NYS Legislature passes bill to ban water shut-offs during pandemic

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ALBANY, N.Y. (WIVB) — Both the New York State Senate and Assembly have passed a bill banning companies from shutting off water services during the COVID-19 state of emergency.

In addition to that, the bill bans shut-offs for 180 days after the state of emergency ends, prohibits late fees and penalties, and makes sure people have access to extended or deferred repayment plans.

According to Environmental Advocates of New York (EANY), the City of Buffalo shut off water services for people more than 17,000 times between 2015 and March 2019.

“Clean water is the first line of defense for all New Yorkers against the spread of COVID-19,” Maureen Cunningham, senior director for clean water at EANY. “We urge Governor Cuomo to act quickly by signing this essential legislation into law. While this is an important first step, New Yorkers whose water was cut off before the crisis still need this basic service restored. State leaders should continue to work on making water accessible and affordable for all New Yorkers.”

Evan Anstey is a digital content producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2015. See more of his work here and follow him on Twitter.

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