Stock Image.ALBANY — New York’s never-enforced ban on single-use plastic bags has survived a lawsuit lodged by a plastic bag manufacturer and convenience store owners, but a state judge ruled Thursday that state regulators went too far by allowing stores to hand out thicker plastic bags.A state law effective March 1 bans many types of businesses from distributing the thin plastic bags that have been clogging up landfills, getting tangled in trees and accumulating in lakes and seas. Single-use paper bags are still allowed, but counties have the option of imposing a 5 cent fee.But the Department of Environmental Conservation agreed to delay enforcement of the law as the state fought to get a court to toss the lawsuit. And amid the COVID-19 pandemic, some retailers have prohibited customers from bringing in reusable bags that New York lawmakers hope to promote.State Supreme Court Justice Gerald Connolly ordered New York in a decision released Thursday to strike a part of the plastic bag ban regulations that some environmental activists worried would allow retailers to eventually hand out a bag several times thicker than the kind provided at Macy’s and shopping malls. The law itself says stores can still provide customers certain kinds of plastic bags, including produce bags or “bags prepackaged for sale to a customer.” But only the rules drawn up by state regulators specified that retailers can provide a customer a reusable bag made with plastic that’s at least 10 mils thick — as thick as about ten pieces of paper.Now, Justice Connolly says the state can’t enforce that part of the regulations.State environmental officials are reviewing the justice’s decision and plan to soon notify stores and businesses about when and how New York will start enforcing the law.For now, it’s unclear how exactly New York will enforce its single-use plastic bag ban. Justice Connolly said it’s “clear” the state’s plastic bag ban law would override New York’s existing recycling law that requires large retailers to make reusable bags available for purchase.State environmental conservation commissioner Basil Seggos has defended the regulations as making sense of the two laws. And his agency has said the plastic industry probably lacks the machinery to produce thicker plastic bags that could meet New York’s proposed standard and still be cost-effective.“The court’s decision is a victory and a vindication of New York state’s efforts to end the scourge of single-use plastic bags and a direct rebuke to the plastic bag manufacturers who tried to stop our law,” Seggos said in a statement.Justice Connolly said New York’s law “enacts a far broader ban of plastic bags” than first proposed in Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s original proposal to ban single-use plastic bags.The justice said that state regulators’ exemption for certain reusable plastic bags was in “plain contradiction” of the state law.“It remains, of course, within the province of the Legislature to enact legislation to the extent it seeks to expand the list of ‘exempt bags,’” he wrote.Justice Connolly said opponents failed in their arguments to strike down New York’s plastic bag ban in light of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.Plastic bag manufacturers and convenience store owners had argued New York’s plastic bag ban would bankrupt their industries. And they argued the court should discard the entire ban because state regulators needed legislative permission for their exemption for thicker plastic bags.Zachary Taylor, director of the American Recyclable Plastic Bag Alliance, said New York’s law is still “unworkable” and warned that small retailers will struggle to get paper bags amid the pandemic.The advocacy group, which represents the U.S. plastic bag manufacturing industry, has reported spending $145,000 on lobbying New York lawmakers who pushed for single-use bag regulations over the last two years, according to state lobbying records.“Unfortunately, we are back where we started, and New York’s bag ban is still broken,” Taylor said.Supporters of New York’s ban who had criticized the exemption for thicker bags said New York’s plastic bag ban is now a model for other states.“Once fully implemented, New Yorkers will see the benefits of this law almost immediately with less plastic bag litter in neighborhoods, parks and rivers,” Judith Enck, president of advocacy group Beyond Plastics and former EPA Regional Administrator, said. Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Two suspects were arrested and two more are being sought for an armed home invasion in which two teenagers were assaulted in Bellmore over the weekend, Nassau County police said.Lauren Morales, 28, and 20-year-old Nicholas Laurenti, both Hicksville, were arrested Monday and charged with first-degree burglary and assault.Police said Morales, Laurenti and two suspects who have yet to be apprehended entered the garage of a home on Lakeview Road, where they punched, kicked and hit two victims aged 17 and 19 with an aluminum bat in the face, head and body at 6:15 p.m. Saturday.The foursome then fled the scene. The victims, who were playing video games when they were attacked, refused medical attention at the scene.Morales and Laurenti will be arraigned Tuesday at First District Court in Hempstead.Seventh Squad detectives ask anyone with information regarding this case to call them at 516-573-6752 or Crime Stoppers at 1800-244-TIPS. All callers will remain anonymous.
