Chemicals impacting Newburgh water may also be affecting Westchester

Posted: Updated:
WEST HARRISON -

Harmful chemicals that have caused major water issues in the city of Newburgh could be affecting the water in Westchester.

PFOS and PFOA, the same chemicals from Stewart Air National Guard Base that contaminated Newburgh's water supply at Washington Lake, may also be coming from Westchester County Airport.

A stream that runs through airport property goes up to Rye Lake and then to Kensico Reservoir, which supplies water to most of the county.

Jonathan Wang, who heads the Citizens for a Responsible County Airport, says the stream probably hasn't been tested by the county. But Wang thinks it should be.

The Department of Environmental Conservation says one of 14 water wells at the Westchester County Airport tested high for the toxic chemicals PFOA and PFOS. The chemicals are used in Teflon and firefighting foam.

"Back when they used this foam, they practiced firefighting exercises and it would be released into the environment,” says Wang.

Wang said he’s also fearful that privatization of the airport will prevent testing.

He suggests that residents who use private wells should test their water.

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