Senator Kevin Thomas and the Senate Majority Pass Legislation To Improve Water Protections During Water Week

Kevin Thomas

April 27, 2021

(Albany, NY) - Senator Kevin Thomas, and the Senate Democratic Majority advanced legislation in recognition of Water Week to protect water quality and preserve New York State’s natural resources. This package establishes mandatory water testing for lead contamination in state and local parks, bans the use of harmful pesticides in children’s day camps, and prohibits the use of toxic coal tar in pavement production. This legislative package also encourages cost recovery by the Environmental Facilities Corporation and provides protections for New York taxpayers. This suite of legislation builds on the Senate Democratic Majority’s work to protect the quality of our drinking water, promote clean energy and create a cleaner, more environmentally-friendly New York.

Senator Kevin Thomas said, "Clean water is one of our most precious natural resources. I am proud to join my Senate colleagues in supporting this important legislative package, which will ensure that our water is protected from contaminants and pollutants for generations to come." 

The legislation passed by the Senate Democratic Majority includes: 

  • Water Testing for Lead In Public Parks: This bill, S.1256A, sponsored by Deputy Majority Leader Senator Michael Gianaris, requires testing for lead contamination in drinking water in public parks at least once every three years to ensure proper continual monitoring and remediation of drinking water quality in public parks.
  • Children’s Camp Pesticide Ban: This bill, S.4478A, sponsored by Senator Samra Brouk, prohibits the use of pesticides at children's overnight or summer day camps that will help protect the water supply at these facilities and neighboring properties.
  • Coal Tar Ban: This bill, S.4095B, sponsored by Senator James Sanders Jr., prohibits the sale and use of oil pavement products containing coal tar, a toxic material that can contaminate surface waters and groundwater.
  • Recovery Cost Restrictions: This bill, S.956, sponsored by Senator James Gaughran, prohibits parties found to be responsible for pollution that exceed federal and state water goals and standards from benefiting from state assistance payments or reimbursements granted to municipalities that expend these funds to clean up contamination caused by polluters. 
  • List of Emerging Contaminants: This bill S.1759, sponsored by Senator James Skoufis adds additional chemicals to the list of emerging contaminants that will be required to be tested for in drinking water.