After Years of Fighting for Funding, Maloney Announces Major $12 Million EPA Investment to Provide Permanent Solution for Clean Drinking Water in Hopewell Junction
Newburgh, NY — After years of working with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), state and local officials, Representative Sean Patrick Maloney announced an EPA investment of $12 million for the first phase to build a new waterline to supply clean drinking water to 325 homes in Hopewell Junction. The Army Corps of Engineers will be responsible for construction, and bidding for subcontractors will begin next month, with construction to begin in the next year.
“When I met with folks in Hopewell Junction in 2012 I promised them I wouldn't stop until they had clean water – I’m thrilled that this fight is over and that after 13 years our neighbors in Hopewell Junction will finally get the clean water that they need and deserve,” said Rep. Maloney. “I will continue to work with the EPA to ensure this environmental catastrophe is fully remedied and that none of my friends and neighbors in Hopewell Junction have to live in fear that the water they are drinking could be dangerous.”
"Thanks to Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney for all of his hard work in securing funding to supply water to the hundreds of homes located in the Hopewell Precision Superfund Site,” said East Fishkill Town Supervisor John Hickman. “This initial funding allows the real construction to begin to provide water to those affected homes. This project has been in the works for many, many years and it wasn't until Congressman Maloney got involved that real progress was made. Again, thanks to Congressman Maloney for making clean water a reality to those people who have suffered for so long."
Dutchess County Executive Marcus J. Molinaro said, “We are grateful to our federal representatives, including Congressman Maloney, for continuing the push for the dollars necessary to finally remedy the long-standing contamination issues at the Hopewell Precision Superfund site. Too many residents lives have been adversely impacted by the pollution at the site and this first round of funding will move the water system forward to ensure those residents can safely and confidently drink the water in their own home.”
“After 13 long years of ups and downs I feel closer to finally getting the clean water our neighborhood needs,” said community activist Debra Hall. “Congressman Maloney and Supervisor Hickman worked together with the EPA to make this possible, and I am at a loss for words. All I can say now is that I hope I’m invited to the groundbreaking.”
In 2003, residents of Hopewell Junction became aware that sheet manufacturer Hopewell Precision had dumped chemical waste onto the ground at its facility in East Fishkill. In 2005, the site was designated a Superfund site by the EPA, which made it a candidate for federal cleanup assistance. Since then, the EPA has paid for air and water filters in the homes of affected residents, and has periodically tested residents who are at risk. In 2009, the EPA developed a cleanup plan, but lacked a reliable source of clean water. In 2013, it was discovered that the Cannon property, across the street from the East Fishkill Town Hall, was an ideal candidate from which to draw clean water to supply the hundreds of homes nearby. Earlier this year, the EPA and state and local authorities finalized a proposal to connect the impacted homes to a reliable source of clean water. That proposal has been approved, and funding has now been allocated to resolve the problem.
Rep. Maloney has made remediating the Hopewell Precision Superfund site a paramount priority since 2012. In February 2013, only weeks after taking office, Representative Maloney wrote a letter to EPA Regional Administrator Judith Enck, calling on the EPA to pay for the construction of a new water facility on the Cannon property. Rep. Maloney has followed-up on the project by making personal calls or holding meetings with Judith Enck more than seven times since taking office. Rep. Maloney has also questioned EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy during hearings in the Agriculture Committee, and submitted questions to the EPA regarding remediation. Earlier this week, Rep. Maloney sent a letter directly to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, calling on the agency to immediately approve the finalized proposal to draw water from the Cannon property.
Rep. Maloney has also introduced legislation to fund the project, opposed legislative attempts to upend the EPA process for cleaning up Superfund sites, and worked to strengthen regulations on dangerous chemicals. In 2014, he introduced an amendment to H.R. 2279, which would have required the EPA to fully fund the cleanup of the Hopewell Precision site while requiring the EPA to continue to seek compensation from responsible parties. He also supported bipartisan legislation earlier this year to overhaul the classification and regulation of toxic substances, including trichloroethylene, or TCE, one of the contaminants in the Hopewell Precision Superfund site, to prevent future contamination.