Bill Memo: Right to Clean Water
This legislation requires that relevant state agencies consider the right to safe, clean, affordable, and accessible water when establishing policies, regulations, or grant criteria.
Decisions made by agencies like the New York Department of Health, Department of Environmental Conservation, and Public Service Commission can have long-lasting impacts on the quality of New Yorkers’ tap water. Their policies should further the goal of providing drinking water that is free from contamination to current and future generations of New Yorkers.
Requiring agencies to grapple with potential clean water impacts as part of the decision-making process ensures these issues are not overlooked or arbitrarily considered. This legislation will give citizens another tool to protect clean water in their community through administrative challenge.
Drinking water contamination remains a major concern in the State of New York. Toxic chemicals like PFOA, PFOS, 1,4-dioxane, and others have polluted drinking water supplies across the state. Hundreds of thousands of lead water pipes leach dangerous neurotoxins into our tap water. Additionally, droughts and floods exacerbated by the climate crisis will reshape communities’ access to clean water. This legislation will ensure that these challenges are addressed comprehensively and holistically by our state agencies.
Environmental Advocates NY Bill Rating: Beneficial
Memo #: 31