Assemblywoman Sandy Galef applauds Governor Andrew Cuomo for signing the Sewage Pollution Right to Know Act. This legislation, A.10585A / S.6268D, was passed in June with bipartisan support. The new law requires the quick reporting of sewage spills and leakage. Galef was a sponsor of the bill along with a statewide coalition of 25 environmental organizations. Thursday, August 9, the same day the bill was signed into law, a broken sewer line in Tarrytown spilled millions of gallons of sewage into the Hudson River. This prompted health warnings and closing of beaches.
“Although this law does not go into effect until 2013, the sentiment has been applied in the sense that the county reported the sewage spill so quickly,” said Assemblywoman Galef. “I applaud what happened this time; transparency and disclosure are critical so that people who would normally use local beaches are not affected.”
Westchester was criticized in 2010 for waiting too long to publicize spills, but in this current case the counties got the information out to the public quickly and efficiently and was then extensively reported by the media. Westchester and Rockland health advisories went into effect; the beaches at Westchester’s Croton Point Park and at the Philipse Manor Beach Club in Sleepy Hollow were immediately closed.
“As we can see with this most recent incident, which happened in the middle of the summer season, we must continue to be vigilant in reporting these types of accidents to ensure our public safety,” Galef concluded.