NEW WINDSOR, N.Y – The Department of Defense began taking water samples in and around Stewart Air National Guard Base on Monday after repeated calls to action by Sen. Chuck Schumer.
The sampling and testing will focus on the dangerous levels of perfluorooctane sulfonate, or PFOS, found in Washington Lake, Newburgh's primary source of water. The lake was shut down last year as a result.
“Until now, the DoD has spent more time and energy trying to circumvent liability than it has honoring its responsibility to taxpayers, public health and innocent families. With water sampling beginning today it’s a sign that our countless calls for action is finally being answered – especially by including Recreation Pond in this week’s testing," Schumer said in a statement. "While this is a big step forward to bring some relief to Newburgh, the DoD must thoroughly test and completely clean up the full PFOS mess they created in this community. And, further, the local communities must not be on the financial hook for this testing and remediation process.”
Last week Schumer announced he was successful in including provisions to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to authorize $20 million in Sustainment, Restoration, and Modernization (SRM) funds for the Air Force to remediate PFOS and PFOA contamination at Stewart Airbase to ensure that the Air Force has the authority to mitigate and clean up National Guard and Reserve installations.
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