The New York League of Conservation Voters, which works to make environmental sustainability a top political and policy priority in New York, has named State Sen. Mark Grisanti, R-60th District, a 2013 "Eco-Star" for his work on environmental initiatives in Albany.
NYLCV's Eco-Star award is presented to those elected leaders who authored critical legislation, lobbied their colleagues and helped broker bipartisan, bicameral solutions to New York's many environmental and energy challenges. As chair of the Environmental Conservation Committee, Grisanti sponsored the Mercury Thermostat Collection Act (S.1676A/A.8084), which established a mandatory collection program for out-of-service thermostats that contain mercury. In addition to authoring the Senate version of the bill, Grisanti played a pivotal role in negotiating a consensus version with the Assembly, and then lobbied his colleagues to ensure final passage.
The Mercury Thermostat Collection Act, which sets a goal of collecting 15,500 thermostats by 2015, will establish and maintain programs for the collection, transportation and management of out-of-service, mercury-containing thermostats. It will also obligate manufacturers to create outreach and education programs for wholesalers, retailers, contractors and homeowners to ensure maximum participation.
"Until now, New York has had one of the worst records in the nation in keeping mercury-containing thermostats out of the waste stream," said NYLCV President Marcia Bystryn. "That will change with this new legislation, which protects the environment as well as public health. The passage of the Mercury Thermostat Collection Act is one of the most important environmental victories in Albany this year, and would not have been possible without the hard work of Sen. Grisanti."
In response to his Eco-Star recognition, Grisanti said, "It is an honor to be recognized again as an Eco-Star by the New York League of Conservation Voters. I have steadfastly counted on them to be an ally in Albany and they always delivered. It brings me great joy to see that they recognize and appreciate the teamwork we have shared by recognizing me with this award. I look forward to continuing our partnership for the good of all New Yorkers."
A complete list of NYLCV's 2013 Eco-Stars can be found at www.nylcv.org. NYLCV recently awarded the New York State Legislature an overall grade of "B-" for progress on environmental and energy issues in the 2013 legislative session.