Councilman James Gennaro called a public hearing of the City Council yesterday to discuss the DEP’s failure to live up to New York State’s imposed requirements for backflow containment devices.
In 1981, the state required the DEP to determine which buildings needed the devices and to institute a program to have commercial building owners install these safety devices. In 1999, the DEP reported that there may be more than 100,000 buildings that require backflow prevention.
DEP Commissioner Emily Lloyd testified at the hearing that there are about 13,000 buildings that still need to be inspected before the DEP even begins dealing with the issue of enforcing backflow installation.
I testified along with the Plumbing Foundation and the New York State Association of Plumbing, Heating & Cooling Contractors about the importance of this issue and the DEP’s lack of action. We at WaterWatchNYC commend Councilman Gennaro for his commitment to this issue. We are proud to be involved in the effort and we wish Councilman Gennaro a lot of luck in his future efforts to ensure the safety of the public.