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Thiele Bills Target Water Pollution

Wed, 06/08/2022 - 18:30

Legislation to increase and protect access to water supply, sponsored by State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr., has been approved by both the Assembly and the Senate, and is awaiting the governor’s signature.

Included in the package of bills is one ensuring that polluters do not benefit from either state assistance payments or grants made by the State Environmental Facilities Corporation. Such funding helps pay for projects that restore sources of water supply that have been contaminated.

This law guarantees that the compensation required from polluters is not reduced by the amount of state assistance paid to a municipality. Another law allows property owners on private roads to obtain water from a public water system without the approval of other landowners.

A third law gives remedy in the courts to public water suppliers, such as the Suffolk County Water Authority, by ensuring that they can intervene against polluters responsible for contaminating sources of water supply.

“Ratepayers should not face higher costs due to the inappropriate behaviors of polluters, who should instead be held responsible and pay for the damages they create to the environment, including sources of water supply,” Mr. Thiele said in a statement on Monday. “These bills give needed remedies to public water suppliers and prevent polluters from benefiting from state assistance and grants. This will ensure that the polluter pays, not the taxpayer, in addressing pollution of our drinking water. I am proud this common-sense legislation passed the Senate and the Assembly, and I urge Governor Hochul to sign them into law.”

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