SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Public health groups are calling on lawmakers to end New York’s escalating Legionnaires’ Disease crisis.
Environmental activist Erin Brockovich joined the push for stronger regulations to test for the bacteria.
The Alliance to Prevent Legionnaires’ Disease calls the state’s current regulations “misguided.”
And argue facilities should focus testing on drinking water supplies
“We won’t have a good future without good water,” Brockovich said.
Brockovich is back in the Capital Region, this time shedding light on the growing number of Legionnaires’ Disease outbreaks in the state.
Saratoga Springs alone recently reported 21 cases, including two fatalities.
Public health advocates say the state needs stronger regulations.
“We’ve dumbed down disinfecting our distribution systems. There is a complete misunderstanding of how distribution systems work as they relate to the treatment facilities,” Robert Bowcock, of Integrated Resource Management, Inc., said.
Currently, outbreaks are pinned on cooling towers. The state says it investigates each and every case but the Alliance to Prevent Legionnaires’ Disease says the investigations need to be more thorough.
“For example in Saratoga Springs, they should follow through with individual cases so they can really track the source of legionella bacteria,” Daryn Cline, of Alliance to Prevent Legionnaires’ Disease, said.
The solutions being presented come at a price. It could cost millions to mitigate the problem but quick and cheap fixes will cost us even more.
“Why would we not do that? Just tell me why. Is it just easier to face legionella? Super bug outbreaks? People dying? NYS numbers are pretty high,” Brockovich said.
Locally, Department of Health says they still don’t know the source of at least six cases of Legionnaires disease in Saratoga Springs.