Westchester County Legislators

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Chairman Kaplowitz Announces Task Force to Review-Ethics Waiver Requests

Chairman Kaplowitz Announces Task Force to Review-Ethics Waiver Requests

In 2014, the Westchester County Charter Revision Commission recommended several updates to the Board of Legislators (BOL) regarding the Ethics Board and dealing with employment waiver requests.  The BOL has been discussing this issue and debating various reforms since that time. Read more

Released:08-04-2016 | See More _Newsroom

Board of Legislators, Ferari Associates Agree on Deal to Fund Studies on ‘North 60’ Development

Board of Legislators, Ferari Associates Agree on Deal to Fund Studies on ‘North 60’ Development

Today at the weekly meeting of the Westchester County Board of Acquisition and Contracts an amendment was approved to an existing contract with Fareri Associates LP to reimburse the county for studies which are being done on the proposed $1.2 billion bio-science project at the Grasslands Campus.  The project which seeks to develop 60 acres of county-owned property along with an adjacent tract of 20 acres owned by Fareri next... Read more

Released:08-04-2016 | See More _Newsroom

Westchester Completes Agreement with White Plains to Improve Emergency Services

Westchester Completes Agreement with White Plains to Improve Emergency Services

(WHITE PLAINS, NY) During last night’s Board of Legislators meeting, an inter-municipal agreement (IMA) between Westchester County and the City of White Plains was approved to provide the City with a 2002 Equipment Response Vehicle (ERV) for use when responding to calls within New York State Counter Terrorism Zone 3.  White Plains will pay the County $1 every year for the next 4 years for the enhancement to their public... Read more

Released:07-19-2016 | See More _Newsroom

Legislator Testa Proposes Resolution Opposing New Oil Barge Anchorage Sites on Hudson River

Legislator Testa Proposes Resolution Opposing New Oil Barge Anchorage Sites on Hudson River

Legislator John Testa (R) Peekskill, The Board of Legislators’ (BOL) Minority Leader is sponsoring a resolution voicing the BOL’s opposition to a proposed U.S. Coast Guard rule which would create anchorage sites in the Hudson River for vessels carrying oil to refinery’s south of Westchester County. Read more

Released:08-23-2016 | See More _Newsroom

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Westchester Legislators Unanimously Approve Hydrofracking Waste Ban in County

Hydrofracking

White Plains, NY – The Westchester County Board of Legislators unanimously approved legislation today that bans the sale, application and disposal in the county of waste from natural gas drilling operations commonly known as hydrofracking. Penalties for violations, which are unclassified misdemeanors, will include fines upwards to $25,000 and / or imprisonment up to 30 days.

The bill received prior approvals in two BOL committees—Government Operations, chaired by Legislator Catherine Borgia (D-Ossining), who was a co-sponsor; and Legislation, chaired by Legislator Bill Ryan (D-White Plains). At the conclusion of today’s full BOL vote on the bill, which occurred at its regular meeting, a large crowd of supporters of the hydrofracking waste ban in Westchester, many of whom spoke in favor of the legislation, broke into long applause.

“This legislation will protect our environment for Westchester residents both today and in the future,” said Borgia. “The toxins involved in hydrofracking waste, including radioactive materials, are among the most harmful known to humankind. We must be hyper-vigilant about keeping these toxins out of the water supply and off our roadways, and I’m very pleased that all of my colleagues on the Board supported these protections.”

The various waste products from natural gas drilling, or hydraulic fracturing, include water laden with chemical additives, naturally occurring radioactive materials and heavy metals, along with leachate from solid wastes. The new legislation specifically prohibits the introduction of hydrofracking waste into wastewater treatment and sewage treatment facilities within Westchester or operated by the County; the sale of such waste within the County; and the application of natural gas waste to any roadway or property (usually as a means to control ice and dust) within the County. (Municipalities may unknowingly use de-icing salt produced from hydrofracking waste during the winter months.)

Furthermore, all bids and contracts related to the purchase or acquisition of materials to be used to construct or maintain a County road shall include a provision stating no materials containing fracking waste shall be provided to the County.

“As hydrofracking increases around the Northeast, gas companies will look for different ways in which to dispose of all the toxic waste that results from the extracting process,” said Ryan. “The legislation passed by the Board today warns natural gas extractors that Westchester will not be a dumping site for this hazardous waste.”

“The multiple kinds of waste produced by hydrofracking all pose significant health and environmental risks,” said BOL Majority Leader Pete Harckham (D-Katonah), another co-sponsor of the bill. “This waste doesn’t belong in our wastewater treatment plants, and it certainly doesn’t belong on the streets and roads that drain into our fragile drinking water supplies.”

Ellen Weininger, Educational Outreach Coordinator for Grassroots Environmental Education, a science-based environmental health non-profit organization, thanked the Westchester legislators today for their vote, and said, “We appreciate the close attention the Westchester legislators paid to this new law, and the expediting of its passage. The legislators have demonstrated a deep and unwavering commitment to protecting the public health of Westchester residents and safeguarding the environment for future generations.”

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