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Doherty raises alarms over drug pollution in rivers

Pharmaceuticals threaten wildlife, fishing industry

By Nikita Biryukov, May 22 2019 11:49 am

State Sen. Mike Doherty wants to get drugs out of the state’s rivers.

“Everyone, regardless of where they live, should have the right to clean water,” Doherty said. “I’ve sponsored a bill for at least 10 years to study and combat pharmaceutical pollution, and although it passed out of committee last year, it has never reached the Senate floor. It is incredibly disappointing that so few environmental groups have joined the effort to remove pharmaceutical pollutants from our water. The consequences for further delays are dire.”

A study released by the Environmental Protection Agency last year found high levels of common household drugs in the Hudson River.

Such pollution threatens wildlife in the River and could harm the state’s fishing industry.

A bill sponsored by Doherty would create the New Jersey Water Supply and Pharmaceutical Product Study Commission, which would study the dangers posed by pharmaceuticals in the state’s waterways.

“If we don’t act now, generations of children could suffer from serious health problems, all because they drank contaminated water,” Doherty said. “Our commercial fishing industry could also collapse, delivering a huge blow to the economy. By refusing to address pharmaceutical pollution now, we are literally putting New Jersey’s future in jeopardy.”

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