Assemblywoman Latoya Joyner Introduces Legislation to Prevent Future Legionnaires’ Outbreak

Bronx, N.Y. – Assemblywoman Latoya Joyner (D – Bronx, 77th AD) will introduce legislation to prevent future outbreaks of the Legionnaires’ Disease. With over 113 cases reported, and 12 deaths due to the Legionnaires disease in the South Bronx, Assemblywoman Joyner’s new bill will allocate up to $50 million to the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and the Department of Environmental Protection to fund efforts to continually test cooling towers of the Legionella bacteria. The legislation, which will take effect immediately, will also enforce laws, rules and regulations designed to prevent the Legionnaires’ Disease from being a long term public health concern for Bronxites and New Yorkers.

While this legislation will focus on funding continued testing and policing from various New York City agencies, Assemblywoman Joyner welcomes the added assistance from Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office, the New York State Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She looks forward to collaborating with all levels of New York government – including her fellow Bronx elected officials – to protect public health concerns by offering resources that will fuel enforcement and testing for the Legionella bacteria in New York City buildings.

“My thoughts and prayers go out to the 12 families who have their lost loved ones due to the Legionnaire’s Disease. With more than 100 people having been hospitalized to date, we need to act now to prevent this outbreak from ever becoming a concern for the future. Taking steps today to protect the well-being of our communities by instituting measures that can prevent the Legionella bacteria from resurfacing is the right course of action. That is why I am proposing new legislation that will allocate up to $50 million in funding to various City agencies,” said Assemblywoman Joyner. “My bill will help ensure that resources and measures are in place so that future generations do not have to worry about this preventable disease. Also, I welcome the extra support from Governor Cuomo, the New York State Department of Health, and commend the response by Mayor de Blasio and local City health officials, to continue testing and monitoring of our building cooling towers for the Legionella bacteria.

For more information, please contact Jamie Gilkey at (518) 455-5671 or Mike Giardina at (718) 538-2000.