‘Nothing has changed’ with Newburgh’s tainted water, says clean water advocate

Washington Lake

NEWBURGH – It was in May 2016 when then-Newburgh City Manager Michael Ciaravino sounded the alarm on the fact that the city’s Washington Lake reservoir was tainted with the carcinogenic chemical PFAS and now, years later, the problem still exists.

That was the message from Ophra Wolf, a founder of the Newburgh Clean Water Project.

“Here we are over four years into it and nothing has actually changed,” she said. “Toxins continue to flow downstream from the base as they were four years ago when the crisis was called. Zero care has come for this community. And what we understand is people in this community where drinking these highly toxic chemicals for over 30 years.”

Ophra Wolf

The city has been receiving its water from the Catskill Aqueduct since then, paid for by the state.

The Stewart Air National Guard Base has been identified as the culprit for the release of the chemicals, which were contained in firefighting foam used for training purposes.

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