NYPIRG report reveals emerging contaminants in drinking water supplies

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ALBANY – The chemicals PFOS and PFOA aren’t the only ones people who get drinking water from public sources should worry about.

An analysis of federal data by the New York Public Interest Research Group found 16 distinct emerging contaminants detected in public water supplies in the Hudson Valley.

 Strontium was detected most frequently, followed closely by chromium-6.Orange and Westchester counties had the highest number of systems with detections – 69 each.

There was 1,4-dioxane detected in four counties and the PFOA and PFOS were detected in Orange County.

NYPIRG Environmental Policy Director Elizabeth Moran New York must take action now.

“The longer the state goes without emergent contaminant testing, the longer the state goes without drinking water standards, the longer people may end up exposed to unsafe levels of these chemicals,” she said. “The bottom line is when we don’t act quickly it puts public health in jeopardy.”

Moran confirmed that even the state-installed carbon filtration system at Newburgh’s Washington Lake will not filter out many of those emerging chemicals.

Statewide, NYPIRG found 176 water systems with detections of one or more of the Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule contaminants, affecting close to 16 million New Yorkers.