[HISTORY: Adopted by the County Legislature of Tompkins County as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 11-17-2015 by L.L. No. 4-2015]
The Legislature hereby makes the following findings and determinations:
The Legislature hereby finds and determines that microbeads, a synthetic alternative ingredient to such natural materials as ground almonds, oatmeal, and pumice, found in over 100 personal-care and cosmetic products, including facial cleansers, shampoos, and toothpastes, pose a serious threat to Tompkins County's environment. Microbeads have been documented to collect harmful pollutants, already present in the environment, and harm fish and other aquatic organisms that form the base of the aquatic food chain. Microbeads have been found in high quantity in New York State's water bodies.
Research has indicated that the majority of these microbeads are entering bodies of water through disposal down household drains following the use of such personal-care products. Without significant and costly improvements to Tompkins County's sewage treatment facilities, microbeads contained in personal-care products will continue to pollute Cayuga Lake and other water bodies within Tompkins County.
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Any intentionally added plastic particle measured to be five millimeters or less in size used to exfoliate or cleanse in a personal-care product. The presence of microbeads can often be ascertained when the word "polyethylene" or "polypropylene" or "nylon" appears in the products ingredient list.
- PERSONAL-CARE PRODUCT
- Any product intended to be rubbed, poured, sprinkled, or sprayed on, introduced into, or otherwise applied to the human body or any part thereof for cleansing, beautifying, promoting attractiveness, or altering the appearance, including but not limited to soap, exfoliants, shampoos, toothpastes, and scrubs, and any article intended for use as a component of any such product. The term "personal-care product" shall not include any product for which a prescription is required for distribution or dispensation as provided in § 281 of the New York State Public Health Law or § 6810 of New York State Education Law.
It shall be unlawful in Tompkins County for any person, firm, corporation, or any other entity, no matter how constructed, to sell, offer, or expose for sale any personal-care product that contains microbeads as defined herein.
The County of Tompkins, through its Department of Weights and Measures ("the Department"), shall have sole jurisdiction to enforce the provisions of this article.
Any person, firm, corporation, or other entity who violates § 121-3 of this article shall be liable to a civil penalty not to exceed $2,500 for each day during which such violation continues, and, in addition thereto, such person, firm, corporation, or other entity may be enjoined from continuing such violation. For a second violation, such person, firm, corporation, or other entity shall be liable to a civil penalty not to exceed $5,000 for each day during which such violation continues, and, in addition thereto, such person, firm, corporation, or other entity may be enjoined from continuing such violation.
The Tompkins County Attorney may bring an action in the name of Tompkins County or the Tompkins County Department of Weights and Measures to recover the civil penalty provided by this article in any court of competent jurisdiction.
This article shall be null and void on the day that state-wide or federal legislation goes into effect incorporating either the same or substantially similar provisions as are contained in this article or in the event that a pertinent state or federal administrative agency issues and promulgates regulations preempting such action by the County of Tompkins. The Tompkins County Legislature shall determine by resolution whether or not identical or substantially similar state-wide or federal legislation has been enacted for purposes of triggering the provisions of this section.
If any clause, sentence, paragraph, subdivision, section, or part of this article or the application thereof to any person, individual, corporation, firm, partnership, or business shall be adjudged by any court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid or unconstitutional, such order or judgment shall not affect, impair, or invalidate the remainder thereof but shall be confined in its operation to the clause, sentence, paragraph, subdivision, section, or part of this article or its specific application.