McCoy signs two green bills into law

ALBANY COUNTY — On Tuesday, Albany County Executive Daniel McCoy signed two local laws to help with environmental efforts: one is for a five-cent fee on paper bags at retail stores and the other creates a loan program for sustainable energy projects.

Working with the statewide not-for-profit Energy Improvement Corporation and municipalities through the new Energize NY Open C-PACE program, property owners can have all of their upfront costs covered to make improvements that lower carbon emissions. The loans are repayable in annual installments as charges on real properties.

The law for the loan program will take effect upon its filing with the Secretary of State. The nickel fee for paper bags will go into effect when the state-imposed plastic bag ban goes into effect on March 1, 2020.

“Paper bags have a significant carbon impact in manufacturing and shipment, and are not the answer to combating pollution and reducing emissions,” said McCoy in a release from his office. “Local Law D appropriately ensures that those that cannot afford the fee are either exempt or can avoid the charge by bringing their own bag. With the fee partially funding County programs to distribute free reusable bags and the State Environmental Protection Fund, we will be able to continually build on the benefits felt over the years to come.”

Democratic legislators Joanne Cunningham of Delmar and Rick Touchette of Coeymans were the lead sponsors of both local laws.

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