Watchdog Supports Lead Pipe Right to Know Act

S5512 (Rivera) / A6115 (Paulin)
Lead Pipe Right to Know Act

The Lead Pipe Right to Know Act.

Section 1 states the name of the bill.

Section 2 adds a new section 1114-b to the Public Health Law to define terms. “Covered public water system” is defined as serving at least five connections used year-round or regularly serving at least 25 residents; or serving at least 25 people four or more hours per day, four or more days per week, 26 weeks or more a year. 

The bill provides that each covered public water system must submit to the Department of Health an inventory of all water service lines, their location, material composition, and other details. These inventories must comply with regulations promulgated by the Environmental Protection Agency, and include information such as address, whether parts of the service line were ever made of lead, and how the line’s material composition was verified. Inventory summary forms are to include water system names and ID numbers, number of lead service lines, and details on public service and customer service lines.

The bill goes on to provide public transparency measures. The Department of Health must make inventories available on its website, and publish this information in the form of a searchable, color-coded map for water systems serving over 10,000 people.

Section 3 states that the bill takes effect immediately.

Reinvent Albany supports this legislation because it improves transparency, could potentially save lives, and helps support data-driven investment of state resources on critical infrastructure needs. 

The bill requires that the Department of Health publish a color-coded map of most New York water systems detailing where water service lines are located and whether they have lead. This will help New Yorkers understand whether they are at risk for lead poisoning, and help New York take action to remove dangerous lead pipes throughout the state. As Environmental Advocates of NY has said, the state cannot fix what it cannot measure.

We urge the Assembly to pass the bill, which has already passed the Senate.

Click here to view this memo as a PDF.