do so, given the potential for revenue growth and business value at risk.
  2. Safer chemistry metrics that relate to business and economic opportunity (and risk) should be tracked and communicated, to help spur business understanding of safer chemistry and public policy mechanisms for data disclosure.
  3. The total societal benefits associated with the addressable market for safer chemistry should be quantified and communicated to policy makers and investors.
  4. Existing safer chemistry initiatives should be catalyzed, harmonized and aligned through a value chain approach and used to leverage capital flows toward safer chemistry innovation.
  5. Stakeholders should work toward a common understanding and communicate with better clarify on the specific aspects of safer chemistry that they are addressing, since the topic can encompass many different production aspects and product attributes.
  6. Priorities for filling data gaps should include gathering more specific market research to quantify the potential for job growth and revenue opportunity for safer chemistry (as more narrowly defined), more specifically by product segment and industry vertical.

Currently, adequate hazard information is not available to make responsible product selection decisions. If CSPA passes the state senate, it would require the state to publish a list of high-concern chemicals, prioritize chemicals used in children’s products, require children’s product makers to first report their use, and then to stop using them.  Without its passage, thousands of products will likely continue to contain these toxic chemicals, putting the next generation at risk for conditions like kidney damage, bone fragility and cancer.

“Seventh Generation is joining other leading companies to squash the idea that comprehensive chemical reform would hamper business in New York. Our company is living proof that you can be profitable without compromising health and the environment,” said Ashley Orgain, Manager of Mission Advocacy & Outreach, Seventh Generation. “As businesses, we are tasked with meeting consumer demand – and consumers are demanding non-toxic products. Passing the Child Safe Products Act will make it easier for businesses to navigate the shifting market.”

“Businesses from Rochester, Binghamton, New York City and the Hudson Valley are joining together to send a clear message to Albanyit’s time to step in where the federal system for regulating chemicals has failed,” said Laura Ornstein, Coordinator, New York State Sustainable Business Council. “Rather than waiting for Congress to solve this problem, New York must take the lead and pass chemical safety reform legislation that promotes transparency, safety and innovation of alternatives.”

“When taking into account the aggregate economics on the upside of market and job growth, investment for innovation along with the downside cost of hazardous chemical compliance, lawsuits and remediation, it becomes clear – transitioning to safer chemicals makes good business sense,” said David Levine, CEO, American Sustainable Business Council. “For many, this isn’t new.  More and more companies have recognized that they can meet consumer demand and improve their financial bottom line by providing safer products. The NYS government should lead the way by making transparent chemical content and eliminating the more hazardous chemicals from our products and driving business growth and job creation.”

“This is not just a moral imperative, but one that directly impacts the success of our business; our clients are consistently calling for the elimination of toxic chemicals in the supply chain and greater transparency in product information,” said Anne Sherman, Director of Sustainability, Staach Inc. based in Rochester, NY. “Since my company’s inception in 2006 we have sought to create products that are safe for the environment and our communities, but without public policy that requires disclosure throughout the supply chain, it can be very challenging to obtain specific ingredient information from suppliers to guarantee the safety of our products. The Child Safe Products Act is a great step forward to create market clarity and allow New York businesses to make more informed choices to protecting the health of our business and workers, as well as the general public.”

“At Ecovative, we are committed to working with industry and consumers to rid the world of toxic, unsustainable materials. We’re proud to join with other forward-thinking companies today at our State Capitol to demonstrate support for safer chemicals and smart regulations,” said Gordon MacPherson, Business Development Manager of Ecovative. “Our business is a testimony to the ability of creating safer materials without compromising public health or the environment.”

“Throughout all of Hawthorne Valley Association’s endeavors we are ardently aware of the ecological, health and economic impacts of chemicals,” said Martin Ping, Executive Director, Hawthorne Valley Association based in Ghent, NY. “Consumers are increasingly asking where something was made or grown, what ingredients it contains, and if it is safe.  Making this information available throughout the supply chain will increase confidence and trust among consumers, employees, communities, and investors.”

The Albany Business Summit, hosted by the New York State Sustainable Business Council, is a day when like-minded business leaders from across the state get the opportunity to join forces and exchange ideas with state legislators on how to grow a more sustainable economy in New York State.


About the Companies for Safer Chemicals NY Campaign
Coordinated by the American Sustainable Business Council and New York State Sustainable Business Council, Companies for Safer Chemicals New York is a campaign that represents approximately 1200 enterprises and brands headquartered and/or doing business in New York State committed to advancing a safer, non-toxic marketplace.

Learn More About The Coalition Here.