NEWBURGH – Residents of Newburgh hope to get some straight answers
about what caused the city’s main water supply, Washington Lake,
to be contaminated with the chemical PFOS and what is going to be done
to get rid of it.
Regional officials from the federal Environmental Protection Agency and
the state Department of Environmental Conservation will address a public
information session at 6 p.m. today (Monday) at Aquinas Hall on the Mount
Saint Mary College Campus.
Residents hope to get some answers about the cleanup of Washington
Ever since the chemical was found in high levels, City Manager Michael
Ciaravino cut off the drinking water from Washington Lake and began to
use the backup supply at Brown’s Pond, but as that ran low, the
city council authorized the use of the New York City Catskill Aqueduct.
That began a week ago and will cost the city an estimated $260,000 per
month, a price tag the state DEC said it would pick up.
The DEC has also committed to designing, constructing and installing a
new filtration system at Washington Lake to purify the water so that it
could once again be used by Newburgh.
The chemical PFOS is found in aircraft firefighting foam and since the
nearby Stewart Airport Air National Guard Unit uses that, there is more
belief the pollution has come from that source.
Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney has called on the Department of Defense
to conduct an immediate investigation into that possibility and if it
is found to be case, he wants the federal government to pay for the cleanup.