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August 23, 2009

The Journal News
Letter to the editor

New bottle law hurts beer distributors

Re your Aug. 18 editorial, "Clear victory for environment": We are extremely disappointed with the lifting of the injunction on the expanded bottle bill provisions. Federal Judge Batts' decision to immediately implement the terms of expansion as described in the governor's budget will create nothing short of chaos in the marketplace.

Summer is the beer industry's busiest season and the rainy July has already hurt sales. Product in the marketplace has only been priced to meet the costs of the existing bottle bill. Immediately seizing 80 percent of the unredeemed deposits and increasing the handling fee by 75 percent, will result in drastic price increases to consumers and devastating losses to wholesalers; potentially forcing some to go out of business.

Our association asks the governor to contemplate a gradual implementation of the various and costly measures of expansion in order for the marketplace to adjust. This would reap less havoc and ensure that established businesses are able to remain viable entities, and that New York residents' budgets are not negatively impacted.

Steven W. Harris



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