Never drink water that fails to meet EPA standards. Tell that to the fine citizens of Newburgh, NY.
Many communities are facing drinking water contamination crises with alarming frequency here in New York state, as their source waters (streams, wetlands and open lands that naturally supply and filter drinking water supplies) are degraded.
“I’ve been drinking that water for years, and my daughter’s been drinking and bathing in it, that’s shocking to me,” says Stuart Sachs, an artist who moved here from Brooklyn 14 years ago. “My daughter is 11. What diseases is she going to have to look forward to? It’s scary.”
Newburgh, NY residents have been exposed by a toxic chemical at unsafe levels. The City of Newburgh is facing a drinking water crisis after the toxic chemical PFOS (perfluorooctane sulfonate) was found to have contaminated its primary reservoir, Lake Washington.
“ The health effects that have been identified as potentially concerning for PFOS including liver conditions, immune and thyroid concerns, low birth weight are the main ones,” Brad Hutton, state deputy commissioner of public health. PFOS, or perfluorooctane sulfonate, has been linked to cancer, thyroid problems and other serious health issues.
New York State has declared the Stewart Air National Guard Base, as one major source of the water contamination. Newburgh residents were exposed to the Air Base water contamination, they face long-term challenges of:
New York state’s Riverkeeper defends the Hudson River and its tributaries, and protects the drinking water supply of 9 million NYC and Hudson Valley residents. The Riverkeeper’s mission is simple: protect the people, and protect the water.
The Riverkeeper’s Source Water Protection project published an influential Case Study and Call for Comprehensive Source Water Protection (July, 2016) relating to the drinking water supplies in Newburgh, NY.
" This has been in the drinking water supply for years … we may have exposed a whole generation to this contaminant, " said Dan Shapley, the water quality program director with Riverkeeper.
Based on these findings, to protect and prevent clean water crisis such as Newburgh, we must:
Get involved and make a commitment to be part of the solution. Make a difference:
We all make decisions about how we live and interact with our environment. We are all a part of the solution. We need to protect our water and realize that what we do impacts the quality of our water.
Working with the communities, Riverkeeper is piloting the use of a Scorecard to monitor and assess the quality of our water. Your involvement is vital to the quality of our water, If you use the Scorecard in your community, please notify Dan Shapley, Waterkeeper: Water Quality Program Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org to report any instances of water contamination or visit the website https://www.riverkeeper.org.
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