Statement from Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele, Jr. Regarding Lawsuit against Hazardous Firefighting Foam Manufacturers
I praise Governor Cuomo and New York Attorney General Underwood for filing a lawsuit against six companies that manufactured hazardous firefighting foam resulting in groundwater contamination across New York State.
The chemicals present in this dangerous foam, often used in firefighting training and drills, have emerged in multiple sites in my Assembly district on Eastern Long Island, affecting the only clean source of drinking water in Wainscott, Hampton Bays, East Quogue and Westhampton, including the Gabreski Air National Guard Base.
When the contamination was discovered at Gabreski Airport, state and county government officials came together to designate the area as a Superfund Site to ensure contaminated soils and waters were contained, removed and remediated. New York State Senator LaValle and I worked closely with Suffolk County and the Suffolk County Water Authority to make sure residents were fully informed, had access to bottled water and were quickly connected to the municipal water supply.
Access to clean drinking water should be a right, not a privilege, and it is time to hold the companies associated with contaminating our most precious resource accountable. We must recover costs and natural resource damages associated with their negligence in an effort to protect the health and safety of our community.