Goodell Opposes Bill That Hurts Middle-Class Homeowners

Assemblyman rejects Albany’s attempt to intervene in local issue
June 6, 2011

Assemblyman Andy Goodell (R,C–Chautauqua) recently spoke on the Assembly Floor against a proposed bill that would add hundreds of dollars of additional expenses to the purchase of a home by mandating expensive water testing requirements. It is estimated that the bill would increase costs by as much as $500 per house. Countywide, the proposed bill would cost residents more than $2 million annually.

The proposed bill would require every water well to be tested every time a property is offered for sale for a wide range of chemicals, including nitrites, sodium, nitrates, iron, manganese, iron plus manganese, ph and all volatile organic compounds. Additional tests could be required for arsenic, barium, fluoride, mercury, methane, radium and radon. These tests would be required even without evidence of any problems with the water.

“Chautauqua County has excellent well water, and its water often wins statewide taste tests,” said Goodell. “In addition, the Chautauqua County Health Department has done a superb job of monitoring water quality in all public water supplies, including mobile home parks. With rare exceptions, it is not necessary to test Chautauqua County well water for the chemicals required by this proposed legislation.”

In addition to adding hundreds of dollars of costs to every real estate transaction, the proposed bill could add weeks of delay to every closing while buyers await laboratory test results. Since most mortgage commitments are limited, these delays could result in the loss of mortgage commitment for buyers. With over 4,000 deeds filed every year in Chautauqua County, these tests would burden local homeowners by adding over $2 million in new costs.

“This proposed legislation is another example of downstate politicians attempting to impose expensive new mandates on local residents,” said Goodell. “This is a classic case of over-regulation, and I will not support any measure that piles on additional costs to the already staggering burden placed on the middle class.”

“We do not need Albany coming into our own backyard and telling us to spend hundreds of dollars on unnecessary tests,” Goodell continued. “We have been doing fine without their meddling for generations. Instead of finding new ways to increase costs on local residents, Albany needs to focus its efforts on cutting the cost of state mandates. To address the real issues facing our state, I have co-sponsored several mandate relief bills, which I am optimistic will be taken up soon.”