NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
BILL NUMBER: A5896
SPONSOR: Schimel (MS)
TITLE OF BILL:
An act to amend the environmental conservation law, in relation to
prohibiting the distribution and sale of personal cosmetic products
PURPOSE OF BILL:
The bill would prohibit the sale of personal cosmetic products which
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS OF BILL:
Section one of the bill provides the legislative intent of title 9 of
article 37 of the environmental conservation law.
Section two amends article 37 of the environmental conservation law by
adding a new title 9 which:
1. establishes the title of the Act as the "Microbead-free Waters Act";
2. defines the terms "microbead" and "personal cosmetic product";
3. prohibits the sale of personal cosmetic products which contain
4. vests all matters pertaining to microbeads in personal cosmetic
products with the State; and
5. authorizes the Department of Environmental Conservation to promulgate
rules and regulations to implement Title 9.
Section three amends section 71-3703 of the environmental conservation
law to establish penalties for violations.
Section four is the effective date.
New York State has spent a tremendous amount of money to revitalize and
redevelop its waterfronts. Recently, microbeads, a plastic product often
measured to be as small as a grain of sand, have been found in high
concentrations in New York's Great Lakes, as well as in the Finger Lakes
and Mohawk River. The source of this pollution appears to be the sinks,
bathtubs and showers in our own homes. Consumers using personal cosmet-
ics that contain microbeads, like shampoos, soaps and toothpastes, are
washing away what most believe are harmless consumer waste. Unfortu-
nately, many of our wastewater treatment plants are unable, absent cost-
ly upgrades, to filter out these tiny plastics.
In response to this new source of pollution, some major corporations
have pledged to phase out the use of microbeads in their personal
cosmetic products. To this end, the Microbead-free Waters Act seeks to
ensure all other personal cosmetic companies follow suit by prohibiting
the distribution, and sale of personal cosmetic products that contain
This is new legislation.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS:
This act shall take effect January 1, 2016.
STATE OF NEW YORK
2015-2016 Regular Sessions
March 5, 2015
Introduced by M. of A. SCHIMEL, ENGLEBRIGHT, COLTON, JAFFEE, TITONE,
CRESPO, GOTTFRIED, DINOWITZ, ROSENTHAL, ROBERTS, MILLER -- Multi-Spon-
sored by -- M. of A. COOK, SOLAGES, THIELE -- (at request of the
Department of Law) -- read once and referred to the Committee on Envi-
AN ACT to amend the environmental conservation law, in relation to
prohibiting the distribution and sale of personal cosmetic products
The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-bly, do enact as follows:
1 Section 1. Legislative intent. The legislature hereby finds that
2 microbeads, a synthetic alternative ingredient to such natural materials
3 as ground almonds, oatmeal and pumice, found in over one hundred
4 personal cosmetic products, including facial cleansers, shampoos and
5 toothpastes, pose a serious threat to New York's environment.
6 Microbeads have been documented to collect harmful pollutants, already
7 present in the environment, and harm fish and other aquatic organisms
8 that form the base of the aquatic food chain. Recently, microbeads have
9 been recorded in New York's water bodies, and in particular, the waters
10 of Lake Erie. Research has suggested that the majority of these micro-
11 beads are entering water bodies through disposal down household drains
12 following the use of such personal cosmetic products.
13 Without significant and costly improvements to the majority of New
14 York's sewage treatment facilities, microbeads contained in personal
15 cosmetic products will continue to pollute New York's waters and hinder
16 the ongoing efforts to restore the state's lakes and rivers, recreation-
17 al and commercial fisheries as well as recent substantial economic
18 investments in redeveloping New York's waterfronts.
19 § 2. Article 37 of the environmental conservation law is amended by
20 adding a new title 9 to read as follows:
EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
 is old law to be omitted.
A. 5896 2
1 TITLE 9
3 Section 37-0901. Short title.
4 37-0903. Definitions.
5 37-0905. Personal cosmetic products containing microbeads.
6 37-0907. Preemption.
7 37-0909. Rules and regulations.
8 § 37-0901. Short title.
9 This title shall be known and may be cited as the "microbead-free
10 waters act."
11 § 37-0903. Definitions.
12 1. The term "microbead" shall mean any plastic component of a personal
13 cosmetic product measured to be five millimeters or less in size.
14 2. The term "personal cosmetic product" shall mean any (a) article
15 intended to be rubbed, poured, sprinkled, or sprayed on, introduced
16 into, or otherwise applied to the human body or any part thereof for
17 cleansing, beautifying, promoting attractiveness, or altering the
18 appearance, and (b) article intended for use as a component of any such
19 article. The term "personal cosmetic product" shall not include any
20 product for which a prescription is required for distribution or dispen-
21 sation as provided in section two hundred eighty-one of the public
22 health law or section six thousand eight hundred ten of the education
24 § 37-0905. Personal cosmetic products containing microbeads.
25 No person shall sell or offer for sale any personal cosmetic product
26 which contains intentionally-added microbeads; provided, however, a
27 personal cosmetic product that is also regulated as a drug by the United
28 States Food and Drug Administration may be sold or offered for sale
29 until January first, two thousand seventeen.
30 § 37-0907. Preemption.
31 Jurisdiction in all matters pertaining to microbeads which are regu-
32 lated pursuant to the provisions of this title shall be vested exclu-
33 sively in the state.
34 § 37-0909. Rules and regulations.
35 The department is authorized to promulgate such rules and regulations
36 as it shall deem necessary to implement the provisions of this title.
37 § 3. Section 71-3703 of the environmental conservation law is amended
38 by adding a new subdivision 4 to read as follows:
39 4. Any person who violates any of the provisions of, or who fails to
40 perform any duty imposed by section 37-0905 of this chapter or any rule
41 or regulation promulgated pursuant thereto, shall be liable for a civil
42 penalty not to exceed two thousand five hundred dollars for each day
43 during which such violation continues, and in addition thereto, such
44 person may be enjoined from continuing such violation. Such person shall
45 for a second violation be liable to the people of the state for a civil
46 penalty not to exceed five thousand dollars for each day during which
47 such violation continues and such person may be enjoined from continuing
48 such violation.
49 § 4. This act shall take effect January 1, 2016.