Capitol Watch:

Plan to rid water of toxins inches ahead

WBEN Newsroom
December 15, 2019 - 6:25 am

(WBEN/AP)  New York is inching closer to ridding public water supplies of two chemicals found in some non-stick pots and pans. State health officials are set to appear Tuesday before the state's Drinking Water Quality Council.

They'll present a plan for setting drinking water limits of 10 parts per trillion for the chemicals PFOA and PFOS.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says PFOA and PFOS could potentially be harmful. The agency suggests that drinking water not contain levels of more than 70 parts per trillion, but that limit is voluntary.


New York is providing $66,000 in grant money for upgrades at one of the busiest trailheads in the state. The Smart Growth grant from the Department of Environmental Conservation was awarded to the Adirondack Mountain Club. The group will use it to upgrade parking and interpretive signage at the Heart Lake Program Center, the most heavily used access to the High Peaks. The organization says Heart Lake has over 100,000 visitors a year. That makes it an ideal location for disseminating educational information and promoting sustainable backcountry practices.


Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that the 2020 State of the State Address will be held in the Empire State Plaza Convention Center in Albany on January 8 at 1:30 PM. New Yorkers wishing to attend should visit the Governor's homepage to register between December 20th at 12:00 PM and December 30th at 5:00 PM.

Seating is limited and tickets are non-transferable. In the event that the number of requests exceeds available seating, attendees will be selected by lottery. Guests will be notified of their selection via email.


Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed legislation (S.3204/A.7667) to establish the 400 Years of African-American History Commission. The Commission will develop and carry out activities throughout New York State to commemorate 400 years since the arrival of the first enslaved Africans in the English Colonies. The commission will consist of 15 members selected by the Governor and legislative leaders as well as the Secretary of State and Commissioner of Education.

"This landmark anniversary is an opportunity to once again reflect on the evils of slavery and to honor the struggle and triumph of centuries of African-Americans who have fought against barriers of racial discrimination and enriched and enhanced the fabric of our country," Governor Cuomo said. "The resilience, bravery and contributions of African-Americans will be preserved for our memory by this Commission so that New Yorkers never forget their stories or sacrifice."

Appointed members of the committee will include individuals with expertise in African-American history, arts and culture. The Commission will submit a report to the Governor containing its planned activities and recommendations by June 1, 2022. The work of the Commission is designed to recognize and highlight the resilience and contribution of African-Americans over 400 years; educate New Yorkers about the arrival of enslaved Africans in New York and the United States; and to encourage localities and nonprofits to commemorate this significant marker in African-American history through educational programs. Technical assistance will be provided to the Commission by the Department of State.

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