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Environmental advocates calling for more aggressive cleanup of Stewart

Jun 29, 2020 5:45 am
The Mid-Hudson News Network is reporting environmental advocates Riverkeeper and the Newburgh Clean Water Project are pressing the Air National Guard to commit to an aggressive schedule to clean up the PFAS pollution at Stewart Air National Guard Base in Orange County. PFAS, or per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, are a class of manmade compounds associated with cancers, thyroid problems and other health threats. The compounds, developed in the 1940s, have been used in foam that was until recently used in firefighting. Riverkeeper and the Clean Water Project are calling for three specific actions. They said the filter at Recreation Pond must be repaired. After it was installed in December 2019, the filter failed within one month. The filter has been out of operation since January, and PFAS pollution continues to flow into Silver Stream, which flows into Moodna Creek, a tributary of the Hudson River. Both organizations are calling as well for the capacity of the Recreation Pond filter to be increased and that the remediation process at the base must advance quickly through the next phase. The city of Newburgh has been receiving its water from the New York City Catskill Aqueduct for four years, with the state footing the bill. “The Air National Guard has a responsibility to the people of Newburgh and New Windsor to turn this failed cleanup around, and quickly and thoroughly remove this toxic threat from our water,” said Dan Shapley, water quality program director for Riverkeeper. “More than four years ago, this contamination came to light. Stewart Air National Base was identified then as the source. The pollution is still flowing downstream.” Read the full story in the Daily Freeman.