State to spend $700k to connect contaminated wells in New Windsor, Newburgh to municipal water

by Leonard Sparks, originally posted on January 26, 2017


TOWN OF NEWBURGH – The state will spend $700,000 connecting to municipal water supplies properties in the towns of New Windsor and Newburgh whose private wells have been contaminated with toxic chemicals traced to Stewart Air National Guard Base.

Wells at 26 properties have tested positive for low levels of perfluorooctane sulfonate, also known as PFOS, and perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA. Used in stain- and water-resistant products and aviation firefighting foams, the chemicals have been linked with cancers and other health problems.

High levels of PFOS forced the closure of the City of Newburgh’s primary water supply in May 2016 and led to the designation of Stewart Air Base as a state Superfund site. In response the state Department of Environmental Conservation and Department of Health began testing wells near the base.

None of wells testing positive has exceeded federal health standards for the chemicals, but the state has been retrofitting properties with special filtration systems and supplying property owners with bottled water.

The state will seek to recover its costs from the Department of Defense, which has been ordered to clean up the base. Construction on the water connections is expected to be completed in the spring.

“We continue to work aggressively to safeguard drinking water quality in communities across New York State, while holding those responsible for contamination accountable for their actions,” DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said.


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