New legislation introduced to protect against emerging drinking water contaminants

NY Capitol Bureau
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ALBANY, N.Y.(NEXSTAR) — New legislation has been introduced that establishes a list of dangerous chemicals to be tested for in drinking water as well as a deadline for the New York State Department of Health (DOH) to carry out this testing. Richard Gottfried, the Assembly Health Committee Chair introduced the bill. 

Following drinking water contamination crises in Hoosick Falls, Petersburgh, Newburgh, and on Long Island recent data says that nearly 16 million New Yorkers are served by water systems where emerging contaminants have been detected. 

In New York State, communities less than 10,000 people are not required to test for emerging contaminants in their drinking water. This gap leaves approximately 2.5 million New York residents unaware of potential dangers when it comes to the safety of their drinking water.  

The Cuomo Administration had promised action to fix this issue on Sept. 7, 2016. However, 1,001 days have since passed and the DOH has yet to implement the statewide testing despite being told to do so by the Legislature in 2017. 

The legislation includes contaminants that all New York communities, no matter the size, will be required to test for in their drinking water. The list of toxic chemicals includes other contaminants known to occur in New York as well as PFOA and PFOS.  

In addition to the newly introduced legislation, advocates are pushing to pass several other bills that would protect drinking water and public health from emerging contaminants.  

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