Homeowners near County Airport fear groundwater contamination

Posted: Updated:

Homeowners living near the Westchester County Airport are worried the groundwater is contaminated with toxic chemicals.

Homeowner and environmentalist George Klein says he is concerned his drinking water is at risk after Westchester County officials revealed at least half of the wells at the airport have been contaminated with a toxic chemical called PFAs.

County officials say the PFAs got into the groundwater years ago as a result of a foam the Air National Guard used at the airport during training exercises. They insist the contaminated wells at the facility - 26 at last count - don't produce drinking water, so the public is not in any danger.

“It hasn't spread so far we know to the Kensico Reservoir, at least New York City has told us that it's not a threat to the drinking water at the Kensico Reservoir, so I don't think people should be alarmed or overly concerned until we get some final results,” says county attorney John Nonna.

Klein still says he is alarmed. He’s part of the group opposing expansion of the airport on environmental grounds, and he believes the groundwater issue makes all homeowners nervous because it’s not definitive that their drinking water will be safe in the future.

The county is working with state and New York City officials to clean up the groundwater, but in the meantime, Klein is demanding more frequent testing.

“We want the county government to continue testing. We want the County Legislature to pass a law so this testing is done, twice a year, permanently,” says Klein.

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