U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand announces PFAS Firefirefighter Protection Act at Newburgh Fire Department, Feb. 22, 2021
WAMC, Allison Dunne

New York U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney were in Newburgh Monday announcing legislation to protect firefighters from PFAS.

Cohoes residents were joined by activists and advocates on a Thursday morning Zoom meeting.
Zoom Screenshot

Already under intense scrutiny from environmental advocates and local elected officials, the Norlite plant in Cohoes is facing new clean air violations from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. But environmentalists are also taking aim at the DEC.

At Westchester County Airport, from left to right: County Legislator Nancy Barr; Westchester County Executive George Latimer; Deputy County Executive Ken Jenkins; Harrison Supervisor/Mayor Ron Belmont
Courtesy of the Office of Westchester County Executive George Latimer

In a terminal at the Westchester County Airport in White Plains Wednesday, County Executive George Latimer announced upgrades to noise monitors and stormwater treatment. Surrounding communities have complained about noise from flight paths and the airport for years. The county has been addressing PFAS contamination as well.

Hudson Valley Brief Year In Review, Minus COVID

Dec 31, 2020
Indian Point nuclear power plant in Buchanan, NY
WAMC, Allison Dunne

Though the COVID-19 pandemic dominated the airwaves most of the year, there were some other significant developments in 2020. WAMC’s Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Allison Dunne highlights a few of them in an abbreviated year in review.

Slide presented during Environmental Working Group press briefing on PFAS and COVID, December 17, 2020
Courtesy of the Environmental Working Group

Scientists and toxicology experts say PFAS chemicals known to affect the immune system could impact the efficacy of a COVID-19 vaccine. While the link has not yet been cemented, they are concerned that communities with high exposures to PFAS may be more vulnerable during the pandemic.

The Norlite facility in Cohoes, NY.
Jackie Orchard / WAMC

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed a bill banning the burning of aqueous film forming foam containing PFAS chemicals in cities designated Environmental Justice areas. The new law is tailored specifically for Cohoes.

Stewart Air National Guard base entrance
WAMC, Allison Dunne

New York U.S. Senator Charles Schumer is calling on the Air Force to prioritize PFAS cleanup at Stewart Air National Guard base in Orange County.

New York state Thursday adopted maximum contaminant levels for three chemicals in drinking water. Environmental and community advocates wanted to see lower levels adopted, and more PFAS chemicals included, but say it’s a good start. One of the limits is a national first.

Several Enviro Bills Await NY Gov's Signature

Jul 27, 2020
AP Photo

The New York state legislature recently passed a number of environmental bills that await Governor Andrew Cuomo’s signature. Among them is a fracking-related bill that would be a first in the nation.


Most of the focus has been on COVID-19, but advocates held a virtual meeting today to bring attention to another aspect of public health: protecting New York’s drinking water.

Alcove Reservoir Dam
Albany Water Dept.

Albany's municipal water system made it through the worst of the pandemic without a hiccup.

Cohoes Mayor Bill Keeler, Assemblymember John McDonald
Jackie Orchard/WAMC

A bill banning the burning of AFFF firefighting foam has passed both the New York State Assembly and Senate. The legislation was crafted specifically for Cohoes, as the prohibition would only impact cities with populations between 16,000 and 17,000 people.

A vote in New York on whether to adopt recommended maximum contaminant levels in drinking water for three chemicals has been postponed a second time because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Still, clean water advocates say they are disappointed with another delay.

William Keeler
William Keeler

Concerns remain over environmental pollution from burning toxic materials at the Norlite site in Cohoes.

Dr. David Bond speaking during a Zoom video conference.

The mayor of Cohoes is siding with environmental activists who are recommending immediately stopping the burning of PFAS at a local plant.

In New York, as a result of the COVID-19 response, a meeting at which recommended maximum contaminant levels for three chemicals were to come up for a vote has been postponed.

Composite Image by Dave Lucas

After traces of PFAS chemicals were found in water samples taken near the Dunn Landfill in Rensselaer, activists are stepping up their campaign to convince the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to close the landfill.

Congressman Antonio Delgado
Antonio Delgado, official portrait, 116th Congress / public domain

PFAS contamination has sent communities around the Northeast scrambling.

In today’s Congressional Corner, Democratic Representative Antonio Delgado of New York’s 19th House district continues his conversation with WAMC’s Alan Chartock.

Officials gathered at the LOB in Albany for the announcement about new legislation to ban the burning of substances containing PFAS chemicals.
WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

Two Democratic state lawmakers from the Capital Region are introducing new legislation to ban the burning of substances containing PFAS chemicals.

Cohoes Mayor Bill Keeler speaking Feb. 25, 2020.
Jackie Orchard / WAMC

Cohoes Mayor Bill Keeler met with officials from Norlite Tuesday after a federal lawsuit filed last week claimed the company’s facility incinerated PFAS-based substances. 

EPA Inches Toward PFAS Drinking Water Regulation

Feb 24, 2020

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has taken the next step toward setting drinking water limits for two PFAS chemicals — PFOA and PFOS. Environmentalists say the step is small and they want to see quicker, bolder action.

After a federal lawsuit this week claimed that PFAS-based substances were incinerated at the Norlite facility in Cohoes, the New York state Department of Environmental Conservation says it is investigating.


A new report shows states are stepping up to protect public health from harmful chemicals.

WAMC, Allison Dunne

New York Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney was at the site of a Newburgh lake where PFOS contamination was revealed in 2016 today, calling on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to immediately take up PFAS legislation passed in the House this month.

A glass of water

An environmental group believes the class of toxic chemicals at the center of contamination crises in communities like Hoosick Falls and Newburgh can likely be detected in all major water supplies in the United States.

U.S. House Passes PFAS Action Legislation

Jan 13, 2020

The U.S. House of Representatives on Friday passed the PFAS Action Act. The legislation package includes 11 bills, two that were authored by New York Congressmen in the Hudson Valley whose districts include communities battling PFOA and PFOS.

Several U.S. Reps Urge Passage Of PFAS Action Act

Jan 9, 2020
USDA/Wikimedia Commons - Public Domain

Several Democratic U.S. House representatives are calling on their colleagues to pass a bill Friday concerning PFAS chemicals. It’s a bill that President Trump’s senior advisors will recommend he veto.

The annual federal defense bill, known as the National Defense Authorization Act, does not include certain provisions that would address PFAS water contamination. A Washington-based nonprofit group accuses Congress of caving on cleaning up the toxic substances.

Vermont state officials will be on hand in the Bennington area this week to answer questions about ongoing remediation efforts for PFAS contamination.

Drone flying.
WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

Vermont agencies are using aerial drones to study toxic chemical contamination underneath an airport.