For Immediate Release
Albany, NY — Last night, the New York state legislature voted to establish two new public water authorities on Long Island. The bills now head to Governor Cuomo’s desk for signature. In the face of massive rate hikes by American Water, communities on Long Island demanded a public water system, opposing the sale of the company’s assets to another corporation, Canada-based Liberty Utilities.
The establishment of the new public water authorities on Long Island will mean lower water bills for residents, and a more accountable, locally-controlled system. In New York, private water systems like American Water were found to charge almost twice the amount of their public counterparts. The passage of this legislation signals a major victory for water affordability on Long Island and for the grassroots activists who fought for years for public control of their water systems. This is a necessary first step in the process for Long Island residents to secure public ownership of this essential service.
“Long Islanders saw their opportunity to establish a better, more affordable and more responsive water utility system. With this vote, we have won a victory for public water,” said Food & Water Watch volunteer Margaret Maher, a Merrick resident.
“This is a start. Obviously, there is a long way to go. I promise that none of us are going to stop until we cross the finish line: clean, affordable public water for all,” said Dave Denenberg, Co-Director of Long Island Clean Air Water & Soil.
“We are absolutely thrilled with the passage of the North Shore Water Authority! We are so very thankful and grateful to our State Legislators, Senator Gaughran, Assemblymen Lavine, Montesano, and Ra, for using their leadership and power to accomplish this for the community. It sends a very strong message that water privatization has no place on Long Island,” said Agatha Nadel, Director of North Shore Concerned Citizens.
Contact: Phoebe Galt, [email protected]