Assemblymen Dan Stec (R,C,I-Queensbury), Mike LiPetri (R-Massapequa), Kevin Byrne (R,C,Ref-Mahopac) and Colin Schmitt (R,C,I,Ref-New Windsor), alongside other members of the Assembly Minority Conference, hosted a forum Wednesday evening in New Windsor, NY in response to concerns about the Hudson Valley’s water sources. Invitees included environmental experts, municipal representatives, community members and the public.
The Assembly Minority Task Force on Water Quality hosted is third regional forum at the Vails Gate Fire Department. Specifically, the forum addressed challenges facing New York’s public water supply systems, including how best to develop long-term, sustainable solutions to protect the state’s water sources, address emerging contaminants and prioritize and fix aging water infrastructure.
“There must be a rock-solid guarantee that the building blocks of our society, like water, are safe and reliable, otherwise everything built on top of them will begin to fall apart,” said Assemblyman Stec, task force co-chairman. “We have a responsibility to protect these critical elements and this task force is a means to that end. Water is at the foundation of all we do, and we must ensure its availability and cleanliness for every resident of New York state.”
“Planning a day at the beach or on the lake should not have to include a water quality check before a visit. Unfortunately, more and more parents are forced to tell their children that the water is simply not safe to enter,” said Assemblyman LiPetri, task force co-chairman. “It is important to open the dialogue as legislators and work with regional and statewide stakeholders to develop solutions that make our lakes and rivers safe once again.”
At the conclusion of the forums, the Assembly Minority Task Force on Water Quality will generate a report of the state’s water needs and make recommendations for consideration from the entire Legislature.
“Clean, safe drinking water should be accessible for every man, woman and child in this state. Unfortunately, too many New Yorkers are forced to question if they have the ability to serve their families this fundamental necessity,” said Assemblyman Byrne. “At this task force hearing, we listened to many of the challenges we face, and discussed a variety of potential solutions that would help ensure everyone in this state has access to clean water. I look forward to continuing our work with my colleagues on this task force to deliver a practical plan that will help address our water infrastructure needs across the state.”
“Water quality concerns and water crises are impacting countless communities across our state. From emerging contaminants like PFAS/PFOA, aging infrastructure, depletion of aquifers to harmful algae blooms and wastewater treatment concerns all levels of government must work together to ensure all New Yorkers have safe, quality drinking water now and for future generations to come,” said Assemblyman Schmitt. “Together my Assembly Minority colleagues and I will fight to ensure through proper funding and legislative action that every New York citizen can have confidence in their water.”
The next regional forum is scheduled for Monday, November 18 at the Rose Caracappa Senior Center in Mt. Sinai. For more information on the forums, please contact the Assembly Minority Office of Public Affairs at 518-455-5073.