“Absent action by the Department of Environmental Conservation, Newburgh will release contaminated water from Washington Lake into Silver Stream, which flows into Moodna Creek and then the Hudson River, City Manager Michael Ciaravino told the Council on Monday.

Washington Lake has sat unused for more than two years because of levels of perfluorooctane sulfonate, or PFOS. The chemical is linked with a number of health problems, including kidney and testicular cancers, ulcerative colitis and high cholesterol.

State health and environmental investigators traced the chemical’s source to the use of PFOS-containing firefighting foams at Stewart Air National Guard Base, which was declared a state Superfund site in August 2016.

In September 2016 a contractor began pumping water from the lake and filtering it through a system designed to eliminate PFOS after Newburgh first raised concerns about rising water levels. Ciaravino is again asking that the Department of Environmental Conservation set up the same system.

‘If the Department of Environmental Conservation doesn’t move quickly enough, I am going to have to authorize the release of that water,’ he said. “But in doing so, it’s going to have the PFOS in it that then comes down Silver Stream to the Moodna Creek, ultimately to the Hudson and the Atlantic Ocean.’ ”

Read the full article by Leonard Sparks