Dutchess fire training center listed as NYS Superfund site

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Dutchess Fire Training Center. File photo.

HYDE PARK – The Dutchess County Fire Training Center located at 392 Creek Road in Hyde Park has been placed on the State’s Superfund site due to water contamination from poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances, known as PFAS, which are chemicals used in firefighting applications. The State says that the site presents a significant threat to public health and/or the environment.

According to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), sampling of on-site groundwater and soil, surface water, and sediment of the Fall Kill Creek and nearby drinking water wells indicate the presence of PFAS. DEC indicated that additional investigation is needed to define the nature and extent of contamination, evaluate associated human exposure pathways, and, determine the appropriate actions that will need to be implemented to prevent and mitigate potential exposures.

Dutchess County officials say that the DEC has been undertaking testing at fire training sites throughout the state relating to possible PFAS contamination, including the Dutchess County fire training center.  This follows a 2016 survey conducted by the DEC asking about the use of Aqueous Film-Forming Foam Concentrates (AFFF) at fire training centers.   The only documented use of AFFF (a source of PFAS) at the Dutchess County fire training center was during Firefighter II courses coordinated and run by officials from the NYS Office of Fire Prevention & Control (a total of 12 classes/events).

Dutchess County Commissioner of Public Works Robert Balkind said, “We are pleased the DEC is taking these steps to investigate and understand the full extent of any possible contamination.   We will continue to follow DEC guidance, including the recommendation to close off culverts that lead to the FallKill Creek.   However, at this time, DEC has not advised of any other restrictions or concerns, which is reassuring for those utilizing or working on-site or who live in the area.”

The Inactive Hazardous Waste Disposal Site Program (the State Superfund Program) is the State’s program for identifying, investigating, and cleaning up sites where the disposal of hazardous waste may present a threat to public health and/or the environment. The DEC maintains a list of these sites in the Registry of Inactive Hazardous Waste Disposal Sites (Registry).  Additional information can be found here.