WASHINGTON, D.C. – The federal budget passed last month includes just under $44 million to clean up the toxic chemicals that have poisoned drinking water sources near Stewart Air National Guard Base and other military facilities around the country.
U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand announced the funding for the U.S. Air Force’s Environmental Restoration Fund on Wednesday.
Stewart Air Base’s use of firefighting foam was determined to be the source of the perfluorooctane sulfonate, or PFOS, that forced the closure of the City of Newburgh’s primary water supply in May 2016.
In August 2016, the Department of Environmental Conservation designated the base a state Superfund site, requiring that the military remove the contamination.
The same contaminant was found in private wells near Francis S. Gabreski Air National Guard Base in Westhampton Beach.
“PFOS and related chemicals contamination is a spreading threat, and we need to clean it up to make sure that New York’s families and children have water that is safe to drink,” Schumer said.
Also included in the budget is $10 million to study the health effects of perfluoroalkyl substances, the class of chemicals to which PFOS belongs, and $10 million for health screenings for people exposed to contaminated water.
“It is unacceptable that New Yorkers in some communities have had to worry about whether their drinking water will make them sick,” Gillibrand said.
*Original article online at https://www.recordonline.com/news/20180411/44m-to-clean-up-water-near-stewart-other-facilities