ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Sewage plant operators would have to tell everyone when their untreated waste overflows into New York waterways under recently passed legislation meant to keep swimmers, boaters and fishermen from inadvertently getting into it.
The legislation would require publicly owned treatment plants and sewer systems to tell state conservation and local health officials within two hours of discharging of untreated and partially treated sewage or overflows from sanitary and storm sewer systems.
Within four hours, they would have to tell the public through electronic media.
Some provisions of the bill heading to Gov. Andrew Cuomo's desk were weakened after lobbying that pitted municipalities opposed to unfunded mandates against environmentalists seeking full disclosure.
Overflows often follow rainstorms.
The bill excludes partially treated sewage discharges in compliance with state permits.
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