ATTORNEY GENERAL CUOMO ANNOUNCES GROUNDBREAKING SETTLEMENTS TO STOP 5 HEALTHCARE FACILITIES FROM DISPOSING OF PHARMACEUTICAL WASTES INTO THE NYC WATERSHED
Investigation by Cuomo found hospital and nursing homes flushed painkillers, antibiotics, anti-depressants, hormones and other pharmaceuticals - risking release into drinking water supply
Groundbreaking settlements help to safeguard the drinking water of 9 million in New York City and portions of Westchester, Putnam, Ulster, and Orange Counties
Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo today announced groundbreaking settlements with five health care facilities located in the New York City Watershed to immediately end the practice of disposing of pharmaceutical waste into the watershed. The agreements announced today are the first-ever settlements requiring sources of pharmaceutical releases to end this risky disposal practice.
The five facilities are located in Delaware and Putnam Counties and within the New York City Watershed, an almost 2000 square mile area that drains into reservoirs and lakes providing drinking water to eight million residents of New York City and one million people living in Westchester, Putnam, Ulster, and Orange Counties. The practice of flushing unused pharmaceuticals allows for the release of painkillers, antibiotics, anti-depressants, hormones and other waste drugs into the watershed - the drinking water supply for almost half the state’s residents. To date, only trace amounts of pharmaceuticals have been found in the New York City drinking water supply.
“The 9 million people who get their water from the New York City Watershed enjoy some of the cleanest, safest and best water in the world,” said Attorney General Cuomo. “We need to make sure it stays that way. These ground breaking settlements provide a new model to implement immediate and sensible precautions to keep waste drugs out of the drinking water supply.”
The settlements arise from a broad, ongoing investigation by Cuomo’s office into the pharmaceutical waste management practices of hospitals, nursing homes, and assisted living facilities located within the New York City watershed. Today’s settlements include: O’Connor Hospital, located in Delhi, Delaware County; Margaretville Memorial Hospital, located in Margaretville, Delaware County; Mountainside Residential Care Center, a nursing home located in Margaretville, Delaware County; Countryside Care Center, a nursing home located in Delhi, Delaware County; and Putnam Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, a nursing home located in Holmes, Putnam County. All of these facilities cooperated with the investigation.
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