Last week the New York State Legislature passed legislation (A.10015a/S.7114), introduced by Assemblywoman Sandy Galef (Ossining-90th A.D.) and Senator Vincent Leibell (Brewester-40h S.D.), to protect Peekskill's watershed. It allows the water superintendent, the deputy assistant to the water superintendent, and watershed inspectors some, but not all, of the powers afforded to peace officers.
This measure enables those protecting the watershed to fully patrol the watershed, a function which is not allowed under current law. Previously, lands which were outside the City of Peekskill, but apart of the Peekskill watershed, could not be monitored by local authorities, even if contamination posed a serious health risk to Peekskill's residents.
"Currently those protecting our water supply cannot even issue an appearance ticket without calling upon outside law enforcement," Galef stated. "We need to do all we can to ensure the health and safety of those dependant on the waters from Peekskill Hollow Brook and the Wiccopee Reservoir."
A similar bill was introduced last year which passed both houses, but was later vetoed by the Governor. If the Governor authorizes A.10015a/S.7114, this bill will take effect immediately.
This is the second bill in two weeks that Galef has sponsored relating to terrorism. Earlier last week, A.7201/S.5574 which allows security personnel and employees at nuclear facilities to use physical and deadly force in the case of burglary, passed both houses. Both bills await the Governor's signature before they can become law.