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For Release — January 13, 2009

Business Council provides testimony on DEC budget

ALBANY— The Business Council of New York State, Inc. opposes the expanded bottle bill and made a call for restraint on fees and regulation in budget testimony to the Senate Finance and Assembly Ways and Means Committees' hearing today on the Department of Environmental Conservation budget.

“The Business Council supports the continuation of the cap on Title V air permit fees, adding that New York's existing air permit fees are already higher than other states,” said Ken Pokalsky, senior director of government affairs.

“Manufacturers and power utilities would have to shift resources from other investment to accommodate these increased charges,” added Pokalsky. “This would damage the competitiveness of our manufacturing sector by adding to the state's already high electric power prices.”

“The expanded bottle bill is a bad idea. Touted as an environmental measure it is really a hidden tax on New York state manufacturers, bottlers, distributors and ultimately consumers,” said Pokalsky.

New York operates two separate state-wide recycling programs: mandated municipal recycling for post-consumer wastes where there is a market, and mandated store-based recycling for certain beverage containers. This proposal would impose a $120 million per year cost on New York consumers, while taking valuable post-consumer materials out of the municipal recycling programs.

The Business Council also voiced support for a high-level, multi-discipline review of major regulatory proposals in the Executive Chamber, an idea first reported on in August.

“This approach would be especially appropriate for environmental rulemakings that have a significant impact on business competitiveness,” said Pokalsky.

He cited the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative and the recent New Source Review regulation as examples of environmental rulemakings that should have received this kind of review before being implemented.

The complete text of the testimony is available here.

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