Editorial: We need federal action to stop water pollution

Editorial: We need federal action to stop water pollution.
What started with some alarming news about the tainted water supply for the City of Newburgh last year has inspired action at the local and state levels.
Results from the first 370 people tested show a middle level of 16 parts per billion, three times higher than the national figure of 5.2.
More will need to have their blood tested and more work needs to be done to understand the immediate and long-term effects of this increased level and the best options for treatment.
The chemicals in these streams and lakes, in these and many other wells and water supplies all point directly toward the Stewart Air National Guard Base.
Last March, state investigators found alarmingly high levels of PFOS coming from Recreation Pond, the off-base retention pond used by Stewart from which water flowed into nearby streams, eventually ending up in the Newburgh water supply.
Other testing found a variety of levels of contamination in nearby wells, showing that the chemicals had gone into the aquifer and were not contained in surface water.
It has only recently come up with a plan to investigate the source of pollution around the base.
As Sen. Charles Schumer, the DEC and the leaders of Riverkeeper have demanded, the Air National Guard needs to immediately stop continued discharges of contaminated water into Silver Stream.
"The Department of Defense can stop this pollution, and it must do so without further delay," said Dan Shapley, director of Riverkeeper’s water quality program.

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