NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Department of Sanitation and City Councilman Ben Kallos were handing out free reusable bags to help residents prepare for the implementation of a new ‘carryout bag law.’
However, the law is not without opposition.
Walking out the Fairway market on East 86th Street, Chris told 1010 WINS’ Al Jones that he likes the reusable bags, and uses them all the time. He also runs a delivery service.
City Council Member Costa Constantinides, Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer, and state Senator Michael Gianaris on December 9th called for an end to the use of numbers 6 and 4 fuel oil in power plants. They were joined by the Astoria Houses Tenants Association, Queensbridge Houses Tenants Association, Ravenswood Houses Tenants Association, Jacob Riis Senior Center, Urban Upbound, American Lung Association, Asthma Coalition of Queens, and WeACT.
Ending the use of Number 6 and 4 oils would help reduce emissions produced by the plants in order to meet goals set by the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan. They called on the power plant operators to demonstrate how they plan to comply with Local Law 38 of 2015, which requires that they phase out use of number 6 oil in plants citywide by 2020. They also called on the plant operators to phase out use of number 4 oil sooner than the scheduled 2030 phase-out. Numbers 6 and 4 oils are considered to be the dirtiest grades of oil available. They are linked to air pollutants that pose risk to public health, including particulate matter, nitrous oxides and sulfur dioxide.
"Electric vehicles are now the standard for New York City's fleet," said Council Member Ben Kallos, Chair of the Committee on Governmental Operation. "Thank you to Department of Citywide Administrative Services Commissioner Lisette Camillo for her partnership and responsiveness to requests for a more aggressive adoption of a fully electric fleet. Thank you Mayor de Blasio for keeping New York City at the forefront in the fight against climate change."
The New York City Council is expected to vote this afternoon on legislation that would place a five cent fee on single use plastic and paper bags—a forward-looking initiative designed to slash the seemingly endless stream of plastic litter in the nation’s largest city.
The bill would place a five cent fee on plastic and paper carryout bags dispensed at supermarkets, grocery stores, convenience stores, pharmacies. Fees collected would be retained by the retailer, but shoppers who bring their own bags with them would be exempt from all charges.
New York, NY – New York, NY— Yesterday, over 150 residents prepared for the passage of a Single-use Bag Reduction Law and for the launch of Car Free Day by picking up free reusable bags and Citi Bike Day Passes at an Earth Day Kickoff by Council Member Ben Kallos. “Each of us can do a little to do a lot to save our planet, especially in a city of 8.4 million,” said Council Member Ben Kallos. “Earth Day is a chance to focus on saving our planet, one bag or one trip at a time. Government must provide residents with what they need so they can minimize harm to our environment.”
NEW YORK CITY– Today, more than 150 New Yorkers joined community groups, environmental justice leaders, national environmental organizations, and local officials on the steps of City Hall to thank Mayor Bill de Blasio for his commitment to power 100 percent of City operations with renewable energy and urge him to ensure that offshore wind power plays a major role in achieving that goal.
At the rally, a letter signed by over 50 diverse organizations calling for offshore wind power was delivered to the Mayor. The letter highlights the massive potential of offshore wind power to reduce pollution and spark transformative job creation in New York City and across the state. Prioritizing offshore wind power for NYC is also crucial for meeting Mayor de Blasio’s broader goal of cutting climate pollution in New York City 80 percent by 2050 and 35 percent within government operations by 2025. The letter also calls on New York State and the Federal Government to take the actions necessary to launch offshore wind power for New York.
“We don’t have enough parks in the district,” Kallos said. “We have some of the lowest numbers of parks space per capita. Any place we have park land, we need to be using it as park land for the entire community.”
According to a study done by a parks advocacy organization in 2013, Kallos’ District 5 ranked the fifth worst in the ratio of land area to parks space out of all 51 Council districts.
In the New Yorkers for Parks’ study, the district falls far short of the standards set out by the group, which call for 2.5 acres of total open space per 1,000 residents. Kallos’ district scored only 0.47 acres of open space per 1,000 residents.
The group’s study also noted that the balance between public use as a ball field and private use as tennis courts shifted in 2012 to the advantage of the courts’ operator, when it secured an additional six weeks of time that keeps the bubble in the park into June.
To combat what they deem a slow creep of private use, Kallos said he would be working with the community board by reviewing the current contract with Sutton East, making sure the contract isn’t renewed, and trying to secure city funds to revert the park into public space year-round.
“In order for this to work, we’re going to have to pay a lot of attention between now and 2017 and make sure this contract doesn’t get renewed,” Kallos said.
East side councilmember wants to meet every person in the district
Manhattan Parks Commissioner Bill Castro, Councilmember Ben Kallos, Rockefeller University President Marc Tessier-Lavigne, Minna Elias (on behalf of Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney), and Deputy Borough President Matthew Washington celebrate the repairs to the seawall near Rockefeller University and the revitalization project of the East River Esplanade.
HSS agreed to invest in the East River Esplanade as part of a favorable land use vote held recently by the city council. The hospital will repair and maintain a two-block stretch of the esplanade and, in a partnership with Rockefeller University that’s being led by Kallos, will work with key community stakeholders to develop a master plan for the esplanade from 62nd Street to 78th Street.
Council Member Ben Kallos announced a new vision for the East River Esplanade including a new master plan and investment from public/private partnership with Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) has agreed to invest in the East River Esplanade as part of a ULURP voted on by the New York City Council Thursday, that was negotiated between his Council office and HSS.
New York, NY— Pesticides in parks would be limited by a bill announced today by Council Member Ben Kallos among members of the kindergarten and first grade class at PS 290, who first advocated for the city legislation. The law, co-sponsored by Council Member Helen Rosenthal, would require that the city use only biological pesticides, derived from natural materials, instead of synthetic, traditional pesticides--except under necessary circumstances. The EPA maintains that biological pesticides tend to be less toxic and safer than synthetic pesticides. The bill will be introduced on May 27.
This testimony was given to the Public Design Commission on April 20, 2015 to ask them to delay approval of this project so that the City may review the design and construction of the 81st Street Pedestrian Bridge with the aim of addressing community concerns and implementing a design consistent with the future plans for the East River Esplanade.
The letter to de Blasio is signed by Council Members Garodnick, Donovan Richards, Fernando Cabrera, Rafael Espinal, Corey Johnson, Ben Kallos, Andy King, Stephen Levin, Mark Levine, Carlos Menchaca, Rosie Mendez, I. Daneek Miller, Antonio Reynoso, and James Vacca. It states, in part, "Creating a sustainable regional food system that meets [the $1 billion] demand and offers equal access to nutritious food will improve public health, bolster the city's "good food" economy, build resilience in the wake of extreme weather events and reduce the city's "foodprint" as a way to mitigate the impacts of climate change."
The bill is being introduced by Councilman Ben Kallos (D- Manhattan). He said the purpose of the legislation is to reduce carbon emissions stemming from the production of concrete.
Asphalt recycling is gaining momentum as a budget-savvy alternative to landfilling the waste. The process of re-using the material is called full-depth reclamation, and is often used at construction sites. The debris is crushed and used as a base for streets and parking lots. The conglomerate is estimated to last two years longer than projects that don’t incorporate the reclamation process.
A new City Council bill would mandate the use of recycled concrete in all new street construction projects.
Councilman Ben Kallos (D-Manhattan) is introducing the legislation that would require at least 30% of concrete to come from demolished roads and buildings.
It’s a move to cut carbon emissions that come from concrete production, he said.
“We need to make sure that any new construction is limiting our greenhouse gas emissions,” Kallos said. “The city deals with tens of thousands of tons of demolition waste every day.”
NEW YORK—The city is making its presence known in the battle to keep hydraulic fracturing out of the state.
A new bill, expected to be introduced Wednesday, will effectively ban hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” in New York City.
Council members Ben Kallos, Helen Rosenthal, and Costa Constantinides are sponsoring the bill to support the local municipalities in upstate New York that have successfully banned fracking in their towns. They hope that other municipalities will be encouraged to amend local laws as well.
“We are standing in solidarity with those towns in banning hydrofracking in our municipality in hopes that we can do this across the state and across the nation,” said Council member Kallos in a telephone interview.
New York, NY – Following the New York Court of Appeals' decision in Wallach vs. Town of Dryden and Cooperstown Holstein vs. Town of Middlefield to allow municipalities to ban fracking within their limits, Council Members Ben Kallos, Helen Rosenthal and Costa Constantinides have introduced a bill for New York City to stand in solidarity with Otsego County’s Middlefield and Tompkins County’s Dryden in banning hydro-fracking. The move is a strong statement from New York City against fracking in the city, surrounding areas and the state.
According to FracTracker.org, New York City would be joining 80 municipalities with a ban, 100 with moratorium in place, and 87 making a push for a ban or moratorium. Though there are many unknowns about hydrofracking, it has already been shown to pose serious dangers to human health and the environment, including:
“Superstorm Sandy, a sign of things to come from climate change, hit New York City two years ago, and we are still rebuilding our City,” said Vice-Chair for Policy, Council Member Ben Kallos. “We join together in the peoples’ climate march, steps from the United Nations, so our world leaders will take the necessary action to fight climate change.”
The Council bill, as introduced by Council Member Ben Kallos, would require all city agencies to be on an Open FOIL portal within one year. The bill would require much more robust reporting from the City. As proposed, the bill would not show the name of the requester, but would have a status, date submitted and filled, as well as the data from the request.
The development includes a multimillion-dollar investment in the esplanade and a number of other community benefits secured by local community leaders and elected officials, according to local Councilman Ben Kallos.