Jacobson Urges Department Of Health To Implement New State Water Standards

Assemblymember Jonathan Jacobson (D-Newburgh) urged Department of Health Commissioner Howard Zucker to act on the stricter water standards recommended last year by the New York State Drinking Water Quality Council with respect to maximum contaminant level for PFOA, PFOS as well as for 1,4 dioxane.

In 2015, the City of Newburgh’s water supply at Washington Lake was found to have high levels of PFOA and PFOS, making the water unsafe to drink. The source of the PFOA and PFOS contaminant is fire-fighting foam used by the military at Stewart Air National Guard Base.

On December 18, 2018, the New York State Water Quality Council recommended new standards for 10 parts per trillion (ppt) PFOA, 10 ppt for PFOS, and 1 part per billion for 1,4 dioxane. The current Federal recommended limits are 70 ppt for PFOA and PFOS. There are no current standards for 1,4 dioxane.

Nearly two months later, the Department of Health has yet to file the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in the State Register. In a letter sent today, Jacobson urged the Commissioner to file the Notice and initiate the review process as soon as possible.

Jacobson wrote, “Given the lack of attention by the Trump Administration and their lack of commitment to high water standards, it is imperative that New York State adopt these proposed water standards as soon as possible. As a resident of the City of Newburgh, which is unable to use its water supply due to the high levels of PFOA and PFOS, the need for these new standards is not just theoretical; it is personal to me and my neighbors.”