For Immediate Release
New York labor, local government, and environmental advocacy groups are urging New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to provide $100 million for the state’s Lead Service Line Replacement Program.
On the campaign trail, the Governor promised new state funding to protect drinking water. The groups are urging Cuomo to fulfill this pledge to New Yorkers in his upcoming budget.
New York’s Lead Service Line Replacement Program helps municipalities replace aging water pipes that can leach toxic levels of lead into drinking water. It is funded through the Clean Water Infrastructure Act.
“Protecting access to clean water must be a top priority for New York,” said Nisha Swinton, Senior Organizer with Food & Water Watch. “Governor Cuomo can be a national leader by making a serious commitment in his budget to replace dangerous lead lines.”
“Access to clean water is a fundamental right. Governor Cuomo must ensure that New York's water is safe from potential toxins and bacteria by investing in updating aging infrastructure to protect our communities and families by making a commitment in this year budget,” said Maritza Silva-Farrell, executive director of ALIGN (The Alliance for a Greater New York).
“Thousands of lead pipes remain in service across the state that deliver drinking water to New York homes. At any moment, lead could leach into the drinking water from these lines, and in many cases lead contamination has already occurred, threatening the health of our children and families,” said Frank Natalie of UA Plumbers and Steamfitters Local 7. “We hope Governor Cuomo acts on his acknowledgment of the imminent health risk lead poses to our citizens by increasing funding for the State's Lead Service Line Replacement Program to $100 million in the new budget. The UA plumbers are committed to assisting in the excavation and replacement of these lines. Lead poisons our bodies, thus we need to act now.”
Rob Hayes, clean water associate for Environmental Advocates of New York said, “At a time when lead contamination is a growing threat, New Yorkers need Governor Cuomo to follow through on his promise to protect our drinking water and increase funding for the critical Lead Service Line Replacement Program. The budget address today is his chance to lead the way in eliminating the threat to human health buried beneath our feet.”