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Source: Long Island Business News

Sewage pollution disclosure bill passes


Posted: June 24, 2012
Originally Published: June 21, 2012

Both houses of the state Legislature on Thursday passed the Sewage Pollution Right to Know Act, a bill mandating public notices be issued within four hours of when raw or partially treated sewage is discharged into New York waters.

Notification will occur through local news outlets and the New York State Department of Enviornmental Conservation’s website. Environmentalists say the notice is necessary to prevent the public from being exposed to dangerous sewage pollution.

Sewage overflows occur in multiple waterways across New York state, contaminating beaches, bays, rivers, lakes and streams. The resulting effluent can flood streets and back up into homes or other buildings.

“Timely notification about sewage overflows will allow families to take precautions and avoid swimming in sewage, boating in bacteria, or fishing in filth,” said Adrienne Esposito, executive director for Farmingdale-based Citizens Campaign for the Environment, which lobbied hard for the act. “When it comes to harmful sewage pollution, ignorance is not bliss; it is dangerous.”

Esposito pointed out that more than a dozen other states, including Connecticut, have already enacted similar laws.

The New York bill, sponsored in the assembly by Assemblyman Robert Sweeney, D-Lindenhurst, must now be signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo before being enacted as law.