ALBANY – Wednesday night, Environmental Advocates of New York honored seven local officials from across the state who are leading the fight for environmental and public health protections, including two Western New York county legislators: George Borrello (R-Chautauqua County) and Patrick Burke (D-Erie County).
Legislators Borrello and Burke were noted as “Local Leaders Creating Sustainable Communities” for their work delivering the state’s first bans on microbeads, the tiny plastic pellets found in personal hygiene products like face wash and toothpaste. Following the state Senate’s failure to pass the Microbead-Free Waters Act, 11 local governments representing more than half of all New Yorkers have acted since the summer to pass or propose microbead bans.
Peter Iwanowicz, executive director of Environmental Advocates of New York said, “Local officials are making things happen. Too often, New Yorkers cannot count on their state Legislature to deliver on common-sense initiatives such as microbead bans, and investments in our drinking and wastewater infrastructure. And the burden falls to local governments. We applaud legislators Burke and Borrello for filling the leadership void created by Albany. Their communities are the direct beneficiaries of their work on this issue, and because of their efforts we have momentum to pass a statewide law in 2016.”
In addition to other local leaders such as Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner and Dutchess County Executive Marcus Molinaro, the watchdog organization bestowed two Advocate Awards to medical professionals who conduct groundbreaking work – Drs. Frederica P. Perera and Diane Lewis.
Other local leaders honored include Bryan Clenahan, D-Albany County Legislator; Stephanie Miner, D-Mayor of Syracuse; Dan McCoy, D-Albany County Executive; Marcus Molinaro, R-Dutchess County Executive; and Donovan Richards, D-New York City Councilmember.