Assembly Passes NYLCV Priority Legislation On Water Quality
Submitted by Dan Hendrick on Thu, 2012-04-26 16:01.
The New York Assembly -- the lower house of the state Legislature -- on Wednesday approved one of NYLCV's top legislative priorities of the year.
As part of a broad package of environmental legislation, the Assembly approved the Sewage Pollution Right to Know Act, which was sponsored by Assembly Member Bob Sweeney. The bill now goes on to the State Senate, where Sen. Mark Grisanti is the lead sponsor.
The Sewage Pollution Right to Know Act requires sewage treatment plants to notify the public when raw or partially treated sewage is discharged into New York waters. The public notification must include the volume, date, and time of the discharge, as well as an estimate of the time it will take to end it and updates on the steps being taken to contain the sewage contamination.
New York is the only state with ocean, estuarine and Great Lakes coastlines. Our beautiful waters are a major contributor to our local economies. However, billions of gallons of untreated or partially treated sewage are still discharged into public water supplies each year.
According to Riverkeeper, human exposure to disease-causing pathogens contained in even small amounts of raw sewage can lead to short-term and chronic illnesses, especially for children, the elderly and people with compromised immune systems. Despite the fact that waterborne illnesses are underreported, the number of documented illnesses resulting from swimming is on the rise nationwide.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that between 1.8 and 3.5 million Americans become ill annually from contact with sewage in recreational waters.
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