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New York OKs Statewide Rules To Fight Legionnaires' Disease

ALBANY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — New York has started requiring the testing and inspection of building cooling towers across the state to combat Legionnaires' Disease.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the emergency health regulations on Monday.

As CBS2's Tony Aiello reported, it's been the busiest 11 days anyone at Clarity Water Technologies can remember as they cleaned and disinfected dozens of NYC cooling towers.

"Getting rid of the nutrient sources so that legionnella which comes in city water has nothing to feed off of," said Dominick Tuzz with Clarity Water Technologies.

Now, all owners of buildings with cooling towers will be required to register with the state health department within 30 days. The rules require regular testing for legionella bacteria and owners must immediately disinfect any contaminated towers.

Cooling towers in the Bronx are believed to have housed legionella bacteria that led to the largest outbreak of the disease in New York City history. Twelve people have died and there have been 121 cases of the disease.

Cuomo's office says the new regulations were crafted "in consultation" with the office of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.

Clarity Water Technologies is already hearing from concerned landlords in New Jersey and Connecticut. And there's a good chance cooling tower regulations will expand to other states.

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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