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Village Board supports clean air, water amendment to state Constitution

The governing body of this Seneca County village believes state residents have a right to clean water, clean air and a healthful environment as much as they do free speech and assembly, and to host and play Bingo.

The Village Board recently voted to support a proposed amendment to the state Constitution by adding this single sentence to the Bill of Rights:

“Each person shall have a right to clean air, clean water and a healthful environment.”

Speaking to the county Board of Supervisors April 9, Village Board member Tony Del Plato urged supervisors to support the proposed amendment.

“If the New York State Bill of Rights secures an individual’s right to host and play Bingo under Section 9, subsection 2, then it really should secure a right to clean air and water,” Del Plato said.

He said the proposed amendment is moving through the state Assembly and Senate with “broad bipartisan support,” and he predicted it would reach each house’s floor for a vote soon.

“Academics and policy wonks will work out the details, giving this amendment teeth,” Del Plato said.

The Village Board motion notes that New York communities such as Hoosick Falls, Long Island and Newburgh, along with Flint, Mich., have suffered tainted water systems because of malfeasance or other corrupt decisions by government and/or private interests. It notes that Interlaken has a municipal water system that provides clean and healthy water to those in the system.

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