Environmental advocacy groups are concerned that New York State’s drinking water may be exposed to high levels of a toxin known as PFOA. Perfluoroalkyls, or PFAS is found in practically everything from carpets and frying pan coatings to military firefighting foams. The chemical compound PFAS poses damaging health risks to millions of Americans. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), roughly 1,500 drinking water systems are at risk of cancer; hormonal disruptions as well as damaging the immune system.
PFOS has been detected in a reservoir that serves as the water supply for Newburgh, NY. The fact that PFOS was discovered in the city of Newburgh’s drinking water is a terrifying reality for many who have been drinking contaminated water for decades. Advocates are concerned, with good reason. The fact is that PFOS chemicals are still leaching into the lake that provides residents with drinking water. The clean up will be costly and the problem has not been resolved.
Advocates are calling on the New York State Health Department to set limits on PFOA and PFOS contaminants. The Trump Administration has released a statement stating the EPA is "committed to following the Safe Drinking Water Act process for evaluating new drinking water standards."
“Americans have a right to know how much, if any, of this chemical is in their drinking water," Rep. Antonio Delgado, D-Rhinebeck. Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, D-Hudson Valley, also echoed Delgado’s sentiments, “We can’t let the EPA get away with turning their backs on us and refusing to regulate chemicals we know are dangerous."
The Trump administration’s EPA does not have a federally enforceable standard for any of these harmful toxins in our drinking water. It’s up to all of us to reach out to our local government officials to demand that the water contamination be removed immediately.
To date, the EPA has set an advisory limit on PFOA and PFOS at 70 parts per trillion.
In December of 2018, the New York Drinking Water Quality Council, recommended that the maximum contaminant levels in our drinking water for PFOA and PFOS at 10 parts per trillion.
Take action today to support water quality monitoring in your community by contacting your local government officials and ask them to support water monitoring legislation in your community.
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