Press-Republican

Politics and Elections

October 7, 2012

Environmental group pans North Country lawmakers

PLATTSBURGH — An environmental watchdog group rates North Country state lawmakers poorly on its annual report card.

But the trio of legislators say that assessment is not viable.

The environmental group EPL/Environmental Advocates rated lawmakers based on their votes on bills with environmental implications in 2012.

Assemblywomen Janet Duprey (R-Peru) and Teresa Sayward (R-Willsboro) had scores of 41 out of 100 points and 53 out of 100, respectively, and State Sen. Betty Little (R-Queensbury) had the worst score, with 18.

“Northern New York is one of the most beautiful regions in the country, but you would never know it by the way most of its elected officials voted,” EPL Executive Director Rob Moore said in a statement.

“We saw scores fall across the board for each of the legislative conferences, based on a variety of factors, including the lack of action on bills most critical to our environmental health, as well as an increase in the passage of the bills that actually do harm.”

‘DIFFERENT VIEW’

Duprey, who has been in the Assembly since 2007, said EPL’s report is flawed.

“This group of environmentalists have a very different view of what is good for the North Country, particularly to the Adirondacks, than those of us who live here,” she said.

“Many of their bills are opposed by the agriculture community, as further restrictions increase the cost of farming. Our farmers make their living off the land, and they are good stewards of the environment and don’t need my well-meaning but misguided colleagues from downstate telling them how to operate their farms.”

Duprey said she supported some legislation, such as restricting transportation of invasive species into the region, and she opposed such bills as forcing homes with private wells to pay for testing.

“In reviewing and determining which environmental bills to support, I rely on input from the constituents affected and North Country common sense,” she said.

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