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State To Pay For Water Hookups For Residents Near Lake Washington

Photo of a faucet
WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

New York State has announced it will cover $700,000 in costs related to providing Newburgh and New Windsor residents with clean water.

Private well owners in the communities have had water supplies affected by the chemicals PFOA and PFOS. The odorless, tasteless chemicals have been linked to ill-health effects including cancer.

Friday’s announcement from the state Department of Environmental Conservation and Department of Health said  20 additional properties with private wells would be hooked up to municipal water lines.

DOH has sampled 51 private wells in the area of Lake Washington to date. 26 wells had low-level detections of the perfluourinated compounds. No samples showed levels above the EPA advisory level of 70 parts per trillion.

The contamination has been linked to Stewart Air Force Base. The state says it will seek reimbursement through the state Superfund program.

PFOA has also been found in the Rensselaer County communities of Hoosick Falls and Petersburgh and Bennington, Vermont.

Lucas Willard is a reporter and host at WAMC Northeast Public Radio, which he joined in 2011.
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