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Michael B. Gerrard and Edward McTiernanMichael B. Gerrard and Edward McTiernan ()

Last year at this time we explored how New York implements the federal Safe Drinking Water Act 42 U.S.C. §§300f to 300j-27) (SDWA). See Michael B. Gerrard & Edward McTiernan, “Role of Safe Drinking Water Act in Protecting Health,” N.Y.L.J., May 12, 2016. This year, New York’s budget was adopted against the backdrop of continuing drinking water challenges in Flint, Mich. and across New York state. As a result, significant changes in the way drinking water will be protected, monitored and mitigated emerged from this year’s New York state budget process. Although the Clean Water Bond Act grabbed most of the headlines, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo also signed into law two new statutes plus several amendments to existing laws designed to place New York at the forefront of efforts to ensure that drinking water is safe. In adopting the Emerging Contaminant Monitoring Act (ECMA) and the Mitigation and Remediation of Certain Solid Waste Site and Drinking Water Contamination (the Solid Waste Site/Drinking Water Contamination Act) (Chapter 57 of Laws of New York, 2017, to be codified at §1112 of the Public Health Law (PBH) and Title 12 of the Environmental Conservation Law (ECL)), New York has signaled its intention to move beyond the existing federal SDWA requirements. These new laws have the potential to alter the landscape for many years to come. Today’s article examines some of the key provisions of these new statutes and considers the impact that New York’s approach might have on companies with past or present operations in the Empire State.

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