Newburgh wants Defense Department to speed up water contamination remediation

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NEWBURGH – If the Department
of Defense continues to study contamination of the City of Newburgh’s
water, it could another year before it is cleaned up. That assessment
came from City Manager Michael Ciaravino at Monday night’s city
council session.
It has been determined the source of the PFOS chemical contamination of the city’s Washington Lake reservoir is the Air National Guard Base at Stewart Airport. The state Department of Environmental Conservation has already begun to install a carbon filtration system, but Ciaravino said instead of using the DEC’s research, the DoD wants to do its own studies.
“It is our understanding that the Department of Defense is set to follow their own lengthy investigation protocol, which in important ways would be a repeat of the effort that has already been made by the DEC to define the contamination source,” Ciaravino said. “The work through much or all of 2017 then would involve document review and small scale site investigation. As a result, it could be up to another year before the groundwater pollution is fully characterized and the remedial options, including the remedial options for Rec Pond, are proposed and designed and implemented.”
Federal lawmakers have already asked the Defense Department to speed up their process.
Meqanwhile, Newburgh continues to obtain its water from the New York City Catskill Aqueduct.