Schumer: PFOS water probe should go beyond Stewart Air Base
By Leonard Sparks Times Herald-Record @LeonSparks845 CITY OF NEWBURGH – TinaMarie Coughlin worries about her four children’s health.
Coughlin’s concerns also include the continued discharge of contaminated water from Stewart Air National Guard Base, which has been identified as the source of Newburgh’s water contamination.
This month the Air National Guard submitted to the state a plan for investigating the source of perfluorooctane sulfonate, or PFOS, the toxic chemical found in Newburgh’s Washington Lake and in nearby private wells used by residents like Coughlin.
Hangars, a testing area and outfalls that discharged collected runoff and drainage from buildings will be among more than a dozen spots to be investigated for PFOS, which is believed to have come from firefighting foams at the base.
But Sen. Charles Schumer said Monday the plan should include investigating and cleaning pollution at Recreation Pond, the off-base retention pond used by Stewart.
Washington Lake and other local waterways contaminated by PFOS and its sister chemicals should also be part of the military’s investigation and clean-up plan, Schumer said.
"The bottom line is that pollution like PFOS-tainted water does not stop at the base’s perimeter and neither should the Air National Guard’s pollution source survey and clean-up plan," he said.
Wells have also been contaminated with perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA, a chemical related to PFOS and also used in firefighting foams.
A final report summarizing the inspection’s findings will be completed by Jan. 10, 2018.
Schumer, DEC officials and the environmental group Riverkeeper have repeatedly called on the military to take a more immediate step: stop the continued discharge of contaminated water into Silver Stream.