Photo courtesy of NYS Senate
“I will continue to work with my colleagues in government to make sure our region receives the resources necessary to ensure the safety of our drinking water.
“The current state program for water/sewer improvements is grant funded, which means that municipalities have to apply for grants and have to be approved by the relevant state agency. If asked, I certainly write in support of such applications. However, many municipalities, like Colonie, do not qualify for these grants. I have introduced legislation which would create a fund for water/sewer improvement identical in concept to CHIPS which is the program under which the State provides aid to all municipalities according to a fair formula based on the length of water and sewer lines in each municipality. This would assure that all municipalities get some funding to assist in this area as the Federal funding which was instrumental in building these systems no longer exists.
“Ok. This is a major issue of mine and I have multiple pressers on this. Millions isn’t nearly enough. If elected, I will fight for every penny I can get. I will used data, Look at water main breaks. I called for a health study of 200 random homes (in addition to our schools) because I know there are heavy metals in our water, as a result of rusted, aging pipelines. And nothing has been done. We have known about the issue for decades and representation has not moved an inch on this. Millions is a drop in the bucket. If elected, I will lobby the federal government for billions, with a “B”. Why? I have roads swallowing car in Albany, entire neighborhoods go without water for weeks in Troy. Mothers who make formula with tap water are slowly feeding infants heavy metals. Disgusting. Our electeds should be ashamed. We are broke, and yet, look at these issues. I am a leading voice in the state on this problem and to solve it we have to get serious about where all of our money is going. What good is ever expanding corporate and social welfare if the very ground we stand on is collapsing thanks to our failed water infrastructure?”
Reduction of toxic chemicals in our food and water supplies is one of my top priorities. I would fight to make sure that our region gets its share in funding for these extremely needed projects. Our roads are literally swallowing cars here, Western Ave is flooding, our sewer systems are petrified and ancient. We need it as much as anywhere.
I have been a vocal supporter of increased funding to improve our water infrastructure and very pleased we were about to secure over $200 million last year to address these serious needs.
I have a proposed bill to exempt the local muncipal costs of urgent or emergency or time sensitive remediation to address critical infrastructure investments from the real property tax levy limit of two percent. This would include expenditures to address high maintenance upgrades to prevent costly infrastructure failure in such municipality”
An aging, “historic” water infrastructure is an incredible challenge for municipalities across the state, where Civil War-era pipes and mains have broken down. As we talk about making government work for the twenty-first century, we need to properly invest and maintain our water infrastructure and I will continue to work with local leaders to identify potential ways to utilize state funding to make these improvements possible.
Work with DOH and DEC to determine appropriate levels of contaminants. Ensure our environmental regulation are upheld. The problem is we can’t keep up on all of the regulation. Many times the regulations of good intention are crushing our smallest businesses, but we can’t actually get out there and make sure our most important regs are being followed. We need to slow down and focus. To my point above, the infrastructure. I have called for a ten-year massive public works program that we need State and Federal investment for. Ensuring our potable water stays metal free, creating thousands of jobs. We also need to make sure our fresh water supplies are maintained. This is why I oppose the idea of fracking in most cases. It can poison the water. I think in areas where we are many miles away from any source of water, that the technology is appropriate, but because of the risks, I don’t support statewide ‘fracking.
Legislation I cosponsored to require school districts to test drinking water for lead contamination passed. Costs associated with testing and remediation will be eligible for reimbursement by the state. Currently, some school districts have voluntarily tested for lead, however it is not required. Additionally, safe drinking water must be provided and parents need to be notified of the test results in a timely manner.
I will stay diligent to make sure that our water is tested and meets the highest standard of safety. There is no more precious resource that clean water. It is imperative that we ensure it safety.
Flint Michigan. Hoosick Falls. Merrimack, New Hampshire. North Bennington Vermont. Lead. PFOA. If you’ve been paying attention, you have seen the tremors in the earthquake that is the water quality crisis.
We should have been listening to Erin Brockovich. It is estimated that hundreds of community water supplies could be contaminated in New York. If there’s one issue I’m willing to work across the aisle on in this state it is assuring that proper limits on PFOA are set and that our filtration mechanisms are affordable and top-notch.
I attended the hearings on the Hoosick water situation. The state knew the water was contaminated but took no action because the contaminants in question were not listed as prohibited under law. The law needs to be changed so that any contaminant known or unknown would prompt an immediate response if there is a reasonable likelihood of danger to the public health or safety.