NYSAC Recognizes Poloncarz for Erie County Microbead Leadership

Modified: February 3, 2016 3:57pm

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Date: 
2/3/16

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NYS Association of Counties Notes Erie’s Effort to Ban Microbeads, Effect Local Change

ERIE COUNTY, NY— The New York State Association of Counties (“NYSAC”) this week recognized the Water Quality Leadership of Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz at NYSAC’s annual conference in Albany.  Poloncarz was honored by a delegation of officials from around New York for leading Erie County’s effort to enact a local law banning microbeads, an initiative which resulted in several counties in New York and other states enacting similar legislation.

“Counties are in a position to lead on the issues that directly affect their residents, such as protecting water quality, and can directly impact legislation at the state and federal levels by moving on these issues, raising awareness of their importance and working with partners to better care for our communities,” said Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz. “I am honored to be recognized for leading Erie County’s efforts to ban microbeads and hope that we can continue to serve as an example for other municipalities to take direct action on the issues that affect them and effect positive change for their own communities.”

In August 2015, Poloncarz signed a local law banning the sale of products containing microbeads in Erie County, a measure that spurred similar legislation in several other counties and was ultimately followed in December 2015 by federal legislation proposing a phased-in ban of microbead-containing products. The Microbead-Free Waters Act of 2015 was signed by President Obama on December 28.

“It is my pleasure to recognize Mark Poloncarz for his leadership, not just by enacting a local law, but for also leading an educational effort across the state and nation on the effects of water pollution,” said NYSAC Executive Director Stephen J. Acquario in presenting Poloncarz with a copy of the bill signed by President Obama.

Erie County’s local law was the first in New York State to address microbeads.