Urgent! Call Governor Cuomo: Include Safe Disposal of Drugs in the Budget
Good news! The NYS Senate has included the Drug Take-Back Act in its version of the must-pass state budget. Last year, we successfully urged Governor Cuomo to veto legislation that would put the financial burden of returning unused or expired prescription drugs on taxpayers instead of manufacturers. The Drug Take-Back Act puts that financial burden on manufacturers. Now, Governor Cuomo and the Assembly must include this bill in their versions of the budget. The timing is critical, as the budget must be approved by April 1st!
Riverkeeper and our partners have conducted first-of-their-kind surveys of pharmaceuticals in the Hudson River Estuary. We’ve detected 50 different pharmaceutical compounds in the water, with both a greater variety and greater concentrations found where communities discharge treated sewage. Wastewater treatment plants are not designed to remove pharmaceuticals from the water.
The full health and environmental consequences of this cocktail of drugs in the water is as-yet poorly understood, but researchers have identified impacts on aquatic life from some of these compounds and mixes of compounds. Intersex fish - those with both male and female characteristics - have been observed in the Hudson River Watershed.
You can help remove one important source of pharmaceuticals in our waters. The Drug Take-Back Act would provide convenient, free drop-boxes for unused medications at pharmacies, which would prevent the flushing of pharmaceuticals.
The Drug Take-Back Act would provide long-term funding for safe disposal and public education programs, and would shift the cost of these programs from taxpayers to the manufacturers of pharmaceuticals.