EP Committee Seeks Long-Term Plan for Tracing COVID-19 in NYC Sewage

Oct 28, 2020

ASTORIA – The New York City Council Committee on Environmental Protection on October 26 heard testimony on a pilot program to study wastewater for the coronavirus strain that causes COVID-19 and another that would rein in a major source of sewage backups.

“COVID-19 will sadly remain a risk to New Yorkers for years to come, so we must employ every resource possible to find an outbreak before it happens,” said Council Member Costa Constantinides, Chair of the Committee on Environmental Protection. “The legislation we heard today will codify ongoing City efforts, so DEP staff has the resources it deserves to protect New Yorkers from another wave of COVID-19.”

"New Yorkers may be surprised to learn that despite being branded as 'flushable', baby wipes are a large contributor to sewer blockage in New York City," said Council Member Antonio Reynoso. "My bill, Intro 244, would allow retailers to sell only DEP approved baby wipes. This will help to avoid blockage of sewers, making our communities cleaner and saving the City money."

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