Thursday, March 23, 2023

Play

A proposed flavored tobacco ban is back on the table in Minnesota, Trump attorney Evan Corcoran must testify in the documents probe, and a "clean slate" bill in Missouri would make "expungement" automatic.

Play

The Fed raises interest rates and reassures the banking system is sound, Norfolk Southern reaffirms a commitment to the people of East Palestine, and TikTok creators gather at the Capitol to support free expression.

Play

Finding childcare is a struggle everywhere, prompting North Carolina's Transylvania County to try a new approach. Maine is slowly building-out broadband access, but disagreements remain over whether local versus national companies should get the contracts, and specialty apps like "Farmers Dating" help those in small communities connect online.

NY Enacts New PFAS Testing, Notification Law

Play

Friday, January 7, 2022   

A new law on the books in New York establishes the most comprehensive drinking-water testing and notification program in the nation for Perfluorinated and Polyfluorinated Substances (PFAS), substances known as "forever chemicals."

Rob Hayes, director of clean water for Environmental Advocates NY, said every water utility across the state will have to test for the nearly two dozen toxic chemicals on the state's first list of emerging contaminants.

He pointed out notifications will be sent to the public if unsafe levels are detected in drinking water.

"New Yorkers are about to finally find out what's in their water and if they're being exposed to toxic PFAS chemicals," Hayes explained. "We're going to see testing, hopefully starting this year, and then, there will be regular testing happening for new contaminants every so often after that."

High exposure to PFAS chemicals has been found to negatively impact human health and the environment. Backers of the new law urged the state Department of Health to set notification levels for low amounts of every emerging contaminant listed.

Clean-water advocacy groups have been pushing for transparency about toxic chemicals for more than four years.

Manna Jo Greene, environmental action director for Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, said the legislation ties in with the new Green Amendment voters overwhelmingly passed on the November ballot.

"It's an actual amendment to the New York State Constitution that guarantees the right to clean air, clean water and a healthy environment," Greene outlined. "This is a specific way to implement and ensure those rights."

In recent years, New York has enacted several bills to eliminate the use of PFAS chemicals in products like firefighting foam and food packaging. Hayes hopes to see even more efforts to ban them in other products.

"Because really, if we want to prevent water contamination, we have to stop these chemicals at the source," Hayes contended. "When we put them into products, they end up in our environment, and they put public health at risk."

He noted a second list, including 14 more chemicals as emerging contaminants will be published in coming years. Under the law, the New York Department of Health must update the list of emerging contaminants at least every three years.


get more stories like this via email
In 2020, 35% of Idaho mothers had Medicaid at the time of their child's birth. (WavebreakMediaMicro/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

With concerning trends emerging for pregnant and postpartum women, frustration is growing that Idaho lawmakers could end the session without …


Health and Wellness

Health advocates are promoting a package of bills this legislative session to make health care easier to get - and more affordable. The Care 4 All …

Social Issues

A new study from the University of New Hampshire found New England's LGBTQ+ residents experience higher rates of food insufficiency, the measure of …


According to the Center for American Progress, nearly nine in 10 employers, four in five landlords, and three in five colleges use background checks to screen for applicants' criminal records. (Yurii Kibalnik/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

A large percentage of Missourians who could to have their criminal records "expunged" have not done so, despite the effects expungement -- referred …

Social Issues

A person's work personnel file can be important to review, but some Washingtonians are finding them hard to obtain. A bill in Olympia would ensure …

The most recent Farm Bill covered areas such as agricultural conservation, trade and foreign food assistance, farm credit and research. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

The U.S. Farm Bill is up for reauthorization, and Congress faces calls to avoid any delays so certain programs can keep helping farmers and consumers …

Social Issues

Youth advocates continue to sound the alarm over the impact flavored tobacco products have on teenagers, and hope Minnesota lawmakers take another …

Environment

As wildfire seasons in Colorado and across the American West become longer, less predictable and increasingly destructive, a new report aims to …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021