FOLLOWING HIS ALMOST 3 YEAR PUSH, SCHUMER ANNOUNCES OVER $2 MILLION IN FEDERAL FUNDING TO FINALLY INSTALL A FILTRATION SYSTEM & HALT PFOS CONTAMINATION IN NEWBURGH
U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today released the following statement after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) allocated $2.4 million in federal funding to install a filtration system at Recreation Pond in the City of Newburgh, a long-awaited interim remedial measure to stop PFOS from further toxifying the City’s primary drinking water source:
“At long last, after years of pushing and prodding, DOD is finally ponying up millions in federal funding to install a desperately-needed filtration system at Recreation Pond on Stewart Air National Guard Base to curb the toxic PFOS/PFOA contamination from seeping into the City of Newburgh’s drinking water. No resident of Newburgh should have to worry that they will be harmed by the water they drink, nor should contaminated water continue flowing off base over two years since its discovery; with federal funding now allocated to stanch the further spread of this toxic water, we are one major step closer to making that a reality,” said Senator Schumer.
Schumer has long fought to address toxic chemical PFOA/PFOS contamination in New Windsor, impacting Newburgh’s drinking water. In December of last year, Schumer received a commitment from the DOD that the Air National Guard, working with the Army Corps of Engineers, would begin installing interim remedial measures to limit the further discharge of PFOA/PFOS contamination. Last fall, Schumer met with Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson to urge the Air Force to rev up the pace of PFOA/PFOS contamination investigations and remediation efforts. Schumer also successfully worked to include his amendment to provide funding for the Air National Guard (ANG) to make payments to reimburse New York State and local water authorities for their ongoing remediation efforts and cleanup of PFOA and PFOS contamination due to ANG-related activities in the FY2019 Senate Defense Appropriations bill. In July of last year, after Schumer’s push, a report concerning the health effects of polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) was finally released to the public, after its release was seemingly delayed because of political considerations. In September 2017, after Schumer’s urging, DOD immediately began their Site Investigation sampling which included Recreation Pond, another Schumer request, which yielded the highest concentration of PFOS according to the NYDEC’s original testing. In June 2017, during an in-person meeting with U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis, Schumer called on the Department of Defense to participate in the remediation of toxic PFOA/PFOS contamination. In May 2017, during a one-on-one meeting with Air Force Secretary Heather Heather Wilson, Schumer called on the USAF to pledge that they would prioritize the prompt remediation of the PFAS contamination at Stewart Air National Guard Base.
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