News > News > Governor Hochul vetoes bill to protect 41,000 miles of NY’s streams – Riverkeeper statement

Governor Hochul vetoes bill to protect 41,000 miles of NY’s streams – Riverkeeper statement

Contact: Jeremy Cherson, Riverkeeper Senior Manager of Government Affairs, [email protected]; 770-630-6790

Governor Kathy Hochul has vetoed legislation that will extend the Department of Environmental Conservation’s Protection of Waters Program to class C streams intended to provide oversight to projects which may disturb stream banks or beds. Class AA, A, B, and a small number of Class C trout streams already require permits. Riverkeeper and our partner organizations have documented waterways across the Hudson River watershed and New York that are misclassified, leaving our freshwater habitat and drinking water sources vulnerable to pollution. For example, many of the streams that supply the drinking water sources of the Cities of Peekskill and Watervliet are not protected at the level that must be afforded to public water supplies.

“Governor Hochul unfortunately missed a chance to protect tens of thousands of miles of headwater streams in New York,” said Riverkeeper Senior Manager of Government Affairs, Jeremy Cherson. “Half of New York’s streams are vulnerable to a lack of oversight from DEC’s Protection of Waters Program. As we have learned time and time again, it is cheaper to protect streams proactively than restore natural resources. Riverkeeper will keep fighting to protect these waterways across the state.”

The bill, S4162/A6652, was sponsored by Senator Pete Harckham and Assemblyman Steve Englebright.

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