NEW YORK CITY, NY, Aug. 18, 2015 -- In light of the recent Legionnaires' outbreak and in an effort to better regulate cooling towers, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio today signed into law Intro. 866, which requires the registration of all cooling towers, annual certification, quarterly inspection, and reporting of increased microbes to the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. The legislation also mandates the disinfection of cooling towers with levels of microbes that pose potential health risks.
Violations of registry, certification and inspection requirements are liable for civil penalties up to $10,000. Failure to disinfect towers with increased microbes are classified as misdemeanors, punishable up to $25,000. The legislation takes effect immediately, and building owners have 30 days to register their cooling towers. The de Blasio administration, New York City Council and Governor Cuomo collaborated closely on the policy to ensure consistency in regulation in New York City and across the state.
"The recent Legionnaires' outbreak has been an unprecedented challenge requiring an unprecedented response," said de Blasio. "But a powerful response is just one piece of the equation. New Yorkers need to be protected from the disease through aggressive preventive action, and this groundbreaking legislation, developed in partnership with the City Council, is exactly that."
"As we continue to ensure that everyone who is suffering from Legionnaires' disease gets proper treatment, we must also look to the source of the problem," said Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. "Thanks to this law, cooling towers in New York will be tested on a regular basis, cleaned whenever needed and properly maintained. I'd like to extend my gratitude to Mayor de Blasio, Governor Cuomo and all my colleagues on the City Council for their cooperation in bringing different levels of government together to address this issue."