Health officials in New York state will issue regulations for 23 chemicals considered “emerging contaminants” in drinking water in a bid to strengthen their drinking water standards.
The upcoming regulations will begin a 60-day public comment period aimed at complying with drinking water quality laws approved by the governor earlier this year. Kathy Hocher.
These laws are designed to address contaminants in water such as polyfluoroalkyl substances or PFAS. For decades, these chemicals have been used to make fire-fighting foam, non-stick cookware and waterproof fabrics.
But the chemical has also been found in drinking water in northern communities in recent years, leading officials to seek ways to limit its spread. PFAS and similar pollutants break down slowly in the environment, making them potential health risks.
New York will regulate four more PFASs, a move that would require the state’s public water system to lower levels when detected. If finalized, the regulations will work together to better control similar compounds, such as PFOS and PFOA, which were previously adopted in 2020.
Meanwhile, 19 additional PFAS compounds are being proposed for testing, reporting and public notification.
“New Yorkers should know that their drinking water is one of the most protected in the country,” said Health Commissioner Mary Bassett. “New York has been a leader in emerging pollutants, and today’s announcement represents another important milestone.”