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Schumer urges Stewart PFAS cleanup begin

Oct 22, 2020 5:45 am
MidHudson News is reporting U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer has asked Air Force Secretary Barbara Barrett to include Stewart Air National Guard Base in next year’s portion of a Remedial Investigation, allowing for the critical next step of PFAS cleanup to finally begin. The U.S. Air Force may not include Stewart in the towns of New Windsor and Newburgh in the next round of priority cleanup sites as a result of a bureaucratic internal policy penalizing Newburgh for no longer using Lake Washington as their drinking water source. Because the city switched off its main drinking water source after the discovery of toxic PFAS in its water source in May of 2016, it may be penalized and ultimately left out in the Air Force’s next round of priority cleanup site selections, based on guidelines. “The bottom line is Washington Lake was and will be Newburgh’s drinking water source, and the United States Air Force can and must clean up the toxic PFAS mess they made in the lake and its tributaries with all due speed,” said Schumer. “No one should fear that their health or that of their family is being damaged by the water they drink, which is why I am calling on the Air Force to immediately expedite the cleanup process, approve funding for a Remedial Investigation at Stewart Air National Guard Base, and allow the cleanup to move forward ASAP.” Perfluorooctane sulfonate, or PFOS, and perfluorooctanoic acid. or PFOA, are two types PFAS, a group of manufactured chemicals, and are persistent in the environment and resist degradation. These toxic chemicals are common primary ingredients in the firefighting foam that was used at Air National Guard bases for training and fire-suppression exercises. Exposure to PFAS chemicals has been linked to certain cancers and other serious adverse health effects. Read more at MidHudsonNews [dot] com.