December 9, 2019
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Signs Legislation to Help Prevent Water Contamination from 1,4-Dioxane

TOP Governor Cuomo Signs Legislation to Help...

New Law Prohibits Sale of Household Cleaning Products Containing 1,4-Dioxane and Limits Sale of Cosmetic and Personal Care Products with Certain Levels of 1,4-Dioxane

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Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today signed legislation (S.4389-B/A.6295-A) to help prevent the emerging contaminant 1,4-dioxane from contaminating New York's water systems. This new law prohibits the sale of household cleaning products containing 1,4-dioxane and limits the sale of cosmetic and personal care products with certain levels of 1,4-dioxane.

 

"As emerging contaminants like 1,4-dioxane continue to show up in water systems around the country, in New York we are taking aggressive action to keep our drinking water clean and safe," Governor Cuomo said. "In the absence of federal standards to limit the spread of this harmful contaminant, this new law builds on our efforts to protect and preserve our drinking water resources from these unregulated chemicals that threaten the health of New Yorkers and the environment."

 

Senator Todd Kaminsky, Chair of the Senate Environmental Conservation Committee, said, "New Yorkers deserve clean water, free of cancer-causing chemicals. That is precisely why my bill to ban cleaning and personal care products containing 1,4-dioxane is so critical. Long Islanders deserve pristine water -- nothing less will suffice. Thank you to Governor Cuomo for signing my legislation and for caring about such a fundamental issue for Long Islanders."

 

Assembly Member Steve Englebright, Chair of the Assembly  Environmental Conservation Committee, said,"I want to thank Governor Cuomo for signing my legislation to reduce the amount of 1,4-dioxane entering New York's drinking water by prohibiting its presence, in other than trace amounts, in cleansing and cosmetic products. 1,4-dioxane is categorized as likely carcinogenic to humans and is unfortunately found in many consumer products including cosmetics, detergents, deodorants, and shampoos. Once used by consumers and washed down the drain, it enters local water systems. Elevated levels of 1,4-dioxane have been found across the State, with EPA data showing that Long Island has the highest levels detected in the entire country. This new law will help prevent the introduction of this likely carcinogen into Long Island's drinking water."

 

The Environmental Protection Agency identifies 1,4-dioxane as a likely carcinogen to humans. Despite the documented health risks associated with exposure to 1,4-dioxane, it is still found in many consumer products. When these products containing 1,4-dioxane are used by consumers and washed down the drain, the contaminant enters local water systems. Elevated levels of 1,4-dioxane have been found in municipalities across the State, with EPA data showing that Long Island has the highest levels detected in the entire country. This new law will help prevent 1,4-dioxane from contaminating New York's waters by banning and limiting the sale of products that contain this harmful chemical. To ensure compliance with these requirements, this law would impose civil penalties of up to $1,000 for each day of violation and up to $2,500 each day for a second violation.

 

This new law takes effect on January, 1, 2022.

 

This new law builds on Governor Cuomo's leadership in proposing the nation's first maximum contaminant level for 1,4-dioxane, and the nation's most protective maximum contaminant levels for PFOAa and PFOS.

 

New York State leads the nation with the largest annual investment in water-quality infrastructure of any state. Under the leadership of Governor Cuomo, New York State's 2017 Clean Water Infrastructure Act and the FY 2020 Enacted Budget made $3 billion available to address critical water infrastructure needs, help local governments pay for water infrastructure construction projects, address water emergencies and investigate and mitigate emerging contaminants to ensure access to clean, drinkable water for all New Yorkers. In July 2019, Governor Cuomo announced $350 million for water quality improvement projects across the state, including those that combat emerging contaminants, such as PFOA, PFOS, and 1,4-dioxane, with system upgrades and innovative technologies, and those that address combined or sanitary sewer overflows impacts from flooding. The Governor also announced $27 million in grants to support nine Long Island projects that will remove emerging contaminants from drinking water.

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