Faso seeks stricter oversight of water contaminant

Rep. John Faso and a Vermont colleague have asked the Environmental Protection Agency to tighten its oversight over a type of chemical that has contaminated drinking water supplies in both of their states, including in Newburgh and Hoosick Falls, N.Y.

Faso, a Kinderhook Republican whose district includes Ulster and Sullivan counties, and Democratic Rep. Peter Welch sent a letter on Tuesday to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt that suggests his agency “play a central role in developing the science around perfluorinated compounds and properly regulating them.” More specifically, they want the EPA to set national primary drinking water regulations for those compounds; to list two chemicals known by the acronyms PFOA and PFOS as hazardous substances; and to “review and regulate” the compounds “if warranted.”

The City of Newburgh lost the use of its main drinking water source in 2016 after finding high levels of PFOS in Washington Lake, believed to have come from firefighting foam at nearby Stewart Air National Guard Base. The city is temporarily getting its water from New York City’s Catskill Aqueduct while it installs a filtration plant to regain the use of Washington Lake.

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