Watch full press conference on Youtube.

As Earth Month comes to a close, County Executive George Latimer is announcing his introduction of four bills aimed at advancing the environmental goals of his administration. These new proposals come at the end of a month filled with action on the environment by Latimer on behalf of the roughly one million current residents of Westchester and all its future residents.

Latimer said: “Whether its ensuring communities that have been overlooked are now addressed to promote real environmental justice, encouraging our partners in government to find innovative ways to expand their renewable energy capacity or ensuring the safety of our parks and the children who play in them – these bills I am proud to introduce take aim at long-standing environmental issues we as a County must address. We only have one planet and its on us all to work to protect it.”

The environmental law package includes:

  • The Lead Free Parks Act which will create a process for monitoring and remediating drinking water in all County parks to ensure its safety for our children
  • The Addressing Asthma in Communities of Color Amendment which will create a subcommittee of the African-American Advisory Board dedicated to studying the high rates of Asthma in communities of color
  • The Renewable Energy Database Act which will allow the County to assist municipalities in their move to create more renewable energy by establishing a database to encourage siting of renewable energy infrastructure on municipal property
  • The Equity in Environmental Legislation Act which will ensure that all communities are treated fairly when the County is considering any new law in an effort to combat historical cases of violation of environmental justice

Deputy County Executive Ken Jenkins said: “It is important that we as a government representative of the people continue to look to find ways to right historical wrongs and bestow environmental justice. These bills put us on that path.”

County Director of Environment, Energy, & Sustainability Peter McCartt said: “We take our role as good stewards of our County very seriously – and the County Executive’s introduction of these wide ranging bills shows it. I am looking forward to working toward the eventual passage and implementation of these important initiatives.”

County Director of Research Ellen Hendrickx said: “When discussing these proposals, we aimed to find the balance of what is attainable both now and in the future, finding areas where both simple common-sense solutions can be merged with larger scale legislative fixes. This slate of bills accomplishes those tasks and we are eager to work toward seeing them become law.”

Environmental Advocates NY Director of Policy Conor Bambrick said: “We are inspired by Westchester County Executive Latimer’s environmental legislative package. These four bills will tackle vital issues like clean drinking water, asthma in communities of color, renewable energy, and environmental justice. I encourage the County Legislature to embrace these forward-thinking actions for the health of Westchester County residents and challenge the other counties and the state to follow suit.”

The introduction of these bills by Latimer begins the legislative process with the Board of Legislators.