The Daily Gazette
The Locally Owned Voice Of The Capital Region

NY bill adds penalties for polluting criminals

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ALBANY — The New York state Senate has approved legislation designed to hold criminals responsible for the environmental damage occurring during their crimes.

Sponsors say current criminal mischief statutes don't adequately address environmental devastation, so the bill would make crimes that result in large-scale environmental damage a class C felony.

The bill approved Wednesday is sponsored by Sen. Joseph Robach of Rochester. He pointed to an incident in western New York in which criminals who broke into an electrical transformer to steal copper caused an oil spill that caused $1 million worth of environmental damage.

The bill was sent to the Assembly.