Take Action: Make PFAS cleanup in Newburgh a priority

spacer   Clean water is a human right. Photo: Lauren Berg
Photo © Lauren Berg
It has been five years since the City of Newburgh stopped using Washington Lake due to PFAS contamination, and switched to its backup reservoir, Browns Pond, and New York City’s Catskill Aqueduct as its sources of drinking water. Stewart Air National Guard Base, the primary source of PFAS affecting Newburgh’s Washington Lake reservoir, is undergoing a Relative Risk Site Evaluation (RRSE), which is used to prioritize remediation actions. Five years after the Department of Defense’s investigation began, PFAS continues to flow off the base. PFAS has contaminated Washington Lake, public and private wells in the Town of New Windsor, and both the water and fish in Silver Stream and Moodna Creek.

The U.S. military is the world’s largest polluter, and it is responsible for causing PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) contamination at hundreds of sites in the U.S., primarily due to its use of firefighting foams. At Stewart Air National Guard Base, too, multiple sites of contamination are identified. The RRSE is meant to prioritize cleanup of the “worst first.”

Send a message today to ensure that Stewart is prioritized among other polluted military sites, and that specific contaminated sites at Stewart are appropriately prioritized for cleanup. The RRSE process is flawed in significant ways that could undermine the thorough and comprehensive cleanup that is needed at Stewart. Personalize the letter by describing the way PFAS contamination has affected you or your family, community or business.

•    Read the sample letter (below) and edit it as you see fit. Personalized letters have a greater impact!

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  • William Myer, Restoration Program Manager, National Guard Bureau


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Dear: [Decision Maker],

[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State ZIP]