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Letter: County’s law invalid

Editor, The Spotlight:

Even though one could argue Local Law C passed by the Albany County Legislature banning the sale, purchase or acquisition of natural gas waste within the county is a good law, it was not passed properly by the legislature. The law is unenforceable as acted upon.

One of the many New York State mandates local governments must deal with is the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA). It stipulates that no governmental agency can make a final decision on environmental issues until a SEQR action is completed. All local governments must consider environmental impacts during the discretionary decision making process. This process must take place, and a SEQR determination voted on, before a final decision or law is passed.

The Albany County Legislature’s Majority ignored the SEQR process during its deliberations on Local Law C. No SEQR materials were given to legislators, and no environmental impact was voted on by the legislature. The law as passed is invalid.

Local Law C should be rescinded or vetoed until it can be acted upon properly and legally by the Albany County Legislature. The failure of the Majority Counsel’s Office to address SEQR in a proper manner is inexcusable.

Christine Benedict

Albany County legislator, Colonie

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