March 3, 2023
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Troy Legislators Call on NYS to Direct Funding to Address the Health Care Crisis Related to Lead Poisoning
Troy Democratic legislators filed legislation calling on NYS to direct funds that will eliminate the health crisis caused by lead service lines that provide drinking water to Troy homes.
“Residents of Troy have a right to clean and safe water to drink, that is provided by their government, which they have paid for,” said Minority Leader Peter Grimm. “Our residents must trust that their government is doing everything they can to keep them informed and confident that services provided are not a threat to their health and well-being,” continued Grimm.
The Governor has allocated $ 30 million in Clean Water Infrastructure Act funding for lead service line replacement since 2017, with no new lead service line replacement awards made since 2019.
There is over $1 billion in Clean Water Infrastructure Act funding that has not yet been allocated to a particular program and which could be used for lead service line replacement.
New York State has access to additional grant funding for lead service line replacement through the federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, with $115 million in grants and loans available this year.
“This has to happen; we are demanding our NYS representatives to act now and direct available funds to the City of Troy. There is no time to waste, especially given the serious health crisis that already exists and directly affects our children,” said Deputy Minority Leader Cindy Doran.
City of Troy water officials estimate that there are 4500 lead service lines that need immediate replacement, costing upwards of $ 22 million.
Lead is a dangerous and pervasive neurotoxin for which there is no safe level of exposure or concentration, the impacts of which may impact speech, learning, attentiveness, antisocial behaviors, comas, convulsions, and even death.
Troy has detected such high levels of lead in its drinking water that it recently exceeded the US Environmental Protection Agency action level for lead.
“Access to clean and safe drinking water is a basic human right, and the need to replace lead service lines in Troy is both a public health concern and an issue of equity. It is imperative that New York State pursue and allocate funds to support lead service line replacement across the City in order to ensure everyone, regardless of income level, has access to safe and healthy water,” stated Legislator Nina Nichols, who serves on the Health Committee.
“Given the fact that thousands of Troy residents may be unaware that they have lead service pipes providing their drinking water, it is imperative that our NYS representatives hear our call,” said Doran.
County residents are invited and encouraged to attend the Public Forum of the Rensselaer County Legislature on Wednesday, March 8 at 6 PM at the new offices at 99 Troy Road to speak in support of this legislation.