Seeking full disclosure

MOUNTAINVILLE. Skoufis bill to publicly disclose monitoring of Kiryas Joel well passes full Legislature and now awaits the governor's signature.


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A bill that Senator James Skoufis (D-Hudson Valley) authored to require complete disclosure of monitoring reports related to public wells receiving permits from the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), has passed in the Assembly, one month after passing in the Senate.

Developed in response to local concern over the Kiryas Joel-owned Mountainville well, this is the first time that Skoufis’ legislation has passed both houses.

Transparency

The legislation requires the DEC to post results of well monitoring on its website in addition to all information related to water usage and conservation related to DEC-issued well permits.

The well permits would be publicly accessible for anyone to look up on the DEC website.

“I worked tirelessly to pass this bill through the Senate in April and was proud to work alongside Assemblyman Englebright to make sure this bill got through the full Legislature," Skoufis said in the press release detailing the legislation's approval. "Our constituents deserve transparency and access to clean water, and I strongly urge the Governor to sign this into law.”

Background

From 2015 to late 2017, Woodbury, Cornwall, Cornwall-on-Hudson, and a number of non-profits sought to challenge the DEC’s decision to permit the Mountainville well, claiming that pumping so much water would deplete nearby wells as well as drain the Woodbury Creek.

Once the state appeal’s court ruled in Kiryas Joel’s favor, Skoufis began working on the disclosure legislation and was first introduced in 2018 in the Assembly and has continued these efforts in the state Senate.



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