Senator Rachel May Unveils Bill Package to Ensure Health of New York’s Water Resources

Senator Rachel May (D-Onondaga, Madison, Oneida) introduces the “Public Water Justice Act” and “New York Open Water Data Act” to help protect New York State’s critical freshwater resources. Senator May will introduce a third bill in the coming days to reduce Perfluorooctane Sulfonate (PFOS) water contamination, which is commonly used in the industrial production of plastics.     

  • “Public Water Justice Act” S9499 prohibits the bottling and sale of the state’s water without a license and requires anyone profiting off the sale of the state’s water to pay into a public water justice fund to protect New York’s watersheds.
  • “New York Open Water Data Act” S9520 brings together New York State’s water-related agencies to create, operate, and maintain a water data website, ensuring our freshwater resources are managed efficiently and will also give water users access to essential data to help inform decisions.
  • "PFOS Discharge Disclosure Act" will require the DEC to create rules for testing and reporting the discharge of these chemicals into the surface waters of the state. 

“Upstate New York is home to an extraordinary wealth of freshwater. As the planet warms and water dries up elsewhere, our lakes, rivers, ponds, and streams are becoming more precious - and more sought after. We should expect an influx of people who want to share this bounty and corporations that prize our water for cooling their factories or simply want to sell it for profit. This bill package will help protect our freshwater treasures for future generations, for the health and wellbeing of all who live here, and for the sake of the upstate economy. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the state legislature and Governor Hochul on these critical bills during the next legislative session,” Senator Rachel May, said.

“I’m excited to have introduced the Public Water Justice Act with State Senator Rachel May who is one of the fiercest champions for environmental justice in our state. Our bill will regulate the extraction of water by bottling companies and as result it will help fund projects around the state that invest in water affordability, access to safe and clean water, and protect public and individual health. I look forward to working with advocates and Senator May in getting this done so that we can use one of our greatest treasures to advance equity for communities who have been left out of this conversation for too long,” said Assemblymember Jessica González-Rojas, Assembly sponsor of the Public Water Justice Act.