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New Lebanon latest local school with toxic drinking water

Feb 01, 2022 1:55 pm

Natasha Vaughn-Holdridge reports for Columbia-Greene Media that the toxic "forever chemical" PFOS has been found in the drinking water at New Lebanon Junior-Senior High School slightly above the state threshold. Test results from last spring found the chemical perfluorooctanesulfonic acid in the drinking water at the high school at 11 parts per trillion, higher than the state's acceptable level of 10 ppt. “New Lebanon High School is working with the Columbia County and New York State Departments of Health on a compliance schedule that includes steps to reduce the levels of PFOS,” New Lebanon School Superintendent Andrew Kourt wrote to parents. “The district will be setting up several water drinking stations around the junior-senior high school High School and posting signs on each water source reporting that the water is not drinkable.... The junior-senior high school kitchen staff will be cooking using a different water source.” Columbia County Department of Health Director Jack Mabb said the county is helping to clean up the water. “New Lebanon is working with an engineer who is working with our engineer in terms of filtration,” Mabb said. “The two alternatives are new filtration or to build another well. It appears they are moving in the direction of filtration.” New Lebanon is not the only local school with toxic drinking water. PFOS was found in the Town of Cairo's water in 2016 and 2017. The tests in 2016 found 13.3 parts per trillion in the town's well water, and 11.3 ppt in water treated with chlorine. Cairo's drinking water goes to the Cairo-Durham Elementary school. Little had been done to that situation, which was caused by a fire-fighting training center, that used foam containing PFOS to train in putting out fires. Read more about this story at HudsonValley360.com.

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