Monday, July 17, 2017

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Locals call on Department of Defense to stop PFOS discharges from Air Guard base

NEW WINDSOR – About 50 people from the City of Newburgh and neighboring communities rallied at the scene of the new state-installed carbon filtration system at Washington Lake to call for the Department of Defense to put an end to the discharge of toxic PFOS into the Hudson River.

Newburgh City Councilwoman Genie Abrams blew a toy whistle.

“We are blowing the whistle” on the Department of Defense.

Abrams and Councilwoman Karen Mejia led the rally, which included speakers from Riverkeeper and other environmental organizations.

Washington Lake, the city’s reservoir, has been off-line for over a year with Newburgh receiving its drinking water from the New York City aqueduct with the state picking up the tab.

The Defense Department has acknowledged the PFOS was coming from the Stewart Airport Air National Guard base, but has yet to do anything about it.

Assemblyman Frank Skartados (D, Milton), whose district includes Newburgh, said if Washington continues to sit on its hands the state will consider turning up the heat.

“Don’t give me no legal ramifications why,” Skartados told the group. “These legal technicalities will not suffice and if we have to take the DoD to court, that is precisely what we will do.”

Participants at the rally wore black t-shirts with “PFOS” written on the front and “What’s your level?” inscribed on the back.

Motorists driving on busy Union Avenue (Rt. 300) honked their horns at the rallying people.


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