Court Halts Bottle Bill

ALBANY—During a court appearance today, a federal judge issued a temporary injunction forestalling the implementation of the expanded bottle bill, which was enacted as part of the state budget.

This means that the measure will not go into effect, as planned, by June 1. There was recognition among state lawmakers that it had to be tweaked because of requirements for a New York-specific UPC code, but no action was taken.

So the bottlers sued, and until the suit is resolved, the law is suspended.

"Today, the court recognized the constitutional and due process problems created by the bottle bill," reads a statement issued by Nestle Waters North America C.E.O. Kim Jeffery, whose company brought the suit. "Beyond that, it will be up to the state legislature and the governor to address the environmental weaknesses of the new law.  It is absolutely critical they act swiftly to make the necessary changes so that New Yorkers have the benefit of healthy choices and environmental stewardship."

A spokeswoman for David Paterson, named as a party to the suit, declined to comment. Yesterday, Paterson said discussions surrounding a legislative fix continue.

Court Halts Bottle Bill