Environmental groups support efforts to establish list of dangerous chemicals to be tested in drinking water

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ALBANY – Clean water advocates joined forces with Assembly members to urge passage of a law that would establish a list of dangerous chemicals to be testing for in drinking water, and set a deadline for the health department to implement the testing.

The legislation lists emerging contaminants that all New York communities would be required to test for in their drinking water, said bill co-sponsor Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee (D, Ramapo).

“It is so important to assure that the water that we drink is safe and sustainable,” Jaffee said. “Our children and all residents in communities large and small, urban, suburban and rural, should be able to turn on the tap and rink water without fear of consuming contaminants that put their families at greater risk.”

Included among the list of emerging contaminants are PFOA and PFOS, two of the chemicals poisoning the City of Newburgh’s Washington Lake reservoir that has been turned off for three years.

Backers of the legislation include Environmental Advocates of New York, NYPIRG, the Firefighters Association of the State of New York, the Newburgh Clean Water Project, Quassaick Creek Watershed Alliance, New York Water Project, Clean and Healthy New York, Riverkeeper, Earthjustice and Battenkill Conservancy.

At the present time this is a one-house bill; there is no Senate companion bill, but Jaffee is hopeful one will be introduced and acted upon before lawmakers end their session in mid-June.