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May 2013 Archives

May 23, 2013

Environmental Law Section Survey

Carl Howard, our Section Chair, has asked that Section members participate in a confidential survey to assess how 'green' our Section is and to provide individuals with a means to reflect on what they can do to reduce their environmental impact.

"The Questionnaire is intended to promote 'green living' every minute of every day, to set an example and influence ELS members and others to promote a 'green ethic,' to reduce our individual carbon footprint, to elect representatives who share our values, to promote legislation regionally, nationally and internationally, to combat the threat of global climate change. It all starts with us."

Please take some time to complete the Questionnaire and share it with others. The Questionnaire can be accessed via the ELS Website at www.nysba.org/environmental, by directing your browser to www.nysba.org/ELSQuestionnaire, or by clicking here.

The Section thanks you in advance for your time.

Environmental Legislation Forum Focuses on Super Storm Sandy

By John Louis Parker, Co-Chair, Committee on Legislation

The annual Legislative Forum and Luncheon of the Environmental Section held May 15 at the Great Hall at New York State Bar Center, One Elk Street in Albany was a well-attended success. Members of the environmental leadership of the New York State Assembly and Senate joined government officials, academics, advocates, and the General Counsel of the Department of Environmental Conservation to discuss New York's continuing recovery from Super Storm Sandy with a look to what could be ahead for the Empire State.

Super Storm Sandy pushed waters over seawalls and into the New York City subway system. It flooded homes, dislocated families, and knocked offline critical infrastructure. Sandy is the largest Atlantic hurricane on record, caused more damage on the North Atlantic coastline of the United States than any other storm, and claimed 72 lives in the metro area. The storm's impacts prompted Governor Cuomo to ask for $60 billion in disaster aid from the Federal Government. The well-attended and successful event began a thoughtful and detailed dialogue on issues of sustainability, adaptability, and resilience that will shape the New York metropolitan area for decades because severe weather events present an increasing threat to New York.

Among the legislative updates were discussions of legislation reducing harmful flame retardant chemicals in furniture, addressing non-point source pollution, recovering unused mediation to avoid sewage disposal, collecting mercury and device that use it, and possibly issuing a new environmental bond act. The panelists discussed the far ranging investigative powers of the Moreland Commission, the need for regulatory ratemaking proceedings to fund future infrastructure improvements, the potential benefits of implementing green infrastructure and encouraging use of natural ecosystem services such as wetlands to mitigate storm impacts, and potential options available in land use, municipal and environmental law to address extreme weather and climate change.

The program concluded with the newly appointed General Counsel of DEC discussing the challenges the agency faced in the aftermath of Sandy - the far ranging extent of the damage, the fact that the emergency authorizations expire on October 31, 2013, and future use of NY Works program to strengthen state assets, and proposed changes to the Region Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).

A special thanks to May 15 Legislative Forum.pdf, and attendees.

Jeffrey Brown, John Parker, Andrew Wilson, Co-Chairs, Committee on Legislation.

About May 2013

This page contains all entries posted to Envirosphere in May 2013. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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