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After Long Fight, Maloney Announces $2.4 Million Investment to Prevent Further Contamination of Newburgh Water Supply

Apr 3, 2019
Press Release
PFOS/PFOA Filtration System Set to Be Online by End of This Summer

Newburgh, NY – After years of fighting to clean up the City of Newburgh’s municipal water supply after it was contaminated by PFOS and PFOA runoff from nearby Stewart Air National Guard Base, Representative Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18) announced an investment of $2.4 million through the United States Army Corps of Engineers which will fund the installation of a filtration system to prevent further contamination. The Rapid Response Contract will prevent outflow from Recreation Pond into the water supply during storm events.

“This is a huge victory for the City of Newburgh – there’s much more work to do, but this is a critical first step in getting the city’s original water supply permanently cleaned up,” said Rep. Maloney. “We have to stop any further contamination of Washington Lake and then get rid of the stuff that’s already there till the water is once again safe to drink.”

Currently, contaminated water from Recreation Pond on airport property flows into Silver Stream during storm events and ultimately ends up in the city’s original water supply. The new project will include the installation of equipment which will filter the PFOS and PFOA from the Recreation Pond outflow to prevent further contamination of Washington Lake. The treatment system will utilize granulated activated carbon and resin technology.

In 2016, studies revealed that the City of Newburgh’s municipal water supply was contaminated by PFOS runoff from firefighting foam used at Stewart Air National Guard Base. Although safe alternative water sources have been in use for years, many of the city’s residents show blood levels of PFOS and PFOA above the national average, and the original water source contains levels of PFOS above what the EPA has deemed to be safe.

Since these elevated levels were originally detected, Rep. Maloney has worked with local, state and federal officials to call for an investigation and hold those responsible accountable. He has repeatedly demanded that the Department of Defense pay to clean up the contamination and worked alongside New York’s Senators to include funding in the Defense Bill to clean up the contamination.

Rep. Maloney also worked to pass a law to mandate testing on the long-term health effects of PFOS and PFOA contamination.