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Report: 20+ contaminants threaten NY drinking water

Local News

A report from the New York Public Interest Research Group Fund is raising questions about drinking water in New York State.

It’s one of the most basic and critical resources.

Representatives from the state government watch group NYPIRG say New York’s water supplies are “threatened.”

“We’ve seen in instances in communities across the state where drinking water has been threatened either through the industrial waste, things like happening up in Hoosick Falls, algal blooms that are affecting drinking water supplies in places like Syracuse,” Blair Horner, NYPIRG Executive Director, said.

After conducting a new report, they’re calling for policymakers to act when it comes to unregulated contaminants.

They found that 176 water systems in the state found one or more UCMR-3 contaminants.

Some of those emerging contaminants include chlorate, chromium, and PFOA.

“A lot of these contaminants have many different sources. Some are industrial. Some are naturally occurring. And they’ve been detected in the Capital Region as well as elsewhere in New York State,” Liz Moran, NYPIRG Environmental Policy Director, said.

They’re calling on the Department of Health to conduct statewide tests of emerging contaminants for every public water system. They’d like private household wells to be required to be tested as well.

“The bottom line is New York State has all of the tools at its disposal to move forward with better protecting drinking water.”

According to NYPIRG, 6.4 million New Yorkers drink water that has not been tested for emerging contaminants.

The New York State Department of Health issued the following statement on NYPIRG’s recommendations:

“The State has taken unprecedented action and made historic investments in protecting drinking water through the $2.5 billion Clean Water Infrastructure Act which includes $200 million currently available to communities to manage emerging contaminants and an additional $500 million in this year’s budget.  The recommendations from the Drinking Water Quality Council go above and beyond New York’s already protective water quality measures and are being reviewed thoroughly and responsibly.  We will review NYPIRG’s report.”

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