Democratic state Sen. Liz Krueger in a letter to the Department of Environmental Conservation raised concerns with proposed regulations for the state's coming plastic bag ban in March.
Specifically, Krueger is concerned with the inclusions of thickness requirements for both "film plastic" and "reusable bag" that she called "unnecessary" and can still lead to single-use carryout bags that are just thicker.
"Such an outcome, which has occurred in other jurisdictions that have relied on thickness requirements, would leave New York worse off than we were with no ban in place," said Krueger, a Manhattan Democrat. "These definitions should not mention thickness at all."
The letter, sent Jan. 3, is in line with the issues raised by some environmental groups who have decried the proposed regulations as hindering the intent of the law.
The DEC has defended the proposal, arguing the criticism misses the mark and the law will move forward with its intent of reducing plastic waste.
But Krueger, a key Democrat in the state Senate who chairs the Finance Committee, says the rules governing the bag ban need to be tightened up.
"Any significant changes to that list beyond clarifications that further the overall intent of the bill should be made by the Legislature, not the Department," she wrote in the letter. "It is critically important that these rules be written as clearly and tightly as possible, to remove any uncertainty for businesses and consumers, and to ensure that the law is implemented as the Legislature intended. Thank you for your consideration."