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Governor asked to examine all options before disposing of surplus sanitizer

State Sen. Joseph Griffo, R-I-C-Rome, has sent Gov. Kathy Hochul a letter in which he urged the administration to thoroughly examine all the options available to the state for the disposal of unused NYS Clean sanitizer.

Griffo began looking into the issue after press accounts highlighted more than 700,000 gallons of sanitizer sitting unused on pallets at the New York State Preparedness Training Center in Oriskany.

“It is my understanding that the state is considering ways of disposing of this sanitizer, including shipping it out of state to be incinerated,” Sen. Griffo wrote to the governor. “This would likely be a costly endeavor. Before moving forward with such action, I urge you to thoroughly consider, explore and examine all of the potential options available when it comes to disposing of surplus materials.”

The federal government has issued an order not allowing any sanitizer made after March 2022 to be distributed. Former Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s NYS Clean initiative distributed nearly 1 million gallons of hand sanitizer to local governments since March 2020, but some 700,000 gallons of sanitizer can no longer be used following the federal order. The sanitizer was made by prisoners in the state’s prison system.

A Politico report states it could cost millions of dollars to dispose of the excess sanitizer.

The news outlet reported sanitizer continued to be made until October 2020, after the hand sanitizer shortage had ended.

“I recognize the ever-present need to be prepared if an emergency were to occur,” Griffo concluded. “However, we must ensure that this product does not go to waste and that taxpayer interests are protected.”

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