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The New York State Drinking Water Quality Council met Tuesday and recommended maximum contaminant levels for three chemicals that turned up a few years ago in drinking water in Hoosick Falls, Newburgh and other communities.

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The New York State Drinking Water Quality Council is scheduled to meet Tuesday afternoon. The council is expected to recommend maximum contaminant levels for toxic substances that have turned up in drinking water in Hoosick Falls, Newburgh and other communities. The meeting begins at 3 in Albany, New York City and on Long Island.

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The New York State Drinking Water Quality Council is scheduled to meet on December 18.

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is calling on the Trump administration to implement a law to help end the use of PFAS chemicals at commercial airports. The junior senator from New York says it’s time to bring awareness that airports can switch to firefighting foam free of the toxic fluorinated chemicals.

WAMC, Allison Dunne

As the Newburgh city manager prepares to leave his post at the end of the year, he is speaking out against the use of a state-funded granulated activated carbon filtration system. New York had the system built to filter PFOS and other contaminants from Newburgh’s drinking water supply.

DoD Officials Visit Newburgh Re: PFOS Contamination

Nov 19, 2018
WAMC, Allison Dunne

Senior level officials from the Department of Defense were in Newburgh Thursday, where they held a public forum on the PFOS water contamination. It was the first time since the crisis took hold more than two years ago that DoD officials met publicly with residents, who say they were hoping for more concrete action.

Photo of a faucet
WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

On Tuesday, President Donald Trump signed into law a wide-ranging bill called America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018. The bill authorizes specific projects across the country and also includes language to protect people from so-called “emerging contaminants.”

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New York state’s Drinking Water Quality Council met this week to discuss recommending maximum contaminant levels for three emerging contaminants, including PFOA and PFOS. Council members are slated to issue recommendations at their next meeting before the end of the year. Council members have been reviewing scientific studies as well as the actions of other states. Meantime, affected residents and environmentalists say setting the levels is long overdue.

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Environmentalists are urging a New York state panel on water quality standards to meet its October 2nd deadline to set new acceptable levels of toxic chemicals in public water supplies.

A recently passed federal spending bill includes funding to address PFAS pollution.

Newburgh City Manager Asks Residents To Conserve Water

Sep 20, 2018
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WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

In preparation for a temporary shutdown of the city’s current water source, a Newburgh official is urging that residents and businesses to step up water conservation efforts.

The Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics facility on McCaffrey Street in Hoosick Falls
Lucas Willard / WAMC

UPDATE 9/13/18:

The communications office for NCEH/ATSDR tells WAMC "the communities for this project have not been selected at this time."

A spokesman for the New York State Department of Health tells WAMC it has reached out to ATSDR seeking clarification on the communities included in the study and has spoke to the mayor of Hoosick Falls about the issue. 

A spokesman for the office of Senator Kirsten Gillibrand says the senator is "still looking into the proposal, but she is supportive of any proposal that can help communities affected by PFOA get more information on health impacts."

The federal government has proposed studying communities affected by PFAS contamination – like many in the Northeast. But residents of one community that is not on the list say the study is too short-sighted.

NYSAC Presses EPA, NYS To Set PFAS Contaminant Levels

Aug 30, 2018
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The New York State Association of Counties and two other groups are urging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and state Department of Health to act on setting contaminant levels for chemicals that have been found in drinking water.

WAMC, Allison Dunne

New York’s two U.S. senators say their amendment authorizing $45 million to reimburse communities and states for cleaning up PFOA and PFOS contamination passed in their chamber.

PFOS/PFOA Cleanup Provision Did Not Make Defense Bill

Aug 13, 2018
WAMC, Allison Dunne

The John McCain National Defense Authorization Act that President Trump will travel to Fort Drum to sign Monday is without a PFOS and PFOA cleanup provision. It’s a provision that was pushed by two U.S. Senators from New York, including Democratic Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer.

City Of Newburgh Sues Over PFOS Water Contamination

Aug 7, 2018
WAMC, Allison Dunne

Newburgh officials are suing a number of parties concerning PFOS contamination found in the city’s water supply — Washington Lake –  more than two years ago. The city wants to be reimbursed for costs associated with the contamination, and it wants the contamination cleaned up.

Groups Pen Letter To NYS DOH Re: PFOA/PFOS Levels

Jul 9, 2018
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More than a dozen environmental, civic, and research groups have sent a letter urging the New York State Department of Health and the Drinking Water Quality Council to establish so-called maximum contaminant levels for three chemicals, including PFOA and PFOS. The groups highlight new research in recommending levels they think the state should adopt.

A new filtration plant for the City of Newburgh awaits testing and operation. New York state paid for the plant it had constructed to filter a class of chemicals that includes PFOS. State officials expect testing to begin soon. But Newburgh’s city manager continues to have concerns.

A national summit on PFAS chemicals was held in Washington, D.C. this week. Convened by Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt, the two-day event sought input on pollution including PFOA and PFOS, which have been discovered in several communities in our region.

Vermont Democratic Representative Peter Welch has joined 12 other members of Congress in demanding the Environmental Protection Agency release a study on the health effects of chemical contaminants.


An article published in Politico earlier this week revealed federal officials sought to block a report on PFAS chemicals, pollutants found in water sources in some local communities. The story is drawing strong reaction from environmental advocates and political leaders.

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New York’s U.S. Senators have announced federal funding to support research and remediation efforts for communities facing contamination from the chemicals PFOA and PFOS.

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Vermont officials say they believe firefighting foam used to extinguish a fire from a 1986 plane crash may be the present-day source of chemical contamination of wells in Clarendon.

WAMC, Allison Dunne

Officials say the City of Newburgh should be able to connect its main drinking water source to a new, state-funded carbon filtration system in February. That source is Washington Lake, where PFOS was found in 2016. The city now draws water from the Catskill Aqueduct. State environmental and health officials delivered an update during a Newburgh City Council meeting Monday night.

A Year In Review In The Hudson Valley

Dec 29, 2017
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As we bid farewell to 2017, WAMC’s Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Allison Dunne takes a look at some of the bigger stories of the year—and some that are sure to continue in 2018.

HV Rep's Bill Mandating PFOS/PFOA Study Is Law

Dec 14, 2017
WAMC, Allison Dunne

Two pieces of legislation from a Hudson Valley congressman have become law after President Trump signed the National Defense Authorization Bill Tuesday.

WAMC, Allison Dunne

The New York state Department of Health is offering Newburgh area residents two dates for same-day PFOS blood testing.

A scientist at the University of Massachusetts Amherst recently received a grant to study the health effects of two perflourinated chemicals — PFOS and its recent replacement chemical. Given drinking water contamination issues in places like Newburgh and Rensselaer County, WAMC’s Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Allison Dunne spoke with the grantee about what she and her colleagues hope to accomplish.

WAMC, Allison Dunne

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer and Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney were in Orange County today, urging the Air Force to designate Stewart Air National Guard Base the No. 1 cleanup project in the country. The two Democrats made their call at Washington Lake, Newburgh’s main drinking water supply, where toxic PFOS contamination was found in the spring of 2016.

NY Congressman's Bill On PFOA/PFOS Study Set To Be Law

Nov 18, 2017
WAMC, Allison Dunne

Legislation from a Hudson Valley congressman to require the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to study health effects of PFOS and PFOA exposure is headed to President Donald Trump’s desk.