US Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand and Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney have called on the Defense Department to immediately order the Air National Guard to install carbon filtration units at the site of PFOS contamination at the Stewart Airport Air Guard base.
The lawmakers want the Guard to install mobile filtration technology at the outlet of Recreation Pond and other identified PFOS-hot spots while the larger investigation is ongoing.
The interim measure would purify water and prevent the spread and flow of contaminated water from the base’s storm water infrastructure to Silver Stream, Washington Lake, Moodna Creek and elsewhere.
Schumer said the Defense Department needs to immediately install a water filtration system to decontaminate known PFOS-hot spots on the base “before the spill off further contaminates Newburgh’s downstream waterways,” and he said it should be done at no cost to the City of Newburgh.
Gillibrand said it is “critical that we stop the contamination of Newburgh’s waterways as soon as possible and ensure that aggressive steps are taken to protect the water that local residents rely on.
Maloney said it has been nine months “since we asked DOD to clean up the mess they’re responsible for making at Stewart – a mess which threatens the drinking water for thousands of my neighbors in Newburgh.”
When it was determined last spring that Washington Lake, Newburgh’s water source, was contaminated by carcinogenic PFOS, City Manager Michael Ciaravino shut off the spigot and tapped the New York City Catskill Aqueduct. The state has agreed to pick up the cost of that water.
In the last several months, the state Department of Environmental Conservation has been installed a carbon filtration system at Washington Lake to clean up that water once it is up and running.