Ireland’s raw desire shocked Wales into RBS 6 Nations submission, according to man-of-the-match Peter O’Mahony. O’Mahony praised forwards coach John Plumtree for his new raft of ideas and methods that had elevated Ireland’s driving game to new heights in their two-straight Six Nations wins so far this term. But he also laid credit at the door of line-out gurus like captain Paul O’Connell and hooker Rory Best, for their endless hours of analysis and meticulous tinkering. “John has put a big emphasis on our maul and our line-out, he wants us to be a great mauling and line-out team,” said O’Mahony. “You’ve guys there like Paul O’Connell, Devin Toner, Rory Best, Sean Cronin and Dan Tuohy – these guys spent an awesome amount of time on laptops and a savage amount of work. “Credit has to go to all of them. “John has put in great structures put the players are really driving that on.” Ireland will now chase the Triple Crown when they face England at Twickenham on February 22. O’Mahony said captain O’Connell sought a “statement” performance from Ireland against Wales that his side duly delivered. Despite Ireland’s flawless start to the tournament, O’Mahony believes it is too soon to be talking titles. “You all know the way Paul gets stuck in and he’ll lead from the front always, he was looking to put a statement in and it was a good one,” said O’Mahony. “It was a good way to start for us, it was a great team performance but we won’t be getting carried away. “We’ll give plaudits for the boys but we have a lot of work to do especially going to Twickenham for a seriously physical game. “We have a lot of work to do over the next two weeks. “It’s always a huge game against England. “It is always savagely physical, a game you love playing in an Irish jersey.” Ireland will reconvene in a training camp later this week ahead of the first fallow weekend of the Six Nations sequence. With two weeks to prepare to face England, head coach Joe Schmidt has plenty of time to switch the gameplan again. Schmidt’s bullish tight-game blueprint for Saturday caught Wales off guard. The Ireland boss claimed that was entirely based around expecting horrid weather that never quite materialised. Schmidt is canny enough to play down his influential interventions at every turn, and O’Mahony said it is too early to know just how Ireland will approach their Twickenham showdown. “The weather justified a lot of what we did [against Wales],” O’Mahony added. “We knew the maul was going to be important in a tight game. “We could see that coming earlier in the week with the forecast so that played a big factor. “We haven’t looked at England yet so it will be interesting to see how we approach that.” Head coach Warren Gatland was forced to concede Wales had few answers, and had struggled for emotional intensity. O’Mahony hailed Ireland’s “savage” training-ground work to hone their technically-sound driving maul, but pinpointed that mental edge as vital to victory. “A lot of that has to go down to the fight and the want that we showed,” said O’Mahony. “At the end of the day we wanted it more than they did, that was evident by the end of it. “I don’t think the scoreline flattered us, but we fought for everything. “That is where we need to be at, we need to be fighting for every 50:50 ball, everything that goes on the ground. “They are the ones that make the difference.” Ulstermen Chris Henry and Paddy Jackson both claimed first international tries as Ireland plundered match-winning dividend from their driving maul. Relentless flanker O’Mahony overwhelmed much-vaunted Sam Warburton at the pivotal battle of the breakdown in Ireland’s 26-3 demolition of Wales on Saturday. The 24-year-old Munster captain spearheaded Ireland’s controlled aggression and fire, completely catching Wales unawares. Press Association
Authorities in Miami-Dade are currently investigating a car crash where the driver of the vehicle had been shot moments before the crash occurred.Miami-Dade Police and Fire Rescue say that they responded to a building on the 11800 block of Northwest 12th Avenue Thursday, after witnesses reported that a vehicle crashed into the building.When authorities arrived to the scene, they found the victim with a gunshot wound to the head.The victim was then transported to Jackson Memorial Hospital in critical condition and is currently undergoing surgery.A witness who lives in the area says he heard a gun go off , a pause, and then more gunshots.Another witness told reporters that they saw the victim and the gunman’s vehicle were side-by-side before the gun went off and the victim crashed into the building.Authorities are still conducting their investigation.