De Blasio signs bill to regulate cooling towers

Mayor Bill de Blasio signed a bill into law Tuesday that regulates cooling towers after a deadly outbreak of Legionnaires' disease in the Bronx. 

Under the law, all owners of buildings with cooling towers must register existing cooling towers with the Department of Buildings within 30 days of the enactment of the law, and new cooling towers must be registered before they become operational.

Owners are also required to inspect the cooling towers for Legionella bacteria quarterly and to provide certification of testing and cleaning. If Legionella bacteria are found, a third party would perform the cleanup, city officials said during a news conference at City Hall for the bill signing.

Building owners who fail to comply, could face fines.

The New York City Council passed the legislation, Intro 866, last week. The bill was a collaboration between Gov. Andrew Cuomo, de Blasio and council members.

Cuomo announced statewide emergency health regulations on Monday and a number, 1-888-769-7243, for questions about new regulations.

At Tuesday's news conference, Councilwoman Vanessa Gibson (D-Bronx) thanked officials for their work to combat the spread of Legionnaires' disease, which has sickened more than 120 people and caused 12 deaths.

New York City is the first major U.S. city to regulate cooling towers, said de Blasio.

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