NY Governor Appoints Eight to Drinking Water Quality Council

Scheduled to meet for the first time Oct. 2, the council will address a range of emerging water quality issues. Its first task will be to make recommendations to establish enforceable Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs) for three priority emerging contaminants: perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS), and 1,4-dioxane.

New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Sept. 22 announced his eight appointees to the 12-member Drinking Water Quality Council that will guide New York's actions to ensure all communities across the state have access to clean drinking water. Scheduled to meet for the first time Oct. 2, the council will address a range of emerging water quality issues and solicit outside industry experts, as well. Its first task will be to make recommendations to establish enforceable Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs) for three priority emerging contaminants, which are not regulated by the federal government, that have been found in New York: perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS), and 1,4-dioxane.

A second meeting of the council will happen later this year.

"New York is once again stepping up as the federal government continues to ignore its duty to provide clear guidance to protect drinking water quality," Cuomo said. "Using the best available science and tapping an array of experts, this new council will provide science-based recommendations for the development of regulations to assure that good-quality drinking water remains available to all New Yorkers. Water quality is a national issue that requires consistent national standards, but New York can no longer afford to wait."

Established as part of the FY2018 budget, the council also will make recommendations to the New York State Department of Health on:

  • appropriate timeframes and frequencies for testing emerging contaminants
  • best practices for public notifications if an emerging contaminant is found above a notification level in drinking water
  • whether and when to remove contaminants from an emerging contaminants list

The council will be chaired by New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker and will include State Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos and six others appointed by the governor for their expertise in water operations, risk assessment, microbiology, and environmental engineering. The remaining four members were appointed by the governor at the recommendation of the Temporary President of the Senate and the Speaker of the Assembly; those members include water operations representatives and representatives of the public who have a background or expertise in toxicology or health risk assessment.

Besides Zucker and Seggos, Cuomo's appointees are:

  • Dr. Roger Sokol, Ph.D., director, Division of Environmental Health Protection, Center for Environmental Health, NYSDOH
  • Scott Stoner, chief, Standards and Water Quality Assessment Section, Division of Water, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
  • Stanley J. Carey, Massapequa Water District superintendent, Long Island Water Conference chairmanDr. Joseph H. Graziano, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health professor, Environmental Health Sciences and Pharmacology
  • Dr. Sandra Nierzwicki-Bauer, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Darrin Fresh Water Institute associate director and professor
  • Dr. Harold Walker, Stony Brook University Department of Civil Engineering professor and chair, Stony Brook Center for Clean Water Technology co-director

Senate and Assembly appointees are:

  • Sarah Jocelyn Meyland, J.D., associate professor, New York Institute of Technology
  • Steven Schindler, director, Water Quality, NYC Department of Environmental Protection, Bureau of Water Supply
  • Kris Dimmick, P.E., PWLF, professional engineer, BCA Engineers & Architects
  • Paul Granger, P.E., superintendent, Port Washington Water District

NYS Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan said, "The Drinking Water Quality Council will be a crucial tool to help ensure New Yorkers maintain access to clean and safe drinking water. Kris Dimmick and Paul Granger, the State Senate's two appointments to the council, will certainly add valuable knowledge and experience on this overall issue. The formation of the council builds upon the historic investment of $2.5 billion, advocated by Senate Republicans and approved in the state budget, for clean water projects throughout the state."

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