Environmental group ranks legislators


Environmental Advocates of New York has released its annual scorecard of state Legislators, and this year all of Monroe County's Assembly and Senate members received lower scores than they did last year, except for two Republican Assembly members.

The scorecard is based on a handful of environmental bills, identified by EANY as priorities. Among them: the Child Safe Products Act, a bill that would classify natural gas drilling waste as hazardous waste; a statewide microbead ban; a climate change bill; and a measure to clarify the state's definition of renewable fuels. Only one of the bills passed in the Senate and Assembly: a measure allowing local governments to buy streetlights from utilities, which enables the municipalities to replace them with more efficient ones.

The two members of Monroe County's Assembly delegation with improved scores are Republicans Bill Nojay and Steve Hawley. Nojay scored 26 out of 100 points, an improvement over last year's 23 (he has the lowest score of any Monroe County representative). Hawley went from 38 out of 100 points in 2014 to 43 points this year.

The scores of most of the other Assembly members took a hit because they voted for the renewable fuels measure, which EANY opposed. The bill would have extended biofuel production tax credits to some additional types of ethanol and fuel oil.

Each member of Monroe County's Senate delegation scored a 44. Their tallies were apparently influenced by their votes in favor of a bill that would have exempted landowners who planned to cut down trees in a wetland from getting a required Department of Environmental Conservation permit. And another bill that would have stalled a state effort to encourage more distributed renewable energy development, such as solar power systems.