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After Strong Push, Maloney Announces DoD Has Made Investigation into Newburgh Water Contamination First Priority

Jun 8, 2016
Press Release
Announcement Comes After Rep. Maloney Demanded DoD Add Stewart ANG Base to Review List and Make it a Top Priority

Newburgh, NY – After calling on the Department of Defense (DoD) to give priority to Stewart Air National Guard (ANG) Base to investigate the high levels of contaminants in Newburgh’s water supply, Representative Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18) announced that Newburgh ANG Base is now at the top of the list. Earlier this year, the Department of Defense announced plans to test for groundwater contamination from firefighting foams at hundreds of sites across the country. However, before Rep. Maloney called on the DoD, Stewart ANG Base was not included in the scheduled military base review.

“Finally the Department of Defense is recognizing the dangerous groundwater contamination at Stewart Air National Guard Base – making it their number one priority to review nationwide. Clean and safe drinking water is a basic right for all our neighbors regardless of where you live, how much money you make, or the color of your skin,” said Rep. Maloney. “We can’t allow Newburgh to shoulder this burden alone, and placing Newburgh at the top of the DoD list is a critical step towards getting to the bottom of this issue and helping us protect families and small businesses in Newburgh.”  

Since abnormally and unacceptably high levels of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooc­tane sulfonate (PFOS) were found in Newburgh’s water, Rep. Maloney has worked with local, state and federal officials to call for an immediate investigation, hold those responsible accountable, and ensure residents in Newburgh have a clean water source now without placing the financial burden on the City.

On May 19, Rep. Maloney called on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to immediately set a clear national standard for acceptable levels of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooc­tane sulfonate (PFOS) in drinking water. Rep. Maloney also renewed calls for the EPA to provide immediate material assistance to the City of Newburgh to remediate the contamination. On May 13, Rep. Maloney called on the DoD to immediately conduct an investigation into the likely source of the pollution – Stewart Air National Guard Base. In addition to calling for a review of the source of the contaminant, Rep. Maloney asked the DoD to ensure total remediation for the City of Newburgh. After initial reports of contamination in the City of Newburgh water, Rep. Maloney and Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand wrote a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) calling for immediate assistance to determine the source of the contamination, test contaminant levels, and formulate a remediation plan.