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No penalties until April for stores handing out plastic bags

Posted at 11:13 AM, Feb 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-29 21:29:33-05

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York's environmental agency says it will wait until April 1 to impose penalties on stores that violate a new ban on single-use plastic bags that is the subject of a lawsuit.

New York will officially prohibit stores from handing out most thin plastic bags start Sunday.

But the state Department of Environmental Conservation said Friday that the state has agreed to delay enforcement as it fights a lawsuit in Albany County Supreme Court lodged by a bag manufacturer and convenience store owners who call the ban unconstitutional.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation said in a statement:

"When the law goes into effect on March 1, 2020, and immediately thereafter, DEC will continue its ongoing outreach and education efforts to help achieve compliance, focusing on informing the public and regulated entities about the law and its requirements. However, if there are retailers that remain in violation of the law, they will receive a warning for the first violation. The law’s violation provisions in ECL Section 27-2807 state that after a violator receives a warning, they will be liable for a penalty of $250 for a violation and then $500 for any subsequent violation in the same calendar year."