Schumer urges Air Force to clean up drinking water contamination

Posted: Updated:
NEWBURGH -

Senator Chuck Schumer is joining the calls for the cleanup of the contamination of the former site for Newburgh's drinking water.
 
Paul Gallay, a member of the advocacy group Riverkeeper, is demanding the Department of Defense finally clean up the toxic waste from Washington Lake in Orange County.
 
"For decades people have been consuming water with this contamination in it," says Gallay. "There is no good reason for the defense department sitting on their hands."
 
Echoing those calls is Sen. Schumer, who met with the secretary of the Air Force. Schumer is calling on the agency to move faster to stop the ongoing PFOS contamination of the former site for Newburgh's drinking water.
 
In 2016, the city learned that its drinking water was contaminated by cancer-causing chemicals from firefighting foam at Stewart Air National Guard base. This August, Newburgh officials filed a lawsuit against several federal and state agencies - accusing them of knowingly releasing toxic waste into the water.
 
"They need to also take accountability for the contamination and meet some of the demands we as a city government has put forward through litigation," says Newburgh Mayor Torrance Harvey.
 
Tests conducted by the state show some people who call the city home have three times the amount of PFOS in their blood than the national average. 

Newburgh is now getting its water from the same source as New York City.
 

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