Smith Applauds Senate Passage Of Legislation
Nearly three months after the State Assembly passed identical legislation, State Senator Malcolm Smith recently said he was extremely pleased that the Senate finally came back to Albany in a Special Legislative Session to pass Brownfields legislation.
Smith said the legislation will provide $120 million to replenish the State’s Superfund program, which ran out of money two years ago, and an additional $15 million to target abandoned industrial sites known as "brownfields."
"This is one of the most important pieces of environmental legislation the Senate has considered in years," said Smith. "I am now hopeful that under this comprehensive legislation the State can finally begin to implement rigorous clean-up standards of toxic waste dumps."
The Senate reconvened in Albany on Tuesday, September 16 for a one- day session with the specific purpose of passing this critical environmental bill.
"I cannot emphasize how important cleaning up these sites will be for communities across the state whose residents have had to live with toxic dumps in their backyards," said Smith. "For the first time in several years these communities have hope for a cleaner, safer and more economically viable future. As the ranking Democrat on the Senate Environmental Conservation Committee, I have worked closely with environmental groups to help pass this bill."
Smith said the key to reaching compromise on the legislation was adding hundreds of new "Hazardous Substance" sites to the Superfund list and making sure the business community lived up to its past agreement to help finance the Superfund for clean-up. Smith looks forward to Governor Pataki signing the bill into law.