Riverkeeper calls on governor to sign legislation to expand testing for contaminants in drinking water

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ALBANY – The State Health Department has delayed for four years mandating that water utilities test for toxic chemicals.

A bill currently before the governor would require that and the Riverkeeper organization is urging him to sign it, said the group’s senior manager for government affairs, Jeremy Cherson.

“There is a sense of urgency to this as we learn there are more communities PFAS chemicals and 1.4-dioxane, the latest in Rockland County with PFAS in their water, and of course, the crisis in Newburgh and, or course, Hoosick Falls kicking it off here in New York. We know there are more communities that have elevated levels of these toxins in their water. We just don’t have the testing regime up and running in order to tell members of the public if their water is contaminated,” he said.

Newburgh’s water has been contaminated by chemicals from the nearby Stewart Air National Guard Base and Wednesday night, the Guard’s Restoration Advisory Committee was brought up to date about their site evaluation and remedial investigation into the chemical’s migration into the water source.