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Government Affairs Albany Update

May, 26, 2000

ENVIRONMENTAL BILLS APPROVED

This week, Governor Pataki signed two environmental bills that were opposed by The Business Council and other members of the state's business community.

The first measure would require the Public Service Commission to impose financial penalties on utilities that sell sulfur dioxide emission allowances to certain "upwind" states (S.4917 - Marcellino, A.9090 - Brodsky.) Proponents of the bill claim that it would help reduce acid rain in New York State, but the Business Council and others argued that it would have no impact on the national SO2 allowance trading market, and therefore no impact on allowable emissions.

The second measure would ban the sale of gasoline containing the additive MTBE in New York by January 1, 2004 (S.6137 - Marcellino, A.5513 - DiNapoli). The use of MTBE was driven by the federal Clean Air Act as a measure to produce cleaner burning gasoline. The ban was based on concerns about the impact of MTBE on drinking water supplies caused by gasoline leaks. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is considering a nationwide phase-out of the additive.

Copies of the Governor's press release on these bills can be found on the web:

THE TRADITION CONTINUES

An Albany tradition continues this year when the sixth annual "Buffalo Night" takes place on Monday, June 5, 2000. Always one of the most fun nights of the year, Buffalo Night is sponsored by the Buffalo-Niagara Partnership as a way to celebrate New York's second largest city, its people and businesses. The evening will feature all the best in culinary delights from Western New York, including chicken wings, beef-on-weck and, of course, loganberry soda. In addition there will be plenty of door prizes and giveaways for everyone. The event will take place from 5:30 - 8:30 at the Riverfront Bar and Grill, 51 Erie Boulevard, at the Corning Preserve in Albany. Tickets are $30 in advance, $35 day of event. For more information contact the Buffalo-Niagara Partnership at (716)852-2762 ext. 889